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Leading the wave of startups taking social networking offline is TableCrowd, a platform that brings people into the real world to connect over food, as opposed to focusing on online interactions. Founded in 2011 by brother-and-sister team Kate and Stephen Jackson, TableCrowd invites diners to form groups such as ‘New to Town’, ‘Fashionable Foodies’, ‘Healthy Eating’ and ‘Startups’. This gives diners the opportunity to meet like-minded people with similar interests in business, hobbies, lifestyle and (of course) food, which is perfect for both networking and making new friends. Naturally, I had to experience this for myself!
My TableCrowd night involved hosting a (sold out!) table at Mestizo, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, dedicated to serving proper Mexican food rather than Tex Mex. Impressively, the tequila bar boasts some 250 varieties.
The ‘crowd’ who turned up were excellent fun, admittedly, I already knew two of the people on the table (one of them being Inna), but we all clicked straightaway and had plenty to talk about. The evening felt effortless with the conversation flowing seamlessly from work to holidays to hobbies and how we all found ourselves sitting at a TableCrowd dinner.
The food was really tasty and the service friendly. I particularly liked the house speciality, Molcajete ‘Mestizo’, which is a sharing dish of beef or chicken (or both), served in a volcanic stone bowl with cheese and avocado.
London is big city and it’s far too easy to fall into a natural comfort zone of only socialising with the same people at the same places. I love that I met new and interesting people through TableCrowd who I otherwise wouldn’t meet, at a restaurant I may never have come across.