Are you one of those people who walks or drives around your neighborhood thinking, “Gee, I’ve always wanted to eat there?” Or do you often wish that you could find others in your ‘hood that enjoy eating out as much as you do? Perhaps you’re the type who spends all their time at home, in front of the computer, bunny slippers locked and loaded — and the only time you step out your front door is to grab a hard-earned dinner at your favorite local haunt.
If you’ve never heard of Dishcrawl, you’re in for the newest addition to culinary social networking, emphasis on the social. The concept is simple: it’s an eat and meet event. Four restaurants in one night, with a small groups of your yet-to-be-discovered closest foodie friends. How could you resist such a night?
I caught up with the ever-dynamic Tracy Lee, CEO of Dishcrawl and the driving force behind the company’s progress.
How did you come up with the idea for Dishcrawl? What was your inspiration?
I’ve always been about bringing people together over food. Building Dishcrawl gave me the opportunity to spread happiness with food as my vehicle and community as the destination. Better yet, growing into other cities allows me to empower other passionate entrepreneurs to do the same.
I am inspired to share the same principles as the chefs and restaurateurs we feature. We feed people because it makes us happy. I love being a part of that mission. It’s the most primal way for us to nurture and comfort society.
How would you describe Dishcrawl to someone who’s never heard of it before?
I hope the concept of “never eat alone” rings a bell. Imagine 50-150 folks gathering together on a given evening to venture through four restaurants in one night. Not only do you get to meet your neighbors, but what better way to meet the chefs and owners of your local restaurants! It’s fun, delicious, and a great way to get to know your neighborhood.
How much does it cost to participate in a Dishcrawl?
The cool thing about Dishcrawls is that they don’t cost an arm and a leg! Typically our Dishcrawls range between the prices of $10-$30 in the Bay Area. For those high end lovers, stay tuned. :)
How does Dishcrawl compare to other food-related events?
It’s not often you get to try 4 different restaurants in a single night or get VIP status for your foodie palate; but it’s not just the awesome experience of meeting local chefs and restauranteurs, it’s also other Dishcrawlers that make our events unique. Awesomeness attracts awesomeness. Everyone at the Dishcrawl is fun, awesome, and ready to eat great food.
We’re all about community and making new friends! If you’re not ready to have fun, don’t bother coming. :)
What are your plans for the future of Dishcrawl? How do you plan to expand and grow?
We’re listening to our Dishcrawlers’ desires and hunger to socially engage online. We are building an online community that merges the needs of restaurants and food lovers. The result is a satisfying food experience around a neighborhood restaurant and a friend or two gained from friendly folks down the street.
I hope one day to be able to unite all Dishcrawlers around the globe on an international Dishcrawl, but baby steps first.
What is your background as a food lover in the Bay Area and beyond?
I’ve always loved food and have been feeding people all my life. As I began to travel, I had the opportunity to try a variety of cuisines and appreciate regional specialties. The inspiration on those plates are what tickle my fancy and keep me going. Nothing makes me happier than being able to discover truly unique items and feature them at the Dishcrawls (example: pork belly donuts at The Sycamore, SF).
Do you have any advice for other folks who have a fun and unique idea for a culinary business?
Yes. It’s simple. Go with what you know and what you’re good at. Find some need and fill it. Be consistent and dedicated. Be ready for hard work, long nights, and sacrifice if you want to start something. Once you’re ready, make sure to stick to your mission, aim high, and be ready to do things you never thought you could do.
For the most up-to-date info on upcoming dishcrawls, follow Dishcrawl on Twitter.