Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Invite for a Bite': What do you think?

Cressida Howard in England invented "Invite for a Bite," a website on which women -- and only women -- around the world can search for dinner partners or invite others to a meal.

The idea: Women on their own for whatever reason (single, spouse or significant other traveling, woman traveling in a place where it's frowned on for a woman to go out alone, etc.) can have a hard time finding someone to go out to eat with. And, said the Charlotte reader who called the site to my attention: "I do not enjoy going out to eat by myself, especially if it’s a good restaurant ... a lot of people assume you either have no friends at all or are trying to get picked up. Also, you have to find something to do (read a book, fake a telephone conversation, text on your phone, etc. so you don't look so 'alone' which is ridiculous."

Men aren't allowed to participate; you also can't bring kids, since they can "raise safety concerns," as the site's FAQs explain. There's a section of safety tips, too, though it concludes with "If the fear of ‘stranger danger’ puts you off meeting people through Invite For A Bite, consider this: if you fell off your bike, or tripped over in the street on your own, who would stop and ask if you were okay? A stranger. And didn't your best friend use to be one of those once?"

On the site, you can search timeframes and locations for invitations already posted by others, or create your own. Though I checked in the Charlotte area today and found nothing in the next two months, the Charlotte reader had better luck when she first found it: "To my complete surprise, there was someone in Plaza-Midwood looking to meet at the Soul Gastrolounge on Central Avenue (that) next Wednesday evening... I think there are probably a lot of single women of all ages in this area who would be very interested in this."