"Networking" lunch

Lunching with virtual strangers is going to be the next best thing. Don't say we didn't warn you.

by: Cathrine Shone: Food24.com | 03 Sep 2008

In an attempt to build business, an American restaurant, Stacey's in California, has started a networking lunch concept on their website.

A networking lunch sounds pretty conventional and rather unexciting. Throw in five randomly selected strangers, and suddenly it gets more interesting.

How it works

You sign up to their website and it takes your available times and matches you up when there are enough people to fill your table. You automatically get an email with the invitation and an option to decline.

You'd think people would be wary since it sounds suspiciously like internet dating. Not so. Business at Stacey's is positively booming with loads of eager people ready to "do" lunch with virtual strangers.

Just think – you still have the opportunity to meet someone new, just without the pressure of an actual date. And unlike the archaic two-by-two style, there is a veritable "buffet" of beings to choose from rather than one potentially boring person.

Wow! What a wonderful concept. Where do I sign up?

In Cape Town, Geisha Wok and Noodle Bar would get my pick for a perfect networking spot.

At Geisha, the tables are communal, so throw in a diverse menu, a cocktail happy hour and you've got yourself a network lunch with four strangers and your aunty's ex-husband's, third wife's, twin sister's tennis partner.

Alternatively if your pocket doesn't stretch to Geisha there are other handy places to get your networking underway. What about a nice pub lunch at Barristers or all-you-can-eat prawns at Jimmy's Killer Prawns?

Which spot in your town would be perfect for a "networking" lunch?

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