Bar Segal, Daniel Kaplansky, and Zifeng Wei are childhood friends living in a small apartment in East London. They work together, eat together, and even sleep together (because money is tight and they decided to rent out two rooms on Airbnb). They also own a business collectively: Eatro, a food sharing site that launched recently.
Segal explains that the idea was born of frustration. The friends liked good food, but were sick of the standard takeout options, and they didn't have time or budget to cook for themselves or go out every evening, he wrote in an email. So, they hatched Eatro, which links up people needing a quick plate with nearby home cooks.
"We tried the home cooking thing, but we were three young guys and it was apparent the smells from our neighbors were better than our cooking," Segal says. "Zifeng mentioned a French documentary about grandmothers putting up notices on bulletin boards for their home-cooked meals. Daniel mentioned the same happens in Israel. That was what sparked the idea to bring it all online."
While at business school, Kaplansky also studied food sharing, including Shareyourmeal, from the Netherlands, probably the most successful of these kinds of sites to date. The friends are looking to do something similar, but to make more of a profit (Shareyourmeal is a social enterprise at the moment). Eatro charges a 12% commission on each meal (charged to the chef). In a few months, it also plans to sell packaging.
Eatro has signed up a few dozen cooks already, and customers include creative-type offices in the East London area. "We have chefs who are full-time mothers and love the idea of sharing food with their community, and we have professionals that cook in food markets," Segal says. "Our users are open-minded and believe in the sharing economy. They realize that a home-cooked meal is something fundamental that is really missing in our busy metropolitan lives."