They say, “You have to taste a culture to truly understand it”. Who wouldn’t agree? Eating like a local has always been a must for new age travelers, connecting them to a new place simply through the flavor of local spices and delicacies. And what can be more worthwhile if you could do it while in company of a local too. – This is what LUNCHEX is all about. Conceptualized by Chaitanya Shah, a digital strategist from Mumbai and the Founder of Lunchex.co, what we have on platter today is a social meal sharing website that connects incoming travelers to locals over a Meal-Date. Digging out more, in an exclusive conversation with Chaitanya….
In a quick, heartfelt moment – What is Lunchex?
It’s an expression of my love for travel.
How was the concept behind Lunchex born?
I conceived the idea when I couldn’t host a Couch-surfer visiting Mumbai and offered to host him for a meal instead. I had a few friends who had in fact faced a similar problem, and these series of unfortunate events, inspired me to build Lunchex.co.
What is Lunchex wishing to achieve?
Lunchex aims to be the Couch-surfing & Airbnb for local food. It wishes to give every traveler the best local food that is on offer in every city of the world. By doing this we aim to protect and promote local cuisines that may easily be lost in this fast food era.
Why do you think this company can beat the competition?
Lunchex will always have the ‘traveler’ at it’s heart and the ‘local’ in its spirit. A lot of companies scale and cut corners for a better bottom line. Lunchex will always be a company that strives to provide great experiences to travelers, while protecting and promoting locals & local food businesses.
The story behind the name?
The thought behind naming it ‘Lunchex’ was rather just a random thought. A traveler may end up meeting a local for food either after visiting some place which was on his/her list in the morning, or begin the second half of the day having a meal with a local, who could later show the traveler around. The ‘lunch – experience’ was central to both the situations and that’s how Lunchex was coined.
What is the experience of a local meal date like?
The experiences are always amazing. You get to meet some like minded people who are passionate about travel and sharing their culture, in the company of great local food. I had hosted a couple of Romanian travelers in Mumbai, and the experience was rather a memorable one. One of the them has even put up a short video on YouTube, something I will cherish for a long time –
How receptive have the fellow travelers been to the concept?
A lot of the travelers love the idea behind it. The response has been great at the alpha stage we have already reached over 110 users. Lunchex will continue to grow as a self funded venture and hopes to develop into a travel essential soon.
The team behind Lunchex?
The marketing and promotion of Lunchex is handled by myself. I had five bright young kids from a reputed computer science college of Mumbai help me build the working prototype of Lunchex and you can read all about them here.
If you like the idea and would love to host travelers over a meal date do sign up for a Lunchex invite here.
Hope to see you on a Meal-Date with Lunxhex soon!