Traveling across the country with his job in the finance industry, Michael Gayed stumbled upon two revelations.
One, constantly being on the road and eating right were not very compatible.
“As I was traveling, I found myself gaining a lot of weight,” he said. “I tell people that it’s hard enough to eat healthy when you have a kitchen, let alone when you don’t.”
The second revelation gave birth to an idea to help solve the problem that first revelation created.
“It dawned on me there was this chasm between what I should be eating, where I am and where I should get it,” Gayed said.
And with that, an app called HowuDish was born, although with a variation on its original purpose.
Gayed originally thought the app would be for people like him, who wanted to find restaurants in an unfamiliar area that would most suit their tastes, but then he extended it as a way for people to meet each other through their food interests.
So yes, HowuDish can also serve as a dating app.
“Food and nutrition (bridge) the gap between people, especially on the first connection,” Gayed said. “It became a way of connecting people through food, whether it’s friendship or dating. The app is allowing the users to select their nutritional lifestyle, and then suggesting other users nearby, restaurants and dishes.”
Gayed said the app has incorporated 180,000 restaurants around the country.
Here is how the app works:
- You download it on the app store, then build a profile talking about yourself, your favorite foods and your lifestyle.
- You swipe through potential friends or dates and find out about their eating habits to see if you'd be a match.
- You can swipe on dishes for better matches by swiping on the right for dishes you like, and swiping on the left for ones you don’t.
Gayed said the app already has roughly 50,000 people who have signed up and has Slovakian professional tennis player Daniella Hantuchova and American Olympic wrestler Jordan Burroughs as ambassadors.
Gayed said the most popular dish-style so far among users has been low-carb foods. People can match themselves up with others based on whether they are meat eaters, vegetarians or their other preferences.
“The vast majority of people consider themselves foodies,” Gayed said. “Whether they actually are or (are) not in reality is open for question. The foodie pattern is looking for (healthier) options.”
Gayed said one feature for premium subscribers is for the app to offer up to $50 cash back on the first date or meeting if a match is made through the app. People can take a picture of the receipt, submit it and be eligible for money back.
Gayed said the objective of that is to take away the awkwardness of who should pay for the first date or meeting when they're meeting through the app.
Does this sound interesting? Is it something you would try for yourself, or encourage single friends to try? Chat with us in the comments below.