Social Dining Is A New Trend in Chicago

| September 15, 2010 | 4 Comments

Dining discounts with Groupon and has been widely successful, but we all know that enjoying a good dinner is by having some fun company along. So what if there is some sort of game and social networking that goes along with discount dining? Pretty clever idea, don’t you think?!

Well there are a couple of businesses that popped up and just in case you haven’t heard about them, below is a little list:

  • Grub With Us –  You start by choosing where to eat from their list of restaurants that signed up and then you simply reserve a space on a table of that restaurant. You also get to see who’s coming with pictures and profiles. Talk about building your online and offline networks!
  • OpenTable’s new group buying discount program, Spotlight, is expanding into Chicago with some of the online restaurant reservation provider’s top restaurant partners. The program ( allows people to purchase weekly deals (typically) for $50 of food and beverages at select restaurants for just $25 — a 50 percent discount. It’s a fun way to save big on great restaurants around town. Here’s how it works: Each week’s restaurant starts out as a secret. OpenTable posts hints on the company blog and visitors can post their guesses. Once the secret is revealed, visitors can buy into the deal and encourage friends to do the same. When the maximum number of spots has been filled, buyers will be alerted via email and will receive a coupon to bring to the restaurant.
  • Accross The Table has a little bit of a different approach. According to their site “Across the Table bridges gaps between our diverse communities by uniting Chicagoans for thought‐provoking conversations and delicious meals. Across the Table’s topic‐focused and facilitator‐led dinners, lunches and brunches take place in community organizations, art galleries, cooking schools, event space and restaurants throughout Chicago about three times a month and consistently attract individuals from diverse ages, ethnicities, communities, religions, and socio‐economic groups.” One can only imagine the quality of conversation in that dinner table.

Category: Eats & Sips, Featured, News & Events

About the Author ()

Head Chicagonista, Co-host of the Chicagonista LIVE! show, Founder of Women Driving Excellence. MJ is also the annual host of SocialRevUp - Brands & Bloggers Summit (#bbsummit) attended by about 200 professional high-profile bloggers nationwide. Follow MJ on Twitter: @mjtam

Comments (4)

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  1. Great article. I do believe we are social animals who love to graze and use the discount-dine craze. Me: I rely on my friends to know where is cool and mags like yours to tell me if I should eat there or not and if restaurants live up to the hype.

  2. Mana says:

    I attended one of the Accross the Table dinners and it was great food and amazing conversation. I love how total strangers were sharing food and wine with each other while discussing diversity topics. We sat down at the table and we were an instant community.

  3. Grub With Us is a great idea; Benedict and crew have a good concept and they’re constantly adding new restaurants to the mix. Still haven’t done one of their meals, though, but I’d definitely try one!

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