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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

500 Brunches: Have Brunch With Strangers and Find a New Friend?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM


In most major U.S. cities, there is no shortage of ways to meet a potential date. It seems like we hear about a new dating app or matchmaking company every other week. But what about ways to meet potential new friends or potential business partners? Maybe in a bar? But drunkenly shouting that you like someone's shoes and then taking selfies together while the latest Ke$ha single plays in the background isn't really a strong foundation for a lasting friendship. 

Because of this, Julie Krafchick founded 500 Brunches, a platform for people to meet other people with similar interests, either personal or professional.

“The idea is to bring back more of an organic way to meet people,” says Krafchick. “There’s a ton of dating sites and networking sites, but there’s not really a place to meet people in general. I really wanted to find a way to connect people in real life again.”

500 Brunches was founded two months ago in San Francisco, and has (so far) organized about 3-5 brunches a week. Although they haven't quite gotten to 500 yet, as their name suggests, but they do have 500 members in S.F. (and, oddly, 1,000 members globally, although they haven't expanded their brunches to outside of the City yet).

The company works by having interested users fill out a questionnaire with questions such as “If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?”  

Users are then matched up with other “brunchers” based on their answers. Each brunch typically consists of 5-8 people, and is usually themed — one brunch might consist of solely business professionals, one might consist only of skiiers, etc.

The brunches aren’t intended specifically for meeting a date or a business partner — the goal is just to meet more people.

“We want to provide that outlet for people to meet and make more meaningful connections," says Krafchick. “I just want people to meet. Whatever happens from it, happens.”

From a professional standpoint, having brunch with a potential client or partner is a “better way to meet people than just handing them a resume,” adds Krafchick.

So why brunch?

“Brunch is a little more relaxed and less of a time commitment than a full dinner. It kind of forces you to sit down and spend an hour or so with the people you’re with, which helps strengthen connections a bit,” Krafchick said.

Interested? Check it out.
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Jessica Nemire

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