Using Facebook to Expand your Dinner Table

dinner_table_buffet_menu_1_for_webI’m going to try a little experiment and I figured I would post it here for anyone that is interested.

  1. I am going to create a special “friends” list with facebook “friends” who live close and are interested in last minute meal and event invitations. This list will have nieghbors, friends, family and aquaintences on it.
  2. When I make a meal that I am excited about sharing (which is most of my meals) AND is easily scalable (which is also most of my meals) I am going to take 2 minutes to invite the entire friends list by creating a facebook “event” and sending an invite to that list.
  3. The goal is that anyone who finds it convenient or interesting would show up and anyone else would ignore the invitation.

What will make this fail?

If people view this as an invitation to a formal event. If people are going to feel bad by saying “no” in an “invitation.

What will make this succeed?

If people view this as more of a “notification.” That’s why facebook makes this possible. In the old days you would have to go knock on doors and see if people are interested in having dinner. Even phone calls create a sense of obligation.  But facebook allows us to “notify” people about what is going on in every part of our life. If we are already telling people what we are having for dinner, why not also tell them that there is extra food and 2 seats open? Notifications are different than invitations and some could be posted 30 minutes before the meal. What was a rude invitation can now become a welcome notification.

So, let it begin.

If you come home from work and are hungry, don’t feel like cooking dinner, feeling extra social, really feel like sourdough pancakes then rsvp and show up. If not, don’t. Since it is a notification and not an invitation no one’s feelings will be hurt and no one will take it personally.

If you want to join my notification list click here OR better yet, Start your own list and invite me to your meals? Any other ideas?


So I have done this twice. Once with a pancake breakfast. My guess is an extra 10-15 people showed up and it was awesome. We fed twice as many people and it added about 20% more work but it was an awesome way to spend a Saturday AM with friends. Some people rsvp’d and brought fruit.

We had a fire in our firepit in the front yard and cooked campers stew (a wide variety of vegetables and meats that you select, season, and  wrap in tin foil to cook over the coals). Once again and extra 10 people. But this type of meal is perfect for this. Also thinking about pasta, more pancakes, waffles, and byo bbq’s in the future.


6 thoughts

  1. BEN!
    i love this idea… we need more connection, more time well-spent, more community, more conversation, more shared food with family & friends.

    I like the casual feel of it – I do a lot of weekend stuff like this, but I like the idea of implementing it using FB.

    (also over at

  2. Such a great idea/concept. I’m a total extrovert and love that kind of stuff. Now if you didn’t live 30 minutes away. I was bummed about missing the pancakes, that’s for sure.

  3. rose, sorry your post went to junk mail because of your link. that food is incredible. from the looks of the food you’re cooking i would want to be on that list.

    bc, i’m putting you on the list anyways

    emilie, yeah you and everyone else should copy away

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