Group Dinner Date in Orlando

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The Newest Concept in Online Dating Experiences

[Editor’s Notes: LanceAround gets a lot of interesting emails.

My eyebrows were raised when someone named Kristin sent an email the other day with the title DinnerDate. I got excited. Was someone trying to pick me up? Then I got nervous. What would Mrs. LanceAround think?

But, alas, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was.

It turns out Kristin is an Account Coordinator with Uproarpr.com. Their website indicates that they help promote businesses. According to Kristin’s email, restaurant mogul and CEO of Planet Hollywood, Robert Earl, has launched a new dating site in Orlando called DinnerDate.com. This concept allows clients to schedule a “date” with a group of interested “daters” at a local restaurant. Normally, LanceAround does not accept unsolicited promotion requests. But this one seemed unique and worthwhile enough to let my readers know about. I also want to see if anyone has tried this service and, if so, how it worked out for them; so please leave a comment if that’s you.

I took a moment to visit the DinnerDate.com website. The concept looks great, but there were several things about the website that were slightly annoying.  For instance, it continually asked me if I wanted to complete a survey–even after I told it a dozen times that I never wanted to complete the survey. There were dinning venues and criteria for scheduling a date (such as “30’s & 40’s -Limit 6 Daters at Nick’s Italian Kitchen” for a price of “$30.”) But when I clicked on the purchase button, I discovered that Tax, Gratuity and a $5 Booking fee were not included and I was asked to pay $42.95. Why not just be up front about the entire price? I also searched the website for answers to questions such as, “What is included in the price?” “What are my choices of entrees, desserts, etc.?” “Is alcohol included?” “Can I opt to purchase more when I’m at the restaurant?” “Do they handle special requests such as Vegetarian or Kosher?” I believe the lack of easy access to answers to these questions will turn away some interested new daters–but these are minor corrections to their website that I’m sure they will address as they further refine their business.

In the meantime, here is Kristin’s article about this new venture:]

The Dinner Date Logo

DinnerDate

It’s not easy to find quality people to date when your only option is scouring the bars downtown. Why not make a change for 2012? Make the New Year a new you with a new way to date.

Robert Earl, founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, selected Orlando as the launch city of his first technology venture, DinnerDate.com. Unlike traditional dating websites, singles sign up online for prearranged group dinners of 6-12 eligible locals and meet in-person at popular Orlando restaurants. DinnerDate brings to the forefront the real-life offline connection, without the keyboards and screens, while blending with contemporary online techniques for communicating once a connection was made over dinner.

Marrying the technology of online dating services with the real-world benefits of group activities, DinnerDate helps alleviate the stress and anxiety of one-on-one dates and the safety concerns of online dating. All daters have to do is simply book a seat at the group table and come to the meal ready to enjoy good food and good conversation with other singles. Daters can also invite friends to come on the DinnerDate with them. Then, if daters connect with someone at the meal, they can return to the website to message each other and exchange details.

“The thing that people seem to like best about this concept, besides the whole law of averages, is the fact that if all else goes wrong and you don’t find a match, you still wind up having a good evening out with new interesting people,” Earl said. “And since everyone pays for themselves, there are no awkward ‘who pays’ moments.”

DinnerDate has no monthly fees. Users simply sign up for the dinner that most appeals to them and pay for their three-course meal and a small processing fee. Dinners are budget friendly and themed by age group, sexual orientation and interests, like single parents, 20s to 30s or gay. Participants view profiles and pictures of the people they will be dining with before they sign up and can send private messages after the date to reconnect and plan future dates. For more information, or to sign up, visit www.DinnerDate.com

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8 Responses to “Group Dinner Date in Orlando”

  1. Zach P. Says:

    I just read this post and as someone who has actually been on two of these dinner dates, they are a ton of fun. I found it to be an extremely interesting concept because the whole experience is very conducive to a relaxed, stress-free environment. The very nature of “dinner dating” with more than just one other person means there is less pressure and anxiety. After all, there were five other people at the table with me.

    So far I’ve purchased two events – one at Ceviche in downtown Orlando and another at Crave near Mall of Millennia. The food was great at Ceviche in particular (the price didn’t hurt either as this restaurant is typically pretty expensive. I would have certainly spent more had I just gone there for dinner on an average night). I ended up meeting a few really cool people and even exchanged numbers with someone from the event.

    I’m sure the higher-ups will work the Website kinks out, but I actually found it to be pretty easy to use. It seems like the problems you mentioned will be pretty easy to fix. Once they do, I think the site will be even more user-friendly.

    Great experience overall! Good post!

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Zach:

      Thanks for joining the conversation. I’m so glad to hear from someone who has tried this and has positive things to report. As a blogger, I am always a little nervous about posting something that I have not personally experienced. I believe I have a duty to my readership to be an honest and objective voice of reason. Your post confirms that this new venture is both unique and worthwhile.

      I hope we hear from some others who have tried it.

      Regards,

      LanceAround

      • Zach P. Says:

        I certainly understand wanting to stay objective. I’m glad my experience was able to help validate some of what you wrote about. I’d be interested to hear from a few others who have gone on a dinner date. Maybe I’ll even meet a few posters on the next one! haha

      • LanceAround Says:

        If you do, please be sure to come back here and let us know! LanceAround

  2. Lori Says:

    Great article! I actually went on a DinnerDate last night and had a fabulous time. There was no pressure and I was able to meet new people that had my same interest. The price is right and the food was delicious. I can’t wait to sign up for another one.

  3. Rox Says:

    Hi LanceAround,

    I also went on a dinnerdate recently, and I have to say that I was pretty hesitant at first…i mean i’m comfortable in a group setting but i didn’t know what the dynamic would be like with both guys and girls vying for each others’ attention. Turns out, it was surprisingly easy. Once there was wine on the table, the conversation didn’t stop. There were mini conversations between two people at a time, but for the most part it was a group ordeal with everyone partaking. There were three girls and two guys, which was a good ratio, for the guys at least, and everyone seemed very comfortable. From an outsiders point of view I’m guessing it would look like old friends catching up. The best part of the dinnerdate, if you have a connection with someone you can just message them on the site after the date, rather than doing it in front of everyone else who…you may have not had a connection with. I liked the overall experience, and I’m definitely already signing up for more….

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