Airbnb continues to experiment, asking hosts to throw dinners for strangers
Airbnb is stepping into yet another sub-category of the sharing economy: dinner with strangers.
This is territory defined by smaller startups such as EatWith and Feastly, which have used minimal resources to prove the marketplace. Airbnb can easily one-up these smaller companies, simply given its scale. Given that users now book 10 million room nights in 192 countries, there are plenty of opportunities to sell add-on experiences.
In fact, Airbnb could swiftly become the largest travel company by transaction volume in the world with a successful merchandising program focused on incremental offerings. The company realizes this, and is not only focused on the consumer side of things: it recently announced a pilot program to offer house cleaning services to hosts as well.
By providing services to both hosts and guests, the company can insert itself as the platform middleman and take a cut of all these transactions – a very lucrative position that further establishes the brand as the go-to platform for experiential travel with a fully local flavor.