EatWith: Susan Kim, a Ceo Building the Largest Global Foodie Community, One Meal at a Time

EatWith has been likened to the Airbnb of home cooked meals, enabling people from around the world to connect with others over a shared meal. The company was founded in 2012, by co-founders Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwarz. It started when Guy was traveling through Greece years ago, when a serendipitous encounter saw him sharing a meal at a local family’s home. It became one of his most memorable experiences on that trip, and is an experience that many frequent travelers can relate to. Eating authentic local food, welcomed through the kindness of a stranger, interacting with locals, and being able to be immersed into a different culture became the unforgettable experience that Guy took back home with him.


Photo Credit: EatWith 

The co-founders had a vision: to create a brand new ‘category’ for diners to consider when dining out – eating out in people’s homes around the world. Susan Kim, the CEO of EatWith, answered a few questions for us about the revolutionary technology platform.

Susan Kim EatWith Impakter

Photo Credit: EatWith

Can you tell us a bit about EatWith, your personal mission, and how it translates to your company and product?

Susan Kim: Technology is an incredibly powerful equalizer. I get most excited about using technology to level the playing field – whether it’s eBay using technology to democratize access to e-commerce or Google using technology to democratize access to information – EatWith is using technology to create a platform that democratizes access and creates economic opportunity for food entrepreneurs and home chefs.


What were you doing before you joined EatWith?

S.K.: I’ve been in marketplaces and e-commerce for most of my career spending many years in various leadership positions at eBay and Google.  Prior to joining EatWith, I was CEO of Plum District, an e-commerce platform for moms as well as a company that enabled hundreds of stay-at-home moms a flexible way to re-enter the workforce. I also served as VP of Operations for Minted.com, a crowdsourced design marketplace that is enabling designers around the world to monetize their craft.

What was one of the most difficult lessons that you learned throughout this process?

S.K.: Hiring the right people and creating the right culture is the most important and hardest thing for a CEO to do.  At fast-paced start-ups, there’s a temptation to hire fast even if you think the person isn’t the right fit. You have to resist this temptation because one wrong hire can wreak havoc on the entire organization.

Company culture must be a large focus of yours at EatWith. How would you describe someone with the “right fit”?

S.K.: Eat Hard. Work Hard. Laugh Hard.  Everyone on this team is incredibly passionate about food, about supporting our home chefs, about connecting the world through food, one meal at a time.  This team, in their free time and on their own dime, will travel to other cities to meet up with our home chefs.


Photo Credit: EatWith

Do you have any other pieces of advice for someone in a position of a budding entrepreneur or a start-up enthusiast?

S.K.: Develop thick skin and stamina. While the highs are much higher, the lows are incredibly low.  It helps to build a great support network of other entrepreneurs and people you trust.

For a full mindmap behind this article with articles, videos, and documents see #EatWith

What was one of the best moments of your journey so far?

S.K.: I’d say the best moments have happened every day at EatWith.  Reading the testimonials that our diners and home chefs send in makes me feel incredibly proud to be part of facilitating a global community that connects authentically over food while supporting the economic journey of our home chefs.  These testimonials come in every day about amazing connections and new friendships forged – it gives me goosebumps constantly.


Photo Credit: EatWith

That sounds amazing! Lastly, a fun question: if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

S.K.: The ability to function without sleep!

EatWith currently operates in over 150+ cities, from San Francisco to Barcelona, to Tokyo, and many more in between. You can find the full list, and more information about EatWith, here.


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Featured Image: EatWith 

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