How will Kitchen Surfing make waves in the restaurant industry?

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Restaurants may be facing a competitor similar to the Uber versus cab driver services controversy. A new service called Kitchen Surfing has emerged, which allows guests to request a specific chef, cuisine and meal for prices comparative to a fine dining experience at a restaurant. The difference is that consumers never have to leave the house. They request the service online and pick a date and the chef will cook, clean and be on his or her merry way. Will this invention be the greatest thing since sliced bread or will it spark outrage like Uber did among cab companies across the globe?

Uber and Kitchen Surfing function in a similar way. Like the cab service, it's an online marketplace for chefs. Basically, it's a third-party platform that puts people who want a restaurant-quality meal in touch with chefs of various expertise. The company was founded by Chris Muscarella in New York City last year, stated Fortune magazine. The service rapidly attracted the services of thousands of chefs and provided them with undeniable benefits.

Expands the industry
For starters, chefs have the freedom to cook what they want, when they want. Personal cooks create online profiles that detail their cuisine and specialties. They can request the size of the parties they'd like to cater, select the style of food and even write pre-fix menus, according to Kitchen Surfing's website. Options vary from Southeast Asian, to Spanish, to French. People can even request brunch or special-occasion menus, like for weddings or birthdays. 

Mashable pointed out that the intimate at-home meal allows chefs the opportunity to interact with guests more than they've typically been able to in the kitchen. Although it's not the first chef-to-home dining service, the source stated that it's different from its competitors because it seems to have more ambitious goals. Muscarella told Mashable he expects to expand services from private meals to drop-off services that'll allow chefs to deliver prepared foods to customers. Where Kitchen Surfing and other services can be beneficial to the consumer and the employee in the way that Uber employees and clients experience them as well, they can potentially put a hindrance on the service industry.

Future competitor
Many chefs have jumped ship completely to work for the startup, which means fewer applicants and employees in restaurants. It could also create gaps among the restaurant workforce's experience levels. Perhaps this service will propel newcomers to the culinary scene to start out here. If that's the case, then dining establishments might have a hard time filling entry-level positions like line cooks or expeditors. On the other hand, this endeavor could turn into something that chefs work toward. Perhaps it's a last stop for a chef on the career train or a way to rake in extra cash once he or she retires.

What's more, the landscape of the business can evolve altogether. The Internet-fueled service will inevitably cause a greater relationship between these chefs and their technology. It could affect how and where chefs are sourcing their food products. It can generate animosity between the easy-to-use service and restaurant businesses in a way that Uber has been in a heated conflict with cab drivers all over the world.

As Kitchen Surfing and other technology-driven food services continue to evolve and emerge, they will impact the traditional landscape of the restaurant industry for better or worse. Guest interaction, culinary options and services that are easy to book will be the driving forces. 

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