Tinder for Foodies- by Lizzie Crocker
“Chivalry is Alive.” That’s the slogan for yet another niche, food-oriented dating website, HiDine, which proposes something we all presumed: that the “best sparks often arise from the simple joy of meeting new people and engaging in conversation over a delicious meal.” Like SugarDaddy.com and SeekingArrangement.com—two “dating” websites on which well-heeled men with pay women to go out with them—HiDine is geared towards women who want to be pampered and men who get off on buying their affections. What might seem a playground for unattached foodies issimply an online twist on an antiquated idea: women want to be wined and dined and men should pick up the tab.
But even the niche dating site is a well-worn concept. Indeed, matching people by culinary interests is just an extension of other niche sites that match people by everything from religious affiliation (JDate for lonely Jews) to bad habits (Smoking Passions for lonely nicotine fiends). For those who require lovers with specific dietary preferences, there exist countless specialized online dating sites matching people not by the usual boring hobbies but by gustatory demands. There’s glutenfreesingles.com, “a dating, networking, and informative website where you never have to feel alone, awkward, or a burden because you are gluten-free;” VineaLove.com for oenophiles; VeggieDate.com, for those would rather die than be in the company of someone eating a burger.
But HiDine has capitalized on combining foodiedom with another growing market in the online dating world: sugar daddydom (masquerading as “chivalry”). “You spend enough time and money on clothes, shoes, hair styling, and beauty products,” HiDine condescends to its female users. “Before you even sit down at the table with a guy, you have made an investment in the date in order to look your best. Any guy should appreciate that. And the last thing you should worry about is who is going to pick up the bill.” An entire worried gender can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
HiDine creator Kyle McGinnis has not yet released user numbers to the press (the site just launched this month), but there appears to be a vetting process to gain access to the “exclusive” community. Once users are admitted, they create a profile on which they list their favorite foods and restaurants. The site instructs female users to sit pretty (literally “sit and wait,” avoiding hysterics if possible) until a HiDine suitor asks her out. As with other pay-as-you-date sites, male users only pay after they have a “confirmed date with a woman.” No monthly fees! But you're still paying for dinner with your passive, greedy partner who better express her gratitude at the end of the night.