Beatrix and I met for a casual interview over lunch the other day at the elegant Birseckerhof, one of the restaurants in Basel that offer her “m-eating-table” service. The participating restaurants, like the Birseckerhof, reserve a table for anyone who happens to be eating alone and looking for company, and they place a special advertisement on the table so diners can easily identify the “m-eating-table”. In exchange for this service, the restaurants pay an annual fee to be partners with Bea’s business.
After being seated, Beatrix and I talk about the last PWG event we went to, the similarities and differences between Basel and Bern, and our experiences living in Madrid, among other things. She tells me how she was raised in Bern, the city she calls home and of which she speaks fondly. There, she had an art gallery up until the birth of her daughter, and later worked as an interior decorator and wrote articles on interior decoration.
When I ask Beatrix how she came up with her restaurant concept “m-eating-table,” she tells me a story that started with a work trip to Geneva. “As I traveled on my own, I had no one to have dinner with, so I went to a restaurant by myself to enjoy a nice meal out. Once seated at the table, I was surrounded by people eating together and enjoying each other’s company, laughing and having a good time, and I thought ‘I wish I had company too.’ The next morning, as I’m waking up in the hotel bedroom, I open my eyes and as I’m looking up at the ceiling I see the words “m-eating-table” (meet and eat in company). Just like that.” In only one month, the paperwork, promotional materials, and website are all ready to promote the service, and the “m-eating-table” service now boasts over 30 restaurants spread out all over Switzerland (12 in Basel!).
“All I want is to connect people and make them happy with my concept,” Beatrix says. Thanks to her idea, traveling alone doesn’t have to mean dining alone (or resorting to room service!). As PWG knows, networking can be fundamental to your career, and what better way to network than to enjoy a lunch in the company of other travelers or even locals?
Head on over to the m-eating-table website to see what restaurants will have a table for you. For you Facebook fans, check out the m-eating-table Facebook page and give it a like! Questions? Feel free to contact Beatrix herself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beatrix’s “m-eating-table” has been covered by various magazines and newspapers – click on the images below to read more.