Yalies, too, can meet strangers for “non-romantic” lunches—thanks to YaleLunch.com. The website is created by Seth Riddley, the creator of HarvardLunch.com.
“I basically converted the Harvard site to make a Yale site,” Riddley said.
The Yale and Harvard sites are almost identical: users simply plug in their name, e-mail address and residence to set up a random lunch. But Riddley put some nice details in his website; instead of arranging for a meal in a “House dinning hall,” YaleLunch.com will suggest a “College dinning hall.”
Riddley, who is concentrating in history of science at Harvard, said the website is simple because he is not too computer savvy. He is meeting with students who know more about building websites to improve HarvardLunch.com and YaleLunch.com.
After you submit your information, the website will pair you up with a random stranger in “1-3 business days.” Riddley said he does does not have a system or a database to do the pairings. He tries to pair people in different houses at Harvard, he added.
HarvardLunch.com was created three weeks ago. Now it has about 450 users at Harvard, said Riddley, who never imagined how fast the website would take off when he first got the idea.
“It sounds silly but I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought I had to do something to address this problem at Harvard,” he said. “People at settle down into their social groups and don’t venture out.”
Now Riddley is trying to make strangers connect—one lunch at a time.