Guy Michlin, CEO, interviewed at Barcelona

Guy Michlin, CEO, interviewed at Barcelona has been up and running a for a little more than half a year in beta-phase in Tel Aviv and for it has now launched in Barcelona as the first city for international expansion. Joel Serra Bevin, (national manager for Spain) has facilitated the following interview with Guy Michlin (co-founder and CEO of EatWith).

One way to define EatWith is likening it to Airbnb, but in the theme of gastronomy. Could you describe it better in your own words?

It is about a global community of people passionate about cooking and food. It is organized like a marketplace between residents and tourists who are looking locally for a gastronomic experience that goes beyond a great meal. We see it working with great success between locals and we believe it will be a very attractive service for tourists as well.

Where did the idea come from?

It all started a year ago during a disastrous holiday with my wife in Greece. For 4 days we fell into all the ‘tourist traps’ possible. Sick and tired of the situation, we used personal contacts in Greece and were finally able to enjoy accommodation and dinner in the home of a local family. This was the first time they had met Israelis and they invited half the village. It was an unforgettable experience!

Shortly after, Airbnb announced another round of financing and in Israel with a partner we thought we could do the same but focusing in the area of food

Surely other entrepreneurs have had the same idea. Why will EatWith be the leader in this sector?

During the initial search we found three similar initiatives worldwide at that moment and we communicated with all of them. We observed certain weaknesses, some in functionality and vision and others by lack of finance.

We have gathered an excellent team. My partner and CTO is simply incredible at the technical level. He worked for 8 years in the elite units in the army for 8 years and sold his first start-up to IBM after 5 years of development. We also have Maya Lerner who was the VP of Product Management in Sears and Joel Serra Bevin who is the national manager for Spain used to be in strategy consulting and has an amazing network in Barcelona.

We achieved financing in July 2012 and we believe the time could not be better to initiate this project.

Now it is time to deliver the project.

In the marketplace, ongoing expansion is the key. How can you achieve host recruitment while maintaining quality?

A very pertinent question. At the beginning we thought we would have issues in this area but the fact is that there are many people interested in cooking for others in their home. Right now, cooking and gastronomy are incredibly popular all around the world, in part thanks to the foodie culture that has exploded with TV shows.

The issue is then not just finding people to host but in ensuring that these people can offer incredible experiences in their homes. The challenge lies in developing the community whilst maintaining the same level of quality.

If you’d like to become a host or want more information about EatWith in Spain, please contact Joel.

¿Why Barcelona?

We were aware that it had to be in Europe where gastronomy and culture are much more integrated than in other parts of the world.

From the list of cities – Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Madrid, we eliminated each for different reasons such as climate or costs.

We decided in favour of the Mediterranean where the people are open and hospitable and food and culture go hand in hand. In Barcelona we met the incredible Joel Serra Bevin and this tipped the balance. We are continuing to look for the appropriate person in Italy.

Something else – we cannot find anything about you personally on the internet?

You can fin me on LinkedIn, but what it doesn’t say is that I enjoy running (a half marathon in Tel Aviv in March) and tomorrow incidentally Joel (running the Barcelona marathon in March) will take me on an ‘easy’ run. I also have 2 children; a 1 year old and a 2-½ year old.

What other examples of collaborative consumption do you like?

Even though it’s not very original, Taskrabbit is doing a fantastic job in marketing and execution.

Carpooling is another fantastic idea and in Israel there was an interesting service in this industry but it did not manage to stay afloat. The size of the market and the distances in Israel- with average drives of around 30km does not help.

The images and logo are property of EatWith and have been released for this article. The last picture is our own.

Also available in : English

Ingeniero multimedia fascinado por aplicar los modelos disruptivos de internet fuera de internet fundó en 2011 y ha formado parte de la vanguardia del movimiento desde entonces, siendo referencia en lengua española, ejerciendo de Conector de OuiShare para España y América Latina y formando parte del equipo de Global Curators de


  1. ¡Muy interesante! Habrá que probarlo :)

  2. De verdad que sí, Boa!


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