Food loving duo Brian Bordainick and Francisco Robert have brought a whole new meaning to being a New Orleans foodie and the talented chefs in tow. They co-founded Dinner Lab, a mix between a pop-up restaurant and a vacation, designed to bring quality ethnic food to New Orleans in a different way than ever before.
Dinner Lab is a membership based site where members get up to a minimum of 12 dinner invites a year, while the company curates multiple dinners a week. Each dinner includes the meal, drinks, and gratuity. They own all the kitchen equipment they could ever need and now are finding up and coming chefs, food, and locations to make each Dinner Lab a once in a lifetime experience for members. Each Lab only invites a certain number of guests so no two are the same, much like a vacation where the people and the dining environment changes each time.
In an interview with Brian, he said that he noticed the immense talent that many of the chefs and sous chefs in the city had. Brian and Francisco also found that no one age group wanted something like Dinner Lab to exist, people ages 21-65 all wanted the same thing when they asked around. They began with a pop up shop, which would mean more of the same food and people each time, then considered purchasing a food truck. Both decided they wanted to go in a different direction, and Dinner Lab was born.
The company did a test run last year and it was wildly successful. They prototyped the idea for around $200 and invited four people and a Thai chef to the dinner. One of the goals is to find the talent that will cook for members what they would cook for their friends on the weekends, instead of the typical creole food found all over the city. Dinner Lab finds the best of the best food and brings it to a select group in an interesting venue, unlike anything that has been done in New Orleans before.
So far, Dinner Lab has raised a small seed round of startup capital. Brian said the most exciting thing about working at a startup is waking up each day with a new set of challenges and being able to constantly improve the company. He hopes to provide an awesome experience for members while still building a successful, legitimate business.