What you
need to know

I've sat across from someone I didn't know and when we left the restaurant 3 hours later, they felt like a friend.

The Dinner Devils is a unique concept in Vancouver. These questions and answers will give you a good idea of what we’re about, what to expect and what is expected of you. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to send us a message.

RSVP QUESTIONS

What is your RSVP policy?

The RSVP list closes at 4:30pm the day before the dinner (so 4:30pm on Friday for a Saturday dinner). If you are listed as “going” at the RSVP cutoff we will expect to see you at the dinner. Of course, if an emergency arises, we will understand. However double booking or changing your mind isn’t considered an emergency.

If I have to cancel after the RSVP cut-off, how do I do it?

Please message Alistair through MeetUp Messenger to let him know you’re sick, have a family issue, etc.

To message him click on his name (he is listed as the host on most dinners). When you go to his profile you will see the option “Message” which takes you to MeetUp Messenger.

If I can't make it, when do I have to cancel by?

You must remove yourself from the list before 4:30pm the day before the dinner. If you are on the waitlist and you cannot attend, you should also remove yourself as last-minute cancellations can result in you being added to the “going” list.

Is there a point going on the wait list?

Absolutely! In the days leading up to a dinner, members firm up their plans and frequently a few will drop off. This frees up space for people to move across from the wait list.

In addition, a couple of spaces are always held back for new members to be moved over, but you need to be on the wait list to be considered.

Please also see the questions: “What is your RSVP policy” and “If I can’t make it, when do I have to cancel by”

The dinners fill up quickly, how do I get on?

Ensure your notifications are turned on to ensure you receive either emails or app notifications when new dinners are posted on MeetUp. For instructions on how to do this, see the Technical section of this FAQ page. Also join our Facebook group as all new dinners are posted there as well.

The best way to increase your likelihood of getting onto a dinner is to join the wait list. It’s not uncommon for members to drop off in the days leading up to a dinner, freeing up space for people on the wait list.

What communications are sent out before the dinner?

The day before a dinner a note is posted on the event. If there are multiple tables booked for the reservation, you will receive a personal message through MeetUp with  the name of the reservation and the time (as we sometimes have 2 tables booked at slightly different times).

Why didn't I receive any notifications or messages before the dinner?

Most likely it’s because you don’t have your notifications turned on, within MeetUp, for the Dinner Devils group or in the general settings.

See the Technical Questions section at the bottom of this page to learn how to turn them on.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is the Dinner Devils' code of conduct?

We are an inclusive group and the mood we want to set is one that’s warm and inviting to new, and returning members. While the majority of members are outgoing, some people take a little while to warm up. Therefore we expect all members to abide by a basic code of conduct:

  • Be polite and friendly to the members of the group as well as to the staff at the restaurants.
  • Be open to conversing with all members, regardless if you have met them before or not.
  • Respect the RSVP policy (details can be found in the Membership section of this FAQ page).
  • Respect people’s boundaries which can come in many forms. There aren’t any rules about topics of conversation, but be mindful you aren’t being offensive or making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Who is the host?

The host and founder of the Dinner Devils is a friendly guy named Alistair.

Why is the Dinner Devils run through MeetUp?

MeetUp already has the infrastructure in place so no need to reinvent the wheel.

It is a misconception to think MeetUp is only for people who are new to the city. Many long-time Vancouverites are on the site as it’s one of the most accessible ways to meet new people.

Why is seating allocated?

Some of the dinners have two tables with allocated seating and the others have us all at one large table.

While this is a dinner group, it’s primary focus is to bring people together socially to foster community and friendships. And it’s human nature to choose to sit with the people you already know. So by allocating who sits at each table, it ensures you meet a wider variety of people. However at that table you can sit whever you want.

How do you allocate who sits at each table?

We frequently have two reservations and the group is split based on a number of factors. The balance we try to achieve at each table is:

  • Sitting people with different dining companions from their last dinner
  • Getting a good mix of personality types and genders
  • Mixing returning members with new members

If there's someone I want to sit with, or avoid, can I request this?

Yes, however there are no guarantees we will be able to honour it.

Do members ever get removed from the group?

Unfortunately, yes. The main reasons members are asked to leave include:

  • Too many no-shows
  • Being rude or disrespectful to other members or restaurant staff
  • Being antisocial

For more information please see the code of conduct question. 

MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS

Why is there a membership fee?

There are a number of costs associated with running this group. It is hosted on the MeetUp.com website which charges $200 USD a year and we have to pay to run this website (domains, hosting, etc). No one affiliated with the Dinner Devils profits from running this group.

The annual cost is $15 per year and it’s due at your second dinner with us. You will receive a message through MeetUp reminding you when it’s due.

Is this a good group for singles?

Yes, BUT, this is not a dating group.

The majority of members are single. However anyone who uses this group as a way to meet people to date will be removed. Now that being said, real friendships have been made here and we promote the idea of people bonding and becoming friends outside of the group. If a relationship naturally forms in this way, that would be great.

Is this a dating group?

No, 100% not. Anyone using it as such will be removed.

RESTAURANT QUESTIONS

How do you pick the restaurants?

We choose the restaurants from a number of sources:

  • Reading about new restaurants opening
  • Recommendations from friends/family or places we’ve been in the past
  • Recommendations from members (if you have a recommendation, send it to us here)
  • Returning to group favourites as we’ve already been to more than 150 different restaurants

Do you go to all types of restaurants?

As far as types of food, yes, we go to all restaurants.

We tend to mostly go to restaurants in Vancouver, however we have ventured across to North Van a few times as well as Burnaby.  The key is that they are easily accessible on public transit (specifically Skytrain or Seabus).

And we only go to restaurants that accept reservations.

What is Family Style dining?

Family Style dining is an Italian way of eating where plates of food are placed on the table to be shared by everyone. It’s a call back to Sunday family dinners where you serve yourself and eat communally.

Family Style dining

What is the price range of the restaurants you visit

We go to casual, mid-range and high-end restaurants. The breakdown seems to be:

  • 70% of the time we go to mid-range ($20-$32 per entrée)
  • 20% of the time we go to high-end ($28+ per entrée)
  • 10% of the time we go to casual ($12-$22 per entrée)

How many people do you take on each reservation?

We like to limit the number of people at 6-8 per table. Because of this, we frequently make two reservations at the restaurants to allow us to accommodate more people.

Some restaurants are smaller and that limits the number of people we can take. But if it’s a popular restaurant or a fantastic experience, we will go back again.

Do you ever go back to the same restaurant twice?

Absolutely! When we find a winner we are happy to return and we want to support them to ensure their success. We return 2-3 times a year to the restaurants that are group favourites. But we are always trying to find new gems at the same time.

How can I recommend a restaurant?

We love to receive recommendations from our members. Please send them to us using this form.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

The question below about turning on your email notifications is there twice; with instructions for doing it on your laptop/desktop computer or on your cell. You only have to make the change in one location for it to work in both.

How do get email notifications when new dinners are posted? (Desktop)

1. Log into your MeetUp account

2. Hover over your image in the top right corner and on the dropdown menu, click Settings.

general_notifications - desktop 13. On the Settings screen, click Email Updates (second from the top).

4. IF you see the screen below, click the red Turn on button. If you do not see this screen, proceed to the next step.

general_notifications - desktop 2

5. The Email Notifications settings are split into two sections; Updates about you and Updates about your groups. In the Updates about you section,  uncheck the boxes for the types of messages you DO NOT want to receive.

6. Still in the Email Notifications settings, scroll down to Updates about your groups and click Edit next to Dinner Devils.

general_notifications - desktop 37. Check the box next to New Meetup scheduled, as well as any other notifications you want to receive from the group.

general_notifications - desktop 4

All the settings save automatically, so once you have done this you can navigate away from the site or close your internet browser. You should now start to receive emails when new dinners are posted.

How do get email notifications when new dinners are posted? (Cell phone)

On desktop devices, this is all managed in one place. If changing your settings on your cell phone, you have to first turn on your general notifcations and then go into each specific group to manage which ones you receive communications from.

1. Log into your MeetUp account

2. Click your photo in the top right corner.

General Notifications - Mobile

3. Click the cog icon in the top right corner

General Notifications - Mobile 2

4. Click “Manage notifications”

5. Click “Email Updates”

6. Ensure the toggle next to “Get Email Updates” is in the active position.

General Notifications - Mobile 3

7. Now click the red back arrow in the top left, to return to the previous screen.

8. Click the red Done button in the top left of the screen. You should be back on your profile page, with your list of MeetUp groups displayed below your photo.

9. Scroll down and click on the Dinner Devils.

10. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the screen (depending on your device you might see a cog here).

General Notifications - Mobile 4

11. Click Change email updates.

12. Ensure the toggle next to “New Meetup scheduled” is in the active position.

13. Click the red Done button in the top left of the screen.

14. You can now leave your settings screen and you should receive email alerts every time a new Dinner Devils dinner is organized.