Irish people renting out their ‘friendship’ online
A new moneymaking opportunity has been seized by hundreds of Irish people who are renting out their friendship on a new website.
Rentafriend.com was created by American Scott Rosenbaum after he saw a similar service being successful in Japan.
The site is described as ‘strictly platonic’ and simply offers some company for those looking to meet new people when they are at a loose end.
It has been popular in major tourist cities Dublin, Cork and Galway.
‘Friends’ can be rented for as little as €8 per hour. Some of the activities listed that can be shared with a friend include poetry, cooking, cinema, sports events, hot air ballooning, museums and photography.
As well as specific events, friends can also be rented to act as tour guides for people who are new to the city, and as a wingman/woman to help introduce guests to new people.
Founder Scott Rosenbaum said: “Family structure is a very big part of their society and companies were offering ‘fill-in or stand-in’ family members.
“If a child has a school activity which parents needed to attend, it was common for a single parent to hire a spouse to fill in.
“I realised there weren’t any companies that were catering to the ‘friend’ market in the US”.
The website has now grown into a global source of friendship for those in need of company and advice when travelling.
Most of the friends listed on the site say they are not doing it for the money, but to meet new people. There are several foreigners who have settled in Ireland who are offering their friendship to fellow travellers in their town.