Amber Case
3 min readSep 10, 2021


Dinner DAO: How to Have Your NFTs & Eat Them Too!

Unlock Grantee Austin Robey recently concocted one of the most practical applications of NFTs I’ve seen using Unlock’s protocol: Meeting IRL over a great meal.

The first Dinner DAO!

Inspired by the logic and tooling of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), Austin’s Dinner DAO aims to bring the essential human experience of breaking bread together into our online communities — especially through this pandemic, when so much of our work and social interactions have moved online, and face-to-face meetings have become difficult to plan.

Here’s how the Dinner DAO works:

  • Members join a chapter by purchasing a season pass NFT, created by clicking the App button and connecting your Metamask wallet on Unlock
  • Funds are pooled in a shared treasury (dinnerdao.eth)
  • The Unlock NFT allows for gated access to the Dinner DAO’s private Discord channels
  • Members vote on dinner proposals on snapshot (
  • For the meal itself, one member pays the restaurant with USD through a Coinbase card; he or she is then reimbursed with from the Dinner DAO’s collective treasury.
Building a lock and checkout page on Unlock!

For Austin’s first DInner DAO, his group shared a fantastic Mediterranean meal together at Shoo Shoo Nolita in New York. I’m helping launch a Portland chapter, and Austin is expanding the DAO to other cities around the world.

Austin’s first Dinner Dao in New York at Shoo Shoo Nolita!

With more than 7 million new accounts with Ethereum balances added this year, bringing the total to over 55 million (according to the Wall Street Journal), we’re hopeful interest in the Dinner DAOs will quickly go global.

We are also planning to partner with local restaurants, and create larger events to which non-members can purchase one-time tickets. There’s even plans to turn the Dinner DAO into a year-long film festival/watch party: Buy an NFT that gives you a season pass to see one movie a month, then enjoy a group dinner after the show.

Dinner is just the start; think DAO for Good

Virtually any small community, or network of communities, can use Austin’s Dinner DAO model to represent membership and democratically pool and distribute resources. For instance, a DAO for live concerts, for fundraising, mutual aid organizations, and beyond.

I’d love to hear about your ideas, and connect you with the right resources and people, to make your DAO idea a reality.

Join the Dinner DAO Discord to get involved!



Amber Case

Design advocate, founder of the Calm Technology Institute, speaker and author of Calm Technology. Former Research Fellow at MIT Media Lab and Harvard BKC.