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Ten Questions: Salima Manji of the London Dinner Club
Too busy to find love then Salima might have the answer.
Salima is the brain behind the London Dinner Club which offers a dating service that is more akin to a social drinks and dining club.
Held only in upmarket bars and restaurants, the London Dinner Club is a relaxed way to meet liked-minded young professionals who share the same wants and lifestyles.
Salima worked as an investment banker for Dresdner Bank for four years. In 2008 she became dissatisfied with her career and decided to go into business for herself.
Having heard her colleagues describe their dating woes and understanding their position herself, she realised the need for a service that caters for the many people climbing the career ladder who are not getting the opportunities to meet like-minded people.
What makes these events so unique?.
Our events are unique as we create a relaxed and informal environment where single professionals can come together over great food and wine.
We ensure the restaurants and bars we select are upmarket yet have a great ambiance.
Do you think Asian professionals find it difficult meeting the right people?.
Asian professionals that are attracted to our events are usually successful in the areas of investment banking, law and medicine and others and often have little time to meet other like-minded singles due to working long hours.
Our monthly dinners and drinks provides the perfect opportunity for them to make time as they know they will meet a large number of single professionals in one evening.
Why do you think your events have been successful?
The high calibre of members that are attracted to our events who all have a love of socialising in upmarket places in London ensures a higher compatibility amongst members.
What kind of people attend your events?
Time-poor single professionals in the City, lawyers, doctors and some in Arts and Media.
Do you think meeting someone face to face is far better than trawling through internet sites?
Absolutely, yes. Some of our members have tried internet dating but have been disappointed as the profiles are often far removed from the individual they actually meet. With meeting face to face at an event, there is no hiding behind a profile!
What would you say to someone who is apprehensive about attending one of your events? For instance if they are shy?
We always great each member attending with a drink and once they have settled, we introduce them to other members. This has been very welcomed by some of our members who are shy or apprehensive as they are attending alone.
How do you get people to mix with guests they might not have met before?
The host of the event, usually Salima Manji (the founder) is warm and friendly and facilitates introductions amongst the members.
Are you thinking of expanding your club to other parts of the UK?
We have had many requests to expand the Club to other parts of the UK and are currently looking into this. At present, our members from Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester travel to London for our Saturday night events which shows total commitment by some of our members!
How do you pick the venues?
We select venues that are easy for our members to reach, usually close to a tube. Secondly we are keen that the bar/restaurant is not too noisy as otherwise it makes networking extremely difficult.
Finally lighting is important as it creates a good ambiance and our members feel more relaxed.
And finally…what kind of feedback have you had from people?
After three marriages, two engagements last year and countless couples who have met and dated through meeting at our events, word of mouth is a really good marketing tool for us.
The success stories have helped the Club grow quickly over the last 3.5 years to a thousand members for ADC and 500 members for LDC (which is 1.5 years old For further information and the latest events see www.londondinnerclub.org or call 07432 678 661