Facebook PixelA service that provides one-hour maids and lunchtime companions to busy, single, and elderly people
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A service that provides one-hour maids and lunchtime companions to busy, single, and elderly people

Image credit: Senior Care in Stoneham MA

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 20, 2022
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One-hour-maid service. Each day, the maid comes with groceries, prepares food, accompanies you for lunch, tidies the place up, and leaves. All within one hour.
The general idea is to sit down for a chat/meal with someone in the comfort of your own home but have the roles reversed. You feel like a guest being catered to, and the visitor leaves your home in a better state than when they arrived.
  • A single elderly person who is still fit enough to live alone could use both a little help around the house and a companion to talk with over lunch.
  • The same goes for any person that lives alone and is otherwise busy or can't be bothered doing chores around their home.
  • An ideal job for students or busy people who can spare some time around lunch to earn some extra income while spending little time working. Plus, free food is included.
  • An ideal side job for people who also live alone. Accompany each other for lunch while making some money.
How it works
A maid service with a twist:
  1. A maid shows up half an hour before lunchtime and brings all the necessary groceries to prepare the meal that the client and the maid will share.
  2. While preparing the lunch and depending on what's cooking, the maid runs around doing quick tasks to tidy up the place as best as possible within the given time/focus constraints. Tidying up the place is a secondary task that can be compromised a bit in favor of lunch - the primary task.
  3. When the food is done, the maid serves it and joins the client for lunch and chat. Extra care is taken not to make the lunch/conversation feel rushed. Being a good lunch buddy is the maid's tertiary task.
  4. When done eating, the maid cleans up and leaves.
  5. The client feels they are not alone and the place is being taken care of.
More work than can be done in an hour
If the place is in poor shape to begin with, the client can ask te maid service for a one-time dedicate team that makes it decent. From there on, the one-hour-maid can manage to keep the place tidy with daily touch-up work.
If the client is messy, they can always order an additional service that is outside of the one-hour-maid's scope. The maid does the best s/he can alongside preparing lunch. Nothing more is expected. The client understands/agrees that different meals require different time and focus. Some days the maid would be able to do more other days less alongside preparing the lunch.
Customer profiling
Each customer has their profile with the maid service. They list:
  • the type of food they like
  • the type of food they wish to avoid
  • some info about themselves they would tell a new friend
  • what they need done around the house
  • notes reported by maids (for potential other maids who would be taking over in the future)
Multitasking maids
The maids would look at this job as a challenge/training to get very good at multitasking without messing up the lunch. This would literally be their primary work description.
High staff turnover
This is doesn't seem like the type of job one would usually build a career on. That's ok. The company would expect high staff turnover so it has to develop methods that quickly prepare new recruit for the job.
Clients that provide mentorship/training to new maids
Some clients are offered a 20% discount in return for collaborating with the maid service and teaching/training and evaluating new maids. New maids are first assigned to these clients. They expect the service to be of questionable quality and are patient enough to train new maids. At the end of the trial period they provide the maid service company their opinion whether the new maid is ready to work for a more demanding customer or whether there is no hope and the maid shouldn't work for the company.
Different hours - multiple clients
People eat their meals at different hours. It doesn't have to be strictly lunch. They can opt for anything ranging from breakfast to dinner. Or even just a coffee break. If some maids wish to do this as a full time job, they can be assigned multiple clients at different times and come up with optimal schedules that allow the maid to get from one client, to the grocery store, and to the next client back-to-back.
A maid can have multiple clients, back-to-back, with just enough time to get from one
Creative contributions

Address Security Concerns

Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Jun 21, 2022
It's a good idea but I think security is a big concern on the part of the elderly. For example, how do you guard against people who enroll for this job simply so they can get access to old, defenseless people with the goal of robbing them outside work hours?
To guard against this, I'll suggest the following:
  • Rigorous background checks on the volunteers
  • Waiting period to weed out bad elements
  • Training and evaluation of candidates to judge disposition
Finally, I suggest priority should be given to students in nursing and related occupations.
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Gianpaolo M.
Gianpaolo M.2 years ago
A review system would be a good choice as well
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jnikola2 years ago
One option could be an option to record the maid's visit with a live camera with a microphone. That way service providers could have control of what's happening and would make the service safer.
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Michaela D
Michaela D2 years ago
Also, ask for references and talk to some friends and family of the people who apply.
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A similar idea exists -"Goodfellows" appoints young graduates to accompany the elderly

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 29, 2022
The tagline of Goodfellows is - "Everything grandkids do", which explains the idea well. Goodfellows offers companionship for the elderly and focuses on how to make them feel less lonely. The young graduates, 'Goodfellows', assist the senior citizens, too.
Senior citizens are paired with graduates in the age group of 18 to 30, who, over the course, form meaningful bonds with them, as was seen during the Beta phase of the Startup. The start-up accommodates varying companionship needs of the Senior citizens like watching a movie, narrating stories from the past, going on a walk, or just giving them quiet company sitting around doing nothing together.
Plans of Goodfellows include offering travel companions for seniors holding back from making trips due to lack of security or company and also plans to extend its services to people with a disability facing similar or more challenges.
I could not find the official website, but here are the news articles.
  1. https://yourstory.com/2021/11/goodfellows-companionship-startup-ratan-tata-shantanu-naidu/amp
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/business/my-bond-with-seniors-behind-goodfellows-shantanu-naidu-8094352/
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General comments

jnikola2 years ago
Cool idea! How much would these maids/companions be paid? Who would pay for the groceries? Would it be accessible for any old person or for the rich only?
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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
It can be a platform like Air BnB, where members are vetted and verified, to ensure they're qualified and don't pose a threat.
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Michaela D
Michaela D2 years ago
Eating alone can make someone feel very lonely, especially if they are used to eating with a partner or family that is not around. Marketing comment: I would name them "lunch/meal companions" instead of maids, to focus on the companionship aspect of the job. Like this people can say I'm having lunch with my "lunch companion" instead of the "maid". It sounds more appealing.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Michaela D good point. I agree
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