Recently I went to a "taco party" I found through the Eat With website. I paid $40 to go to the home of two fun-loving Latinas. They have a great apartment, filled with art, just across from the Brooklyn Museum. As soon as their guests arrived they made it a point to shove rum drinks into our hands.
To open a restaurant in New York, you have to jump through all sorts of government-created hoops for licenses, inspections, and fees. Going the "Eat With" route allows would-be restaurant-operators to avoid all of that. The NPR item doesn't catch onto that, though some of the comments raise the issue.