When you think of crowdfunding, what typically comes to mind would be things like 3D printers, the newest tech fandangos, or even uniquely designed everyday household items. What you may not expect would be a delectable 4-course meal presented to you by a Michelin 2-star executive chef.
Just last week, a Singapore-based Italian restaurant Trattoria Gallo D’oro, headed by Michelin 2-star executive chef Silvio Morelli, launched a crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe. Chef Silvio is hoping to raise $5,000 to reboot the restaurant’s offerings, by releasing five new menus designed to wow your pallette.
The new menu ranges from a $50 three-course set to an exclusive private dinner at $3,000 where you and your date for the evening get the whole restaurant to yourselves. All dishes will be personally prepared by Chef Silvio. For the special menus tiers (priced at $1,000 and $3,000 for you and one other partner), ingredients will be air flown fresh from Europe for an exquisite meal.
This move may seem strange to you, especially since Chef Silvio’s 2 stars would seem creditation enough to raise the money for Trattoria Gallo D’oro. He has even worked the restaurant scene in Singapore for several years, having been the Executive Chef of Da Paolo Group for a year, before joining Gaia Ristorante and Bar as Executive Chef and the T.R.E. Group of Restaurants as Mentor Chef. But it seems that this is Chef Silvio’s way to appeal to the taste buds of Singaporeans, to truly have a fine dining restaurant built for Singaporeans.
Chef Silvio explained, “I’ve always been asked by my regular patrons, what is your finest meal? I’ve always said it was a full experience delighting every one of the five senses. And now, I want to answer that question, by creating the perfect evening, right here in the Gallo D’oro.”
If this campaign proves successful, he hints that there may even be more campaigns to come.
FundedByMe: The Crowdfunding Business Builders
FundedByMe may not be as common a name in this part of the world, but it has its eye on a prime location. Singapore is, after all, one of the top ten countries supporting crowdfunding site Kickstarter, contributing $6,710,961 out of its $1 billion pledges.
But with most crowdfunding projects in the region turning to Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and local player Crowdtivate, it’s a wonder why Europe’s fast-growing crowd investment platform would choose to set up camp in the already crowded enterprise.
We spoke to Adrian Koh, General Manager of FundedByMe in APAC, who saw the European company not as your typical crowdfunding platform, but as a growth partner to businesses looking to grow and expand.
“We see ourselves as business builders,” said Koh. “To many companies working with us, we’ve come to be trusted, long-term partners. Apart from providing access to alternative sources of financing for their business, we advise them on how to best do prepare for that. ”
This interesting model makes FundedByMe appear more like an incubator on top of its public crowd-funding, which may help startups who choose to go head-first into their first crowd-funding campaign, but lack the experience and insight to keep operations going smoothly. Out of all the 3D printing projects out there, only 32% (or one out of three) of those projects started shipping on time. And lest we forget the horror stories of all crowdfunding projects, Kreyos, who raised $1.5million only to flop in production.
Traditional Businesses Meet Crowdfunding
While this clearly resolves the problems that up and coming startups face, the problems that traditional businesses face are quite different. The adaptation of technology for brick-and-mortar operations has baffled many in the business as the thought of scaling operations is usually accompanied with deep considerations and risk assessments. The route that Gallo D’oro has taken proves that with an innovative eye, and trust in your customer base and product, rejuvenating your business doesn’t have to be risky.
“Many traditional businesses like Gallo D’oro are just warming up to the digital world, which means they have the most to gain,” explained Koh. “We’ve seen tech companies use crowdfunding to great success, but then campaigns succeed for so many reasons: having a compelling story, a team with a solid track record, or just simply an outstanding product. Many traditional businesses have that, and crowdfunding platforms help these businesses take a first step to tap into the immense potential and scale that usually only technology companies enjoy.”
Despite this being a new direction for a largely traditional industry, Chef Silvio stays unfazed.
“FundedByMe and crowdfunding is a perfect way to reach out to the people who truly love an authentic Italian experience,” Chef Silvio said. “While this may be new to many people in Singapore, I believe that there are many people here are very discerning when it comes to fine dining experiences, and will support this new direction for the Gallo D’oro.”
The campaign will remain open to public until 14 November, 2014.