DINER: Chinatown’s “Bestie” Exceeds 10K Funding Target In 5 Days. Game Changer?

December 1, 2012.

by Andrew Morrison | You might remember that 5 days ago we put up a post telling of how Bestie – a restaurant under construction in Chinatown – had turned to the Indiegogo fundraising website to help with an infusion of capital. They were looking for $10,000 of public investment. In exchange, the investors would get sausage dividends, or “magic sausage cards”. It was a smart idea, and a successful one…

Indeed. Earlier today Bestie owners Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown met their lofty target (and exceeded it). It took them just 5 days to raise 10 large…from strangers. So yeah, big congratulations are in order.

I hope this means that a reliable supply of proper currywurst and good beer is coming sooner rather than later. But I wonder if their fundraising scheme hasn’t opened a new and bizarre chapter in Vancouver’s restaurant scene. It might pass as being a one off thing that we’ll never see again, or it could have changed the local restaurant start-up game for good. In a few years, will public financing be as normal a step to a prospective restaurateur as, say, opening an Instagram account? Will diners – who are always hungry for new concepts – now volunteer regularly to help foot the bill of construction costs? Or will they revolt by claiming that it’s just another invasive industry subsidy, like the 20% gratuity norm?

Personally, as long as the return on investment is solid (you can’t go wrong with sausages), I’m all for it. In fact, I have $500 that I’d like to invest in a licensed ramen joint in Gastown, just as long as that gets me 75 bowls and beers. Any takers?

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