Crowdsource Your Next Great Food Idea

After graduating from an online cooking school program, many aspiring chefs begin to look for careers in local restaurants with an eye on one day opening a place of their own. The holy grail for many in the food service industry is a highly-lauded restaurant of their very own, maybe even with a few Michelin stars thrown in as well. Unfortunately, the high overhead costs of opening up a restaurant often prevents many people from ever realizing their dream. Instead of the traditional sources of funding, more and more individuals are turning toward crowdsourcing as a way of getting the money they need to make their dream a reality, and popular crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter has just made fundraising that much easier.

How crowdsourcing works
Crowdsourcing is the newest way that independent companies are seeking investments for their ideas. It works by leveraging the power of the Internet to reach large numbers of people at once. Instead of seeking large sums of money from a few sources, crowdsourcing allows individuals to collect small sums from many sources. The way it typically works is individuals set up a page that outlines their business idea and how much they are seeking in funding. They can then set up a rewards system that gives donors a prize based on how much they donate. For example, for a restaurant, those who donate $1,000 or more may be rewarded with a dish named after them. The idea is to draw in donors through the strength of your idea and rewards.

Crowdsourcing restaurants
Many restaurants have seen great success from using crowdsourcing to fund their culinary dreams. In an interview with Eater, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler discussed how restaurants have benefitted from his website’s model. Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowdsourcing platforms and works on an all-or-nothing model. That is, if you aren’t able to reach your fundraising goal by the deadline you set for yourself then you lose all of your funding. Despite what may seem like a strict limitation, restaurants have done extremely well on the site with places like Travail in Minnesota raising over $250,000 on the site.

Now, in an effort to make it easier for users, Kickstarter has introduced subcategories for restaurants and food trucks to make finding awesome food projects easier for donors. Got a great idea for a food truck or restaurant? It may be worth your time to try and put your idea to the test through your very own crowdfunding campaign.

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