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Are NFT restaurants the future of haute cuisine?

Building a community is also important for haute cuisine

Are NFT restaurants the future of haute cuisine? Building a community is also important for haute cuisine

The first NFT restaurant, The Flyfish Club, will be opened in New York by the VCR Group, led by Gary Vaynerchuk, a successful software engineer and businessman who started the social ascent by selling wine in New Jersey in his family's of Russian immigrants shop. The man is known on social media for his constant commitment to encouraging entrepreneurship, in giving advice to the younger generations and for his precise - so much so as to be disturbing - market expectations, as well as for having been one of the first to invest in the shares of Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Snapchat. In May 2021 the master of networking and digital media announced that he would open the first NFT restaurant and on January 3rd 2022 sent an email notice, announcing that on Friday January 7th he would make 1151 NFT available for purchase on the website of the company, in addition to the 350 already sold on December 15, 2021. A Token drop which corresponds to a real selection of Omakase sushi that will be available for ordering in the future physical restaurant.

Two levels of membership were made available depending on the type of NFT purchased: the lower level Flyfish Club membership, which cost from $ 7.9k to $ 12.5k dollars (2.5-3.9 Ether), which offers basic access to the club, and the most exclusive level, which allows members to enter the restaurant's private Omakase room for $ 13.5k to $ 24k (4.2-7.4 Ether). In both cases, the purchase also guarantees exclusive access to the renowned (physical) sushi restaurant club, but neither membership guarantees discounts on the bill in the future physical restaurant, since customers will pay for what they order in full. The entire collection was sold out in a few hours and, although the exact opening date of the bistro has not yet been announced, immediately afterwards part of the tokens were resold for double the price.

What does NFT restaurant mean

When Gary V announced the project, everyone wondered what an NFT restaurant would actually look like. While most of us are still trying to understand the technology and even terminology of the Web3, the practical benefits of an NFT restaurant today are crystal clear: exclusivity and loyalty. Buying an NFT connects you to a specific community: if until recently blockchain communities have always been virtual and niche, combined with the concept of a physical club (exclusive to a certain number of NFT owners) the potential of a such a community becomes exponential, especially when we add a restaurant to the equation. For example, if the original owner and seller of the NFT collection is also the owner of a restaurant, the proceeds from the sale of the non-fungible tokens will be used to manage and support the restaurant and in this way the buyer feels he is sponsoring his favorite chefs and at the same time perceives a sense of belonging to a specific physical space.

From NFTs to real life

To connect the virtual world to the real one, the Flyfish team thought ahead of the design of the NFTs, linking the artistic options of the collection to the real options proposed by the restaurant on the menu. It is not just restaurants that benefit from this unique shopping experience, but any community that wishes to connect offline, through a mutually beneficial and exclusive relationship. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, widely known simply by its acronym, BAYC, is one of the best-known examples of online digital privé, a virtual and exclusive club in which to enter you must have one of the coveted BAYC tokens of the 10,000-piece collection , with a single NFT worth one billion dollars. It is true, the value of a given NFT varies and depends on an infinite series of factors, but one thing is clear: tokens have the power to activate communities in the long or short term and also to support them financially.

The crossover: an opportunity for chefs and artists?

The Soho House concept is an excellent example of how artists are willing to invest in their network of contacts and share their success, eager to connect with other creatives of the same caliber and interests. The role of chef and that of artist in contemporary gastronomy often correspond and the first digital crossover offered by the first NFT restaurant ever (despite having the stylized version of a sushi as a work of art perhaps it has little to do with real art) , demonstrates that evolving these sectors and combining them together is not only possible, but also extremely profitable and the potential becomes infinite if we think of a future in which Cracco or Bottura dishes are auctioned on Opensea. The eyes and ears of the restaurant industry creatives should be firmly fixed on these pioneering projects, as more than an opportunity for the evolution of the restaurant industry, the NFT restaurant concept could be the very key to its future.