Chef Gary Usher and his team at the restaurants Sticky Walnut in Cheshire and Burnt Truffle in Heswall have raised £15,036 overnight after launching their second online crowdfunding campaign.
The chef, who opened his first bistro Sticky Walnut in 2011, opened second site Burnt Truffle in 2015 after raising £100,000 via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2014, and has now launched a second bid
Menu of the Year 2013 Catey winner Usher, who is comically vocal on Twitter and appears to do most of his promotion in that way, launched the Kickstarter page late on 7 March, and continued tweeting with apparent growing disbelief as the total climbed quickly from nothing to over £10,000 within hours, rising to over £15,000 by the morning - and still rising fast. The word Hispi was also trending on Twitter last night, meaning that it was one of the main subjects that people were talking about at that time.
The chef's Kickstarter page this time round is similar to the first, in that Usher appears on a funny yet informative video explaining the team's goal and asking for help, showing the group's chefs in the background. The film also features ‘outtakes' in filming, in which Usher appears to struggle with the script of the video, prompting a characteristic stream of expletives.
It also reveals how Usher's bank has said that it will loan him £100,000 for the new project, but only if he secures the £50,000 online first.
Writing on Twitter last night, Usher said: "Thank you so much everyone for an amazing first few hours with [the] Hispi Kickstarter."
Usher's is not the only Kickstarter campaign to be going well of late: yesterday, chef and Acorn Award winner Paul Foster hit his £100k funding target in a bid to open his own restaurant in Warwickshire, with just one day to go.
Kickstarter is a US-based website allowing people to post bids for new projects and ask members of the public to pledge relatively small amounts of money towards the campaigns. Depending on the amounts set by the fundraisers, people can pledge as little as £5 or £10, with the amounts rising up to £5,000. The fundraiser only receives the money if the total target is reached within a set timeframe.
Each pledge comes with a ‘reward' attached should the bid reach its goal, in the form of small presents or acknowledgements related to the campaign itself. Usher's rewards include having your name on the wall of the new restaurant, or a £50 voucher for a meal for two at any of the three restaurants.