The world’s first NFT restaurant, Flyfish Club, is coming to New York. Here’s everything you need to know.
As the world continues to explore the realms of NFT (non-fungible tokens), the restaurant industry is about to make its first foray into the field. With Flyfish Club, New York, get ready for a new kind of exclusive dining experience.
So, what’s NFT?
Before we get into it, here’s the bare minimum crash course on NFT. A simple web search is enough to tell you that it’s essentially a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger. Given its unique identification, it is quite different from blockchain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Used as a speculative asset, it has often irked people for a high carbon footprint, energy costs, and the ease with which it’s used in scams.
That being said, the world’s first NFT restaurant is a pretty exciting prospect. So what can one expect from it? Unlike other works of art or apparel that don’t allow for use or consumption, you can actually eat at the restaurant — or at least, that’s what they’re promising.
The announcement for Flyfish Club was made by VCR Group, a company helmed by American entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in August 2021. Currently the plans to open the physical restaurant seem scheduled for 2023.
For David Rodolitz, co-founder of Flyfish Club, this business model based on NFT membership is a real opportunity for the restaurant industry.
”We love food and drinks, but it’s a very difficult business model. The industry is very competitive, whether it’s rising rents, minimum wage, labour costs, it’s just very difficult, the margin is very small,” he says to the media, commenting on the upper limit for consumers and the unsustainability of a regular business model.
So, what exactly changes here? At this restaurant, you must buy the membership in NFT’s to savour the food and indulge in the drink. Swap the thousands of dollars for good new-fashioned cryptocurrency. The regular membership will cost gourmands 2.5 Ethereum, whereas the premium one comes for 4.25 Ethereum. With the fluctuating nature of crypto, it’s hard to say how much this comes up to in US dollars, but it’s approximately $8,271 or $12,209, respectively.
As of now, VCR has sold 1,501 and has a further 1,534 reserved for the company — but the existing tokens can be leased or resold on the secondary market. Being part of this allows you access to various pop-ups, an outdoor lounge, a cocktail lounge, and a main dining area, a 150-seat space that features an open kitchen design.
Only members of the esteemed premium NFT membership will revel in the Omakase Room, a 14-seater area with a master sushi chef creating dishes from the fish flown in daily from Japan.
According to the website, the restaurant is expected to be “designed by a leading architect in one of the most beautiful buildings that exist. The space will be both intimate and airy, with high ceilings, special views, and curated moments throughout”.
Recently, there has been massive growth in NFT sales. The total value of all NFT sales that took place in 2021 was $23 billion compared to less than $100 million in 2020, according to data published by DappRadar and noted by Larry Cheng, managing partner at Volition Capital, a Boston-based growth equity firm.
NFTs have been creating a frenzy among investors and artists looking to cash in on the market that has ballooned. While it can be purchased and traded like any other property, it is still not a tangible asset. Buying an NFT is like owning an encrypted JPEG that can be downloaded on your computer.
However, as the culinary world takes its first furtive steps into the future, we’re excited to see what’s in store for food connoisseurs.