How it works
If you're reading this page you probably received an email or Facebook post from a friend saying that a new restaurant or brewery was opening up nearby. Like every business, these guys need money to get started or expand. And they see lots of benefits for getting it from friends and friends of friends than the office of a mega-bank.
Here's what to do next:
1) Review the business plan. Does it make sense? Do you think they have a shot at it? If so...
2) Look at the perks they're offering and decide how much you want to put in. It might be $10 for a long-term discount on desserts or $250 to have a menu item named after you.
3) Submit your pledge (not an actual payment since the business only gets the cash if their funding goal is reached) using your Amazon username and password. Yes, the same one you use to buy garden gnomes and UFO Dectectors and whatever else they sell on Amazon now.
4) Tell your friends about the cool business you're backing so that it will reach its funding goal.
5) Assuming you've told enough people about it and they reach their funding goal, you'll get an email in your inbox and a Ownership Card in the mail. Whenever you go to the business, just present your card and redeem whatever great perks you've earned for being an early backer in the business. Cool huh?
If you're a business owner the process is really straightforward. There's only a few things you need to get started, a working phone, and a new or existing business in the food-and-beverage industry. Once you have these covered, you simply need to:
1) Upload your pitch
You might need capital to buy equipment or to expand to another location. Whatever the purpose, the first step is to post the plan for your project. Remember, people are backing you as much as the business so make include your personal story and explain why this is important to you.
2) Pick the Perks
Backes need to get something in return. It might be a cash discount. It might be a free dessert or the next available table during busy times. It might be combination of different perks. (We have market research to help guide you if you need assistance coming up with the perfect mixture of perks.)
3) Tell folks to check it out
Build buzz by telling people about your new project, through word of mouth, Facebook, twitter, paper flyers (we have the tools to help with this if you need assistance). Hopefully, they'll tell people who will tell people who...well, you get the idea.
For Startup Businesses: Assuming your funding goal has been met, cash will be deposited directly to your business bank account (less a 2.9% credit card fee and a 5% processing commission.)
For Expanding Businesses: Even if you're your goal hasn't been met, when your campaign deadline is reached we will deposit whatever funds have been raised into your account (minus a 2.9% credit card fee and 5% processing commission.)
And now, on top of having the capital you need to get started, you also have a lot of people in the community who feel they are a part of your business. Put another way, a lending officer at a bank can only go to dinner at one place, but a Foodstart client might have hundreds of backers, one third of whom are trying to decide where to eat on any given night.