A new kind of food hall is being created in the metaverse, a crypto food hall, created by Cordia Corporation that will host 1,000 chefs was announced this week.
Peter Klamka, CEO of Cordia Corp. and the former owner of The Blind Pig restaurant in Las Vegas, has designed the project as an easy and affordable way for independent restaurant operators to test the crypto waters.
“The restaurant environment is as challenging today as it has ever been. Most independent restaurants are barely hanging on,” said Klamka said in a statement. “A few new customers can literally make the difference between closing for good and surviving. Our chef collection is a fantastic and inexpensive first step for restaurants to get exposure to NFTs and the growing cryptocurrency community.”
In an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, Klamka explained how it works:
Cordia is selling 1,000 chef NFTs as entrance to the food hall. These NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital representations of chefs. There are 500 men and 500 women tokens available, each with a unique name, ranging from Chef Tasty, Chef Yummy, Chef Nasty and Chef Delivered to Chef BTC. The chefs basically represent various cuisines, culinary styles, and personalities
The cost per chef will be 0.08 ETH (or Ethereum), which translates to roughly $200. Verified shareholders of Cordia Corp. will be able to purchase up to five chef NFTs in a presale at 0.04 ETH.
Token holders will then be invited to cooking events virtually and in person, and receive airdrops of the next series of Crypto Food Hall NFTs and discount codes for virtual restaurants.
In March, menu item NFTs will go on sale and in April there will be a public sale of food hall locations.
Cordia pledges to use 20% of all resale royalties to buy gift cards from independent restaurants that own one of the NFTs. The gift cards will be distributed randomly to members of the community who have signed up for the Crypto Food Hall Discord.
Some chefs that have virtual restaurants could also market their brand in the Food Hall, Klamka said.
But primarily what NFT holders are getting for their $200 investment is marketing to a crypto audience, which Klamka said is huge and growing. The Food Hall community connects via Discord and Telegram, as well as Instagram and even Facebook, he said.
“I have a belief that everything’s going toward crypto,” said Klamka. “If you put crypto into a hotel or a restaurant, you will get more customers. I’ll send you a Crypto Food Hall sticker to put on your mobile app, and the crypto kids will find you. It’s like an affinity group.”
For smaller operators without a lot of money to invest in exploring the world of cryptocurrency, it’s a way to dip in and see what it’s all about, for less than it would cost for a billboard. Those who try it and find no payoff or value can always sell their NFT on Opensea.io, he said.
Klamka is a longtime player in the cryptocurrency space. He also founded More Management LLC, which he said is developing an NFT based on the once-ubiquitous Farrah Fawcett poster of college-dorm-room fame, and other projects.
Cordia has also developed several celebrity-tied virtual restaurant brands, such was one with Carmen Electra. But the company had difficulty finding buyers for the virtual brands. “Restaurant people are literally at their wits end,” he said. “They don’t know if they’re going to be in business tomorrow.”
But the turnkey operations are built out and ready to go, and Klamka said they could be available to interested Crypto Food Hall NFT holders.
UPDATE: This story has been updated with more information from Cordia Corp.
Lisa Jennings contributed to this article.