The use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the restaurant industry is expanding beyond loyalty and game-play rewards. News broke Monday (Jan. 17) of Resy Co-Founder Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest project, an NFT-enabled, members-only restaurant called Flyfish Club (FFC) set to open in the first half of 2023.
Per the restaurant’s website, there are 2,650 NFTs available for the basic membership tier, which costs 2.5 Ether (over $8,000) and features access to a dining room, an outdoor lounge, a cocktail lounge, and physical and virtual events and popups. For the next tier, there are 385 NFTs available for a 4.25 Ether (about $13,700) membership that includes access to the restaurant’s omakase room.
Certainly, the restaurant appears to be leveraging NFTs more in their role of luxury status symbol than in their role of verification tool, since members-only restaurants have not struggled very much in the past to find ways of checking diners’ credentials. The one meaningful way that the use of NFTs changes the members-only restaurant model is that it allows holders to monetize their membership by selling or leasing it.
“As the first of its kind, FFC is focused around utility,” the restaurant’s website states. “Our members can use and enjoy our club, converting a typical membership into an asset. As an NFT, the membership becomes an asset to the token holder, which can later be sold, transferred or leased to others on the secondary market. By utilizing NFTs, FFC is able to create a loyal, member-community that we can provide special experiences for.”
Previously, NFTs have been used in the restaurant industry as fast-food restaurant collectibles, leveraged by brands ranging from Burger King to McDonald’s to Pizza Hut. Vaynerchuk’s restaurant extends the tokens’ role in the industry such that, rather than a promotion for publicity, they become the entry point to the dining experience.
“I think we’re going to see more experimentation to connect culture to values and exchanges,” he said. “That’s really what is at the core of NFTs.”
However, it would appear that the initial rush of enthusiasm for NFTs could be beginning to lose steam. A report one week ago (Jan. 10) showed that, at the end of 2021, there were indications that growth was slowing.
Still, insiders expect that these assets will continue to grow into more areas of commerce, offering value for more businesses as new use cases present themselves.