Every chef wants to own his or her own restaurant – it’s what most dream of when they get start culinary college or begin their first job in the kitchen. But the road to ownership can be a long one, and finding investors is incredibly tough. That’s why Paul Foster, who until recently was the head chef at Mallory Court, decided to throw the dice and secure investment through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform that’s helped all sorts of entrepreneurs achieve their dreams over the past few years.
Paul’s plan is to open Salt, a relaxed, fine dining establishment in Warwickshire, but in order to do so he needs to raise £100,000 by 8 March 2016. ‘At the moment we’ve just gone past £25,000 and have two weeks left to reach our target,’ he tells us. ‘We’re just really trying to get the momentum going and hope there’ll be a bit of a surge soon.
‘The restaurant is going to be really exciting for Warwickshire,’ adds Paul. ‘I’m looking to open Salt in Leamington Spa town centre which is a place that really lacks a fine dining establishment like the one I want to run. We’re doing away with all the formal stuff and going for a really good price point with a relaxed, easy going atmosphere.’
Around three years ago, Paul and his wife Rhiain were very close to owning their own restaurant, but after investors pulled out he decided to take on the head chef role at Mallory Court instead. This means they’ve always had the business plan in place, ready to go, but until now weren’t sure of how to go about securing investment. ‘Myself and my wife have been looking into crowdfunding for a good few months, but didn’t make a decision on when to go for it until recently,’ says Paul. ‘It’s something we’ve done a lot of research around, looking into other Kickstarters to see which rewards and price points are the most popular. We’ve put all our own savings into it as well as asking the public, so it’s definitely a gamble.’