The hamdog, the ingenious hamburger / hot dog hybrid made the rounds last year when Australian entrepreneur Mark Murray announced he was looking for participants to invest in the franchise to sell his patented hamdogs around the globe. Now Mark plans to open up the first ever hamdog restaurant in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
“Walking the streets of New York City in the last few days and being in Times Square and looking at the volume of foot traffic there, we’re like ‘we’ve got to have our first store here,” Murray tells The Verge.
Opening a new store in Times Square is probably a hard thing to do, especially if you’re trying to open a hamdog restaurant. And it can be expensive for customers, too: if I want to eat at the Times Square Olive Garden on December 31st, I’d be paying upwards of $400. Murray believes crowdfunding the first restaurant is the way to go, because it gives hamdog fans a way to personally invest in the project.
“What we want to do with the first store is crowdfund it, but in a different way, so that the people that are getting involved will have a say in what happens,” Murray said. Starting at AU$ 25 (about $20 USD), backers of the Kickstarter project will become part of an “exclusive group” that will help decide variations on the menu at the restaurant. They hope to raise more than $200,000 on Kickstarter.
Murray also claims that crowdfunding the hamdog restaurant will help fund other entrepreneurial projects. Backers will help decided what other projects will be funded from profits of the New York City restaurant. “All the profits we’re going to make from the first store every year are going to go back into entrepreneurial projects,” he says.
Mark plans to launch hamdog restaurants around the country, but the New York City store will be its only crowdfunded one.
Maybe one day I will be sitting in the hamdog restaurant watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. Until then, you can check out the official Kickstarter page here.