On a Thursday evening last June, a group of foodies gathered in a New York City studio space to watch celebrity chefs, Tom Colicchio and Spike Mendelsohn, craft an enormous pan of mouthwatering paella. But this wasn’t just an ordinary culinary event. Attendees were holders of an NFT (non-fungible token) known as CHFTY Pizzas, a project poised at the intersection of web3 and the food service industry. CHFTY holders are just part of an ever-growing community experimenting with NFTs to fuel their passion for all things food related.
Minting a slice of the NFT pie.
The CHFTY Pizzas NFT artwork consists of pizza slice cartoon characters, each with individualized traits and toppings, and most pictured in a major international city. They’re built on the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain. 2777 CHFTY tokens were available for public mint in March of 2022 at the price of .07 Ethereum, then approximately $200 USD. The CHFTY Pizzas community hosts a Discord of over four thousand people, where holders exchange recipes and restaurant recommendations, and founders organize masterclasses and culinary experiences. The project’s NFT smart contract was designed so that a portion of the project’s initial price and secondary sales are donated to Big Green DAO, a web3 Decentralized Autonomous Organization that supports efforts to fight food insecurity and climate change. CHFTY Pizzas NFTs can now be purchased on secondary markets such as OpenSea.
NFT treats for ice cream lovers.
Meanwhile, in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, a shopping mall ice cream parlor named Crème De La Crème is offering frozen treats inspired by NFTs. Flavors include Bored Ape, a milk chocolate ice cream blended with caramelized bananas and chocolate crumble, and CryptoPunk, a combination of cream cheese and butterfly pea flower ice creams with burnt cheesecake chunks. The Doodles flavor combines lychee and peach sorbet with Madagascar vanilla ice cream. The company, which currently has five outlets, sources its 100% all-natural ingredients from around the world.
In keeping with founder Lio Lim’s web3 ethos, Crème de la Crème has no dedicated website. The shop hopes to host events and meetups with NFT enthusiasts, and currently features a dedicated area of LED frames where patrons can share and display their NFTs.
Restaurateurs serving up NFTs.
Restaurants are also breaking into the NFT space. The Flyfish Club, a creation of Gary Vaynerchuk and his VCR Group, has issued an NFT that promises to grant token holders unlimited and exclusive access to a private fine dining room and a bustling cocktail lounge at an “iconic” New York City location. Holders can also lease their tokens to others on a monthly basis, generating revenue that drives value to the NFT owner. Nevertheless, diners will be required to make a reservation and to purchase food and drinks. Until the Flyfish Club secures a location, holders are granted access to scheduled wine and food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and cocktail parties.
The project offers two tiers of ownership. It minted in December of 2021 at a price of 2.25 ETH— then roughly $8,400 USD— for the lower tier, and the rough equivalent of $14,000 USD for the higher “Omakase” level. Currently, the “floor” NFT (lowest price of entry) on the secondary market is approximately 4 ETH ($5,900 USD), with the Omakase level at roughly 12 ETH ($18,000 USD).
Even Snoop Dogg has a restaurant in the works – Dr. Bombay’s Sweet Exploration. It’s named after his cheetah-furred, cigar-smoking Bored Ape and promises to deliver an immersive retail dessert experience. And, chain establishments like Burger King and Dave & Busters have entered the web3 space, creating loyalty programs featuring NFT collectables and rewards.
The restaurant industry as a whole stands to benefit from use of NFT technology. Restaurateurs have hosted NFT token-gated private and VIP events that function as marketing opportunities, engaging holders and creating brand awareness. NFTs issued prior to a restaurant opening can help provide a significant funding source. Plus, the NFT “smart contract” technology permits eateries to generate royalties from secondary sales of their NFTs in the marketplace, creating future revenue streams.
More NFT foodie projects on the plate.
Food industry members continue to set their sights on the evolving NFT marketplace. Gourmet NFT is a blockchain-based project that will allow at-home cooks to create customized web3 cookbooks from recipes contributed by chefs around the world. The platform allows those chefs to monetize their culinary creations. Foodverse, developed by OneRare, will be a metaverse world with various zones where users can discover virtual restaurants, new food brands and celebrity chefs, plus play in a gaming zone.
The future of food in the NFT Space - wrapping it up.
As NFTs gain mainstream adoption, food-related businesses and foodie communities will continue to develop new uses for NFT and blockchain technology. Just like creativity drives professional and amateur chefs to concoct increasingly inventive culinary delights, it will drive their evolving presence in web3.