Travail Raises $250K, Provides Case Study In Restaurant Crowdfunding

travailWe recently wrote about Travail, a restaurant in Robbinsville, Minnesota that aimed to bring fine dining food to the masses. Well, their round has just closed on Kickstarter to the tune of over $255,000. It is a huge windfall for the restaurant, which will use the funds to open a new – and larger – location just down the road from their current one.


RELATED: Travail Doubles Goal For Two Minnesota Fine Dining Restaurants

They’re also going to be buying some pretty cool gear. Secrets of the City reports that the cash will help Travail net a new anti-griddle, a rotary-vacuum evaporation system and a freeze-drying machine. Basically, they’ll be one step closer to having a gastronomic laboratory as much as a kitchen.

So, why did this campaign work?

  • The people: So much focus is placed on pitch videos and pretty graphics, but in the end aren’t we just supporting the people? I’ve never met the guys from Travail, but after seeing their video I will definitely be stopping in for a beer and a meal if I’m ever in Minnesota. They seem like cool people that other people would want to help. They obviously care about their customers. Seems basic, but these are things that do go overlooked from time to time.
  • The rewards: The folks at Travail used what didn’t work about their old location to craft rewards to get the funding for a new one. They don’t do reservations, so why not make a reward level that lets people jump the line? I’ll let you guess what their most popular reward was…
  • The storytelling: When you have a heading for your pitch entitled “But you had a restaurant… why couldn’t you do that stuff in your old space?” That means you’re anticipating the crowd’s reaction to the campaign and crafting your story to dispel any doubts. Their pitch page wasn’t a checklist of mandatory stuff they had to say. It was a cohesive story of how the restaurant came to be, where it was going and how the crowd was going to help it get there.

Kickstarter backers will be interacting with the restaurant in a variety of ways in the next year or so. Now Minnesota has two Kickstarter-powered fine dining restaurants! Wild.

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