Building the first chain of decentralized burger restaurants with BurgerDAO.
BurgerDAO is a collection of restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, and web3 enthusiasts who are creating the world’s first decentralized burger chain. It sounds crazy, and that’s part of the reason why we are doing it. You can contribute to the project here if you like our mission (and take back your contribution at any time!). In exchange for your contribution, you will receive governance tokens (more on this later). We did not give tokens to our friends or investors and nothing has been pre-mined. Everyone is on the same playing field. This decentralized burger chain belongs to everyone involved. Join the community in our Discord!
Our team came up with this idea after seeing the success MrBeast’s own burger launch. Instead of one person benefiting from a burger brand, what if a community of people could benefit? This is why we turned to the web3 world to explore this idea further. We realized that through a DAO, this crazy idea could be a reality.
A DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization and is all the rage now. A lot has been published about DAOs recently so do a quick Google search and you’ll find a lot of articles. The key behind our mission is this: give everyone who participates a way to own part of this burger chain and shape its operational direction.
First off, everyone loves burgers.
Ok, that may not be true, but it’s a pretty common food item you’ll find on any menu around the world.
Practically speaking, the burger is a relatively simple food item to create with the help of a cloud kitchen. A cloud kitchen is a restaurant that doesn’t have a dine-in option. It only creates food on behalf of brands (like MrBeast). In fact, some MrBeast burgers are produced at Red Robins around the United States (in this scenario, Red Robin is the cloud kitchen).
As a result of the pandemic over the last two years, many restaurants had to shift their business entirely to delivery and takeaway. You saw chefs and restauranteurs experiment with home cooking kits and classes. Uber Eats, Doordash, and all the major delivery services became critical workers overnight. In France, there is a completely separate à emporter (takeout) menu from the dine-in menu.
While owning a token or NFT in the web3 world is not the same as buying stock in McDonald’s (yet), we believe it can get pretty close with this model. There are no c-suite executives or private jets or expensive offices we need to pay for. The profits from this burger chain go directly to the community of contributors in the form of the token.
This confluence of factors means we can create a burger chain where the community who participates in BurgerDAO can own a piece of the burger chain, own tokens that have monetary value, contribute ideas and shape its operational direction, and yes, eat real burgers.
If you have an idea for a new restaurant and want to open a brick and mortar location (physical space), the odds are stacked against you. To fund your operations, you’ll have to look to investors, friends and family, and crowdfunding to get the capital you need to get your restaurant off the ground.
The three main costs associated with starting a restaurant are COGs (the actual cost of food for your dishes), labor (people working in your restaurant), and overhead. Overhead consists of a variety of fixed and variable expenses like rent, food permits, marketing fees, packaging, and franchise fees (opening a Popeye’s, for example, requires you to pay a $50K/year franchise fee). As an owner, your take home pay is not that great either:
The range for restaurant profit margins typically spans anywhere from 0% – 15%, but the average restaurant profit margin usually falls between 3% – 5% percent. (source)
Given the high cost of operating and owning a restaurant, it wasn’t a surprise to see a chart like this once the pandemic hit:
Cloud kitchens removed a lot of the overhead associated with operating a restaurant. A cloud kitchen is usually an existing kitchen at a restaurant that is able to create some food item solely for the purpose of delivery or takeout. There can be multiple brands of food created under a cloud kitchen. A ghost kitchen, on the other hand, usually consists of one brand but that brand utilizes multiple kitchens (hence the term ghost kitchen or dark kitchen) to create the items on the menu. Wow Bao is an example of a brand that sends its pre-packaged food to kitchens at multiple restaurants. The restaurants can then sell Wow Bao to its customers.
With cloud kitchens, you don’t need to have an idea for a restaurant anymore. All you need is the big food idea.
This drastically reduces the cost for getting your idea off the ground.
The rise of delivery apps also make it easier to get the food from the cloud kitchen to the actual consumer. Today, these apps contribute to 15% of restaurant market share, but is expected to grow to 20% in a few years:
We’re always told to “go local” and support your local restaurants and chefs. With cloud kitchens and delivery apps, we can actually support “local” food entrepreneurs and chefs around the world. The BurgerDAO token is a way to bring this power back to the people who are coming up with new innovative food ideas.
You’ve probably seen #foodtok on TikTok where people share their favorite recipes and food trends. TikTok and Virtual Dining Concepts (a company that helps operate cloud kitchens) recently announced a partnership to turn these viral food trends into actual products for consumers. It isn’t clear who will get the credit (and revenue) from the sales of these food items, but we think a good chunk of the money will go to ByteDance (Chinese company who owns TikTok).
While this is a step in the right direction, we believe the food creators, entrepreneurs, and chefs should be the main people benefiting from these ideas. Not ByteDance or Virtual Dining Concepts.
The BurgerDAO token will give you and other contributors “ownership” over the restaurant and food creation process. The reason “ownership” is in quotes is because you don’t have legal ownership in the traditional sense of an LLC or Corporation. However, through the BurgerDAO community, we will collectively make the important decisions about this burger chain that would traditionally be left to a few c-suite executives.
At a high level, this is the value we believe BurgerDAO token holders receive:
We’re not lawyers and don’t pretend to be ones on the Internet. BurgerDAO is still in active development so the logistics and operations of the DAO may change at any time. The goal of our team is to take care of all the behind-the-scenes grunt work so that BurgerDAO runs seamlessly for you and the community, and juicy burgers get created in the process 🍲.
BurgerDAO is still early so if you decide to contribute, here are a few things to keep in mind:
This is a rough initial roadmap for where we want to take BurgerDAO. This can all change as more members join the community (did we mention the Discord 😜 )? Early on, we believe the Discord will be where most decisions will be made. For now, think of the Discord as the mechanism for making decentralized decisions.
For this milestone, we want to get the first burger restaurant up and running. The major deliverables for this milestone:
Cost: $1,000,000. Will it actually cost $1M? Probably not. But we know opening a restaurant is tough (see above) even with the advent of cloud kitchens. While the DAO will help us make decisions, we will be the ones working with the cloud kitchen, testing ingredients, pay for marketing tests, and other administrative expenses. Opening a basic deli or pizza joint (brick and mortar location) costs between $200-$500K depending on the location just to give you a frame of reference.
There will be a lot of experimentation during this milestone and we hope the community will help us work through the kinks.
Once we have the 1st decentralized burger joint set up, we want to scale up:
Cost: $5,000,000. With a full-time staff, you’re now thinking about paying salaries, benefits, and the works. A physical restaurant is costly (as mentioned above), so this funding goal doesn’t see completely outrageous. Of course, token and NFT holders would get early access and preferential food rights (e.g. free food) at this physical restaurant 😃 (check out what Gary Vaynerchuk is doing with his “NFT restaurant” in NYC).
Now we’re grooving. Milestone 3 is a big one and we would essentially be competing with major food chains at this point:
Cost: $20,000,000. At this milestone, we would expect the cash flow from the decentralized restaurants to fund existing operations. The DAO will be fully functioning and will help govern all development of the decentralized and brick and mortar restaurants. We’ll obviously need people to work and manage the restaurants on-site, so there are some things the DAO won’t be able to do.
Again, these are very rough milestones. Each task within each milestone could be a mini milestone in itself. We hope you’ll join us on this ambitious journey to bring 🍔 and decision-making to the masses.
Have you ever wanted to own or start a restaurant? BurgerDAO is the web3 way of doing it. Sure you could buy a stock of McDonald’s, but do you have a say in how the menu is created? How crispy the fries are? Of course not.
There is so much being thrown around these days about tokens, airdrops, NFTs, DAOs, and the metaverse. BurgerDAO is an effort to bridge the digital token world with the physical world. The end product is an actual burger delivered to your doorstep where you control the creation of the item.
Our team has decades of experience building successful restaurants, scaled technology products, and building communities. We believe in giving individual creators the ability to have an impact on the world and letting them benefit from their creations. BurgerDAO is the culmination of our professional experience and passions to bring food and restaurant creation to a community of people instead of a board room of insiders.
You can contribute to our treasury in exchange for tokens at our Juicebox:
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