OPENING EARLY JULY, 2012!!!!
The team at EXP is committed to bringing you food, drinks, and video games all in one place. Our vision is one of changing how people view videogames; with your help we hope to achieve just that and more.
(EXP event footage in the video was a special, ticketed event at a liquor primary venue. EXP is first and foremost a sit-down restaurant, but will have the ability to host those events.)
IndieGoGo is a crowdfunding platform that is awesome and Canadian-friendly. Kickstarter, for example, is for registered US Citizens only, so we're unable to use them for our campaign. Additionally, IndieGoGo allows 'flexible' funding because our restaurant will launch and every dollar will be used wisely even if we don't meet our funding target.
Brian originally spearheaded the idea and vision of EXP 3 years ago, and found two partners who shared in his vision: Julianna and Azlan. Together they formed the ownership of the company and began the long road towards opening up EXP.
To test the idea and see if there was a larger desire, the EXP team held events under the 'EXP Entertainment' header. We had 'Gaming Night of Awesome' and 'Gaming on the Rocks' (http://bit.ly/dhW2fz) as the biggest ones; there were obstacles along the way but we learned a lot and garnered valuable feedback.
We enlisted the help of restaurant consultants, The Fifteen Group (http://www.thefifteengroup.com) to help us avoid some of the most common mistakes in opening a restaurant and give us a solid financial picture for our first 5 years. Alongside advice and tips from many of our friends who are restaurateurs, we took the plunge into crafting this venue for the gaming community.
We searched and found some of the best and experienced people in the hospitality industry. The Chefs, Miranda and James, have 20 years of combined experience and have been on the ground floor with other restaurant openings. Our bartender, Jimi, has nearly a decade of his own experience in bartending, mixing and management as well. We're incredibly lucky to have found such passionate, dedicated, and professional people to welcome on to the team. Their experience in what equipment we need and what processes to follow and avoid will shape the amazing experience at EXP.
We locked down a lease at 309 West Pender in July of last year, hoping to be open for October. We were hit by delays in engineering and permit approvals. Heavy costs and misleading quotes in the early stages set us up for a very rough path. We entered this lease assuming we would be clear for funds, but reality weighed in soon enough. Leaving behind our contractor that led us astray, our landlord offered his help and expertise. John was an accomplished carpenter and project manager, and because he knew the building inside and out, he decided to be awesome and take the management role over construction.
We are now in a situation where EXP might be able to open if we delay payments, but our credit would deteriorate and our funds would be too thin to operate effectively. This is why we are here at IndieGoGo asking for the help of the community. As Randy Pausch has said, 'the walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.'
We aren't about to give up now. We will and have been doing this intelligently, carefully, and collaboratively. Hopefully you'll be there with us. :)
We want EXP to be the community hub for all things video games in Vancouver and beyond. We want to destroy the stigma that video gamers aren't social and live in the basement. We are highly motivated and passionate individuals that love this artistic medium for all that it has given us over the years.
We hope to unite the people who love games with the people that make them and the people who want to make them. We hope to educate and enrich people's knowledge of games and sustain the local Indie community as much as possible. We want to have a community where fundraisers for causes are constant, fruitful, and joyful through the giving nature of gamers everywhere. We want to be something more than just a restaurant; we want to be a part of the future of gaming and giving.
We have invested $250,000 into EXP. After all of our rough patches and carefully budgeting, we need $50,000 to open smoothly. After a successfully funded campaign, IndieGoGo takes 4% which leaves us with $46,500. Costs from the perks will be approximately $7000. This leaves us with just under $40,000.
Our opening inventory costs are $18,000.
Our opening staff costs including training and pre-opening events are $9,000.
Our rent for the first month is $7,000.
The equipment, furniture, point-of-sale system, and A/V stuff will all be leased so our first down payments will be approximately $6,000.
This adds up nicely to $40,000.
We are still able to squeeze by and open with heavy credit implications, and volunteer work, so any funds we gain are still very usable. EXP will open... but we just aren't sure how long we will be able to stay open without a solid cushion.
For the cost of one night out with your friends, our perks are definitely worth it. Never wait in line? Custom, engraved glasses that only you will ever drink out of? Your name or slogan engraved on the tables? A specialized drink you get to name and get 50% off of forever? These are the types of things we all dreamed about after being regulars at a venue for many, many years. This can be yours immediately in one of the most unique restaurants in Vancouver.
We have two streams of prizes: one for the locals and one for the merchandise-seeking out-of-towners. We hope you'll take a look! Once funding is complete, we will contact you for your mailing address or you can simply pick everything up at EXP for your convenience, should that be easier.
We will have a rewards card that gives you 100 XP (Experience Points) for every dollar you spend. For contributing, we will add a multiplier to your point gain which will allow you to Level Up faster and get more discounts and free stuff!
Depending on how many people contribute, we will section off a large piece of the wall space in EXP and put the names (or Screen Names) of every contributor on the ‘CREDITS’ wall.
If you have any questions about any of the prizes, please comment and we'll get up an FAQ based on those questions ASAP.
If you can't contribute, no worries! Please spread the word via every social network ever! Sharing is super easy with IndieGoGo's quick links above. We truly believe in the power of social media and we know it is the best way to get relevant information to the right people. Thanks so much in spreading the link and making this happen. :)
Please click on the team's icons below to find out more about who they are, what their experience is, and what they are doing to make EXP as awesome as possible.