On April 9 of this year, Bored & Hungry, the themed restaurant of the well-known NFT project Bored Ape, opened in Long Beach, California, as a flash store for 90 days.
Customers can pay for their meals in cryptocurrency or dollars, and having cryptocurrency or related NFTs also entitles them to perks like free set meal combinations, which is Bored & Hungry's biggest gimmick.
▲ Image from: Twitter @BoredNHngry
But some time ago, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times found, Bored & Hungry only accepts payment in dollars, $9.25 for a burger and $3.50 for a Bored Ape-themed soda.
Kevin Seo, co-founder of Bored & Hungry, responded that "cryptocurrency payments have been temporarily shut down due to a system upgrade, and the restaurant can now pay with ETH (Ether) and $APE (ApeCoin)".
The co-founder came out with 'systemic reasons' to clarify, but the previous use of only US dollars was likely related to the downturn in the crypto market.
▲ Image from: Coinbase
Vice reports that after this year's bitcoin second steep drop, Coinbase, the most traded cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., laid off 1,100 employees (about 18 percent of the total), thus fending off the economic turmoil affecting the cryptocurrency market and the tech industry.
The cryptocurrencies ETH and $APE, accepted by Bored & Hungry, are down about 23% and 17%, respectively, from their highs last year. The industry as a whole is estimated to be worth less than a third of what it was at the beginning of 2022.
From a restaurant business perspective, it's human nature to stop using them instead of dollars.
▲ Image via: The New Yorker
Bored & Hungry's soul stalwart, the 'Bored Ape' NFT, has also experienced a drop in price, with the cheapest NFT in the line falling below $100,000 for the first time since last summer. Typically, each of them is worth at least six figures, with the best even selling for millions of dollars.
Aside from the bad market, the ease of paying with cryptocurrencies is a not-so-subtle problem.
When the restaurant first opened, one staff member noted that it was theoretically possible to pay for meals with cryptocurrency, but the process was relatively cumbersome and customers tended to overlook it.
Interestingly, one crypto enthusiast met with other crypto investors while waiting for Bored & Hungry to open and bought Ether, but still chose to pay in dollars when dining.
▲ Image from: hypbeast
Going back to the original idea of Bored & Hungry restaurant, it was really to prove the usefulness of NFT in reality and to remove the stigma of "it's just a jpg". However, the NFT is not a random jpg taken from a screenshot, it's more like a digital certificate of ownership for a certain original jpg.
Restaurant owner Andy Nguyen said at the opening.
We're building an authentic experience, which is our gift to the Web3 community, but we're also showing the naysayers that, hey, we leveraged IP and we turned it into a business - a brand and ecosystem for the restaurant industry.
On the one hand, elements of the 'boring ape' are everywhere in the restaurant, appearing in cups and boxes, as well as in stand-up signs for photos, like a mini exhibition.
▲ Image from: Bored & Hungry
On the other hand, marketing around NFT in restaurants does attract spending and leads to more people learning about cryptocurrency and sustaining interactions with fellow NFTers.
And one crypto enthusiast who has dined at Bored & Hungry said.
Yes, Ether is a currency in which you can exchange NFTs and other things ...... but as far as buying food is concerned, probably not. People want to keep their Ether, they don't want to use it.
So it seems that reality is reality and virtual is virtual, people don't want to buy food with cryptocurrency and food doesn't have to be tied to cryptocurrency, crypto projects are instead always associated with speculative bubbles.
▲ Image from: Shutterstock
It's worth noting that dozens of NFT and crypto projects had been accused of "rug pulls" (rug pulls) - where developers take investors' money and then quickly shut down the project and run.
Crypto enthusiast Gregory Brown notes, "If I didn't make money from it, I wouldn't believe that I could put $100 in and make $1,000 quickly. Of course, you can also lose everything and someone will lose, that's how the game works."