What would you do to save your restaurant? Raise money through Kickstarter? Get attention of the local news outlets? Well, Nguyen Tran, the eccentric and enthusiastic head chef at Starry Kitchen, would go even further. Starry Kitchen is the underground Malaysian comfort food “restaurant” in Los Angeles that started out of Tran’s apartment. The restaurant is in trouble, and Tran is looking for your help. If you donate $10,000 to the cause via their newly-announced Kickstarter, Tran has promised to get a tattoo of you, the generous backer, riding a unicorn. It’s unlikely to happen, but it definitely shows Trans’s commitment to the cause.
Starry Kitchen started in Tran’s apartment as a way to showcase his wife’s cooking skills. But soon, the intimate dinners turned into bustling dinner services. Eventually, it got the attention of the press, and according to their Kickstarter page, their apartment became “the most popular Asian Fusion restaurant in Los Angeles.” But technically, the restaurant was illegal in the eyes of the health department, and was shut down. After finally becoming a brick and mortar spot in 2010 and having to move the restaurant three times, Tran and his team are asking for $500,000 to help save his restaurant and stay in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, and the whole campaign is called #SaveOurBalls. If this doesn’t work, the restaurant will shut down for good.
"My life is on the line right now," Nguyen Tran said to LA Weekly. "At the end of this month, we either make the money and open a restaurant, or we close down Starry Kitchen forever. There's no Plan B. This is the 'go big or go home' moment. It's very scary, but it's exhilarating and it's liberating, too."
All of which means, if five people decide to donate $10,000 (which will still only cover one-sixth of the cost), Tran will have five tattoos on his body of people riding unicorns. And that is what we call commitment to your business.