After a few very successful years, Usher decided to open a second bistro. With no support from the banks, Usher launched a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter and Twitter.
Securing more than £100,000 thanks to 891 backers who made pledges of between £10 and £5000, Burnt Truffle (name decided and voted for by his Twitter following) opened its doors in Heswall on the Wirral in July 2015.
Following Burnt Truffle’s success, Gary launched another Kickstarter campaign early in 2016 to open a third restaurant, receiving nearly £60,000 in pledges, almost 20% more than the original target. Hispi opened its doors in Didsbury, South Manchester in October 2016.
Unable to rest on his laurels and following a hugely successful pop-up event, Usher launched a third crowdfunding campaign in May 2017 to launch Liverpool based Wreckfish. A month down the line and UK crowdfunding records broken, over £200,000 was raised by 1,522 backers. Wreckfish opened its doors in October 2017.
His fourth crowdfunding campaign took place in May 2018 where Pinion in Prescot became the fastest UK based food project on Kickstarter to Hit $100k, raising £1 every second for 24 hours. Pinion opened in September 2018.
See the trailer for the crowdfunding of Pinion below…
Gary’s most recent crowdfunding efforts to open KALA in Manchester again broke crowdfunding records, where £100k was raised in just 11 hours, making it the world’s fasted funded restaurant project on Kickstarter. KALA opened on King Street in May 2019.
High profile people in the food and restaurant industry-backed all five campaigns including Tom Kerridge, Angela Hartnett, Neil Rankin, Daniel Clifford and Simon Rimmer.
Gary has won numerous awards throughout his career, including ‘Chef of the Year’, is recognised as one of the most powerful people in hospitality by The Caterer and is a member of the Observer Food Monthly judging panel.
His restaurants hold several AA rosettes and all six feature in The Good Food Guide 2020. He is also subject of a Channel 4 documentary, ‘The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution’,