What’s in a name? Gary Usher’s new crowd campaign

Chef-entrepreneur Gary Usher, who has used record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns to fund the expansion of his northwestern group Elite Bistros, has turned to crowdsourcing in a new direction – this time to find a new name for his Liverpool restaurant, Wreckfish.

In a video posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Gary has appealed for suggestions to replace the name Wreckfish, which he believes may be damaging the six-year-old restaurant’s prospects.

He said: “It’s been so bloody hard here in the last 12 months, and we are not busy enough – we need more people here to surviveIt’s a ridiculous name… everybody thinks it’s a fish restaurant, and that’s a deterrent for a lot of people.”

The restaurant has new furniture, a new general manager and chef, and the facade will be refurbished in the coming weeks. Gary says he is “unbelievably confident in the product… This place is absolutely ready to go.”

Wreckfish opened in 2017 in what had been a derelict building in the centre of Liverpool that was restored thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than £200,000 – the UK record for a restaurant on Kickstarter, and the third largest sum in the world.

Gary opened his first restaurant, Sticky Walnut in Hoole near Chester, on a shoestring budget in 2011. He turned to Kickstarter to launch follow-ups Burnt Truffle (on the Wirral) and Hispi (Didsbury) before Wreckfish. Pinion in Prescot came next with £50,000 raised and finally, last year, Kala in Manchester, for which the £100,000 raised in 11 hours set a world record for the fastest funded restaurant project on the platform.

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