Ever win a contest? How about a restaurant? Me neither. But someone will do both when the owners of Pace Food + Drink in Santa Barbara give away their restaurant to their favorite entrant on June 1, 2014. I thought this was a strange choice for what to do with a successful restaurant you no longer want to own, but it certainly is intriguing.
What do you need to do to enter? First, put up 500 big ones — that’s right, the entry fee is $500 just to submit your info. A steep price, perhaps, but the grand prize has a value quite a bit higher:
The winner will receive:
- A fully operational, 50 seat restaurant with an open kitchen and a beer and wine license
- The lease paid for up the first 12 months (a value of $83,000)
- $20,000 in working capital to help cover expenses for the first 12 months (at the current owners’ discretion)
- 120 hours of mentoring, if requested, from the current owner/chef Jeff Snyder, who has over 35 years of experience in the industry
Not a bad deal, really. To enter, individuals or groups are to submit a 3-minute (max) video and a one-page essay describing how/why they are the right fit for the restaurant. From the submissions, the current owners and a panel of local restaurateurs-made-judges will narrow the lot down to ten finalists. From there, five entrants will each take the reigns at the restaurant for one night (respectively), and then a winner will be chosen.
Is this all fodder for the next big reality show? Will there be so many entries paying $500 each that they’ll make up for the money they would have gotten from simply selling the place? Are these people billionaires just doing this for fun? I’m not entirely sure. But I bet there are more than a few people out there pretty excited about the prospect of winning their very own restaurant in Central California…