We all know the next unicorn could come from anywhere: Crypto, NFTs, The Metaverse. But before you decide to shoot your shot on those examples of things that don’t have any logical value, I ask “What about The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company?”
Now, I get it. You’re here to risk it all on totally digital experiences without a shred of realistic worth, and I’m talking about shrimp. But hear me out. You think expecting people to push a fake shopping cart down the aisles of a fake Walmart sounds risky? What about expecting crowds of people to wait for a table in the Huntington Beach branch of a global chain of fast-casual seafood restaurants based on the 1994 Robert Zemeckis film Forrest Gump, in which Tom Hanks plays a man with developmental difficulties who suffers the death of his mother and girlfriend after enduring the terrors of the Vietnam War.
Only you have the true vision to see The Metaverse for the opportunity it really is. Everyone else sees PlayStation 2 graphics. But you see dollar signs! Because you are a tech soothsayer, obviously. But what if you didn’t need pixels and bits and code and algorithms? What if all you needed were bricks, mortar, a deep fryer, and a cursory knowledge of a movie where AIDS and suicide are not overtly stated, but heavily implied?
As investors, we’re innovators. No risk, no reward! And The Metaverse is truly a risky venture that only the bold have the courage to explore. So, ask yourself this: are you bold enough to put your capital into dozens of high-definition screens playing the scene where Forrest’s legless, PTSD-suffering friend Dan rages against a tempest at an unseen and apparently uninterested god on a loop while waiters in suspenders hurry fun-fried appetizers to families with young sons and daughters?
I see your faces. You’re asking, “Ok, but why does it have to be Forrest Gump”? Why not risk it all on a restaurant themed on another bummer blockbuster? Why not I Am Sam-wich or Sophie’s Choice of Salad or Soup? Why not Schindler’s List and Bar and Grill?
No. It had to be Forrest. It had to be Bubba. It had to be sad and ableist and kinda racist at times and blindly unapologetic about the flaws of viewing American history unflinchingly through rose-colored glasses. Why? For the same reason it had to be Meta. Because fuck you, you’re not a visionary.
We’re the guys who saw a drawing of an ape smoking a cigarette and said “sold.” So why not a real restaurant based on a fictional shrimp supply company that’s really just a small part of a movie in which a man incapable of understanding the lasting ramifications of his life’s only moments of physical pleasure, is then later left to raise the resulting child on his own.
Now we’re playing 4D chess.
The real power of The Metaverse rests in convincing actual people to spend their time, attention, and finite earnings on fakey shit we make up that can’t possibly be quantifiably considered “real” or “lasting.” And that rules.
But imagine the stones on a real human being who once convinced the board of directors of the Landry’s Hospitality Parent Group that the best environment for vacationing masses to enjoy Cajun, Coconut, and new Island Grilled Garlic-Glazed Shrimp is one based on a movie that is almost two decades old and mostly about how life is an unyielding series of hurdles and obstacles as you watch everyone around you slowly die?
I’d hitch a ride on that guy’s moon rocket!
As Forrest himself would say, “I may not be a smart man, but I know a good ROI when I hear one.” But in case you need further incentive, here's the cherry on top: our newest menu innovation, “Lt. Dan’s Magic Chicken Legs.”
Now, who's ready to invest?