A chef has launched a £10,000 crowdfunding campaign to open his first restaurant in London after a video of him went viral on social media platform TikTok.
As of 24 October, Davide Del Piano had raised almost £3,000 on GoFundMe four days after he began the campaign.
He had starred in a TikTok video on 24 September with entrepreneur and content creator Simon Squibb, who has 1.1m followers on the platform.
In the short clip, which has since accumulated 40m views, Del Piano is randomly stopped in the street and asked about his dream to open a restaurant. It ends with Del Piano agreeing to host Squibb and his friends for a Come Dine With Me style dinner.
Del Piano told The Caterer: "I absolutely did not expect all of these viewers. Tik Tok gave me the strength to start this project, thanks to all the support that I received and visibility as well.
"I'm trying to raise £10,000 to start the journey and in 24 hours since launching, nearly 50 people have already donated and [there have been] over 300,000 views on the update across social media."
His restaurant, which is to be named the Black Pearl, will offer modern fusion cuisine that experiments with different cultures of food.
Del Piano revealed on his GoFundMe page that opening a restaurant had been his passion since he was young and that he wants to provide "fair hospitality mixed with great food and atmosphere".
Squibb, the creator of the video, has been producing content around being an entrepreneur for the past two years. He said that his meeting with Del Piano in the initial video was completely "random" and un-staged – almost an act of "fate".
Speaking to The Caterer, Squibb said: "Davide's charismatic and authentic and I think people are really looking for a bit of positive news. Despite all the doom and gloom, anything is possible still."
He said that TikTok poses a new opportunity for restaurateurs at a challenging time in the industry, adding: "We've made the restaurant famous in the UK before they've even opened the doors. You can just go on social media and share your story and you can become famous. That fame leads to being able to power up your dream and having a following or a community that want to help you."
Squibb has described Del Piano's cooking as "unbelievable" and rather like "Heston Blumenthal mixed with Gordon Ramsay [style] down-to-earth food".
Del Piano will need to raise £30,000 to open the Black Pearl but is "going to start with" £10,000.
The crowdfunding page for the Black Pearl can be viewed here.