Billy Crean’s first year in business has been a roller coaster ride. But Qoin has enabled him to survive the challenges and build a promising restaurant on the Gold Coast.

Billy realised a dream when he launched The Rusty Barrel whiskey and tapas bar in December 2019. But within months, the COVID-19 nightmare forced a temporary closure that almost shattered the dream.

Offering take-away meals wasn’t feasible for the fledgling business, which was just starting to establish a name. Varsity Lakes was “a bit of a ghost town” with uni students and office employees staying home.

So when the doors re-opened in June, the frustrated restaurant owner struggled to juggle cash flow, manage debt and attract customers. The future was in limbo.

Image: Rusty Barrel website

Qoin was a turning point

The turning point came shortly afterwards when a Bartercard agent encouraged Billy to sign up as a Qoin merchant.

Billy believes the move was a game changer that helped to keep the dream alive. In fact, sales increased 30% over the year.

“I definitely don’t think we would have survived without having that secondary income stream,” he says. “It put us in a position to re-launch after COVID.”

Image: Rusty Barrel website

Community helps business flourish

The Rusty Barrel has attracted new customers via Qoin directory ads, plus word of mouth and Facebook recommendations from merchants, agents and others from the Qoin community.

“We’re averaging on 40% of our weekly sales on Qoin so it’s pretty big,” Billy says.

“I don’t think really a day goes by that we don’t have at least one person in on Qoin.”

In addition, Qoin pays for entertainment such as live gigs and trivia nights. It covers graphic design work for marketing, the website and menus. Billy says being able to trade it on the BTX is also a bonus.

While fresh produce is sourced from local farmers’ markets, Billy says he recognises the value of doing business in Qoin circles and is looking for a crypto-friendly butcher.

“I think being conservative there’s probably $500 worth a week that I’m not spending in cash that I’m actually spending in Qoin…I’d like it to be more,” he says.

Image: Rusty Barrel website

Crypto has a key role in the future

This is Billy’s first venture into the crypto world and he’s encouraged with Qoin’s potential, compared with some other digital currencies. He says Qoin is already well accepted for everyday use on the Gold Coast.

“It’s the way the world is progressing as well and everyone is eager to jump on board with these cryptocurrencies,” he says.

“I think a venue that doesn’t is going to be left behind and just lose the opportunities.”

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