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White Castle gives $25K in NFT proceeds to employees

The chain has been selling one-of-a-kind digital images for a year and will put most of the earnings into its Team Member Relief Fund.
White Castle NFT
White Castle is selling 5,001 NFTs in the Sliderverse. / Image courtesy of White Castle

White Castle is turning nonfungible tokens into employee aid. 

The 350-unit slider chain on Friday announced that it’s giving $25,000 from the sale of NFTs to its Team Member Relief Fund for helping staff in need.

White Castle began selling the NFTs one year ago to commemorate its 100th anniversary. The 5,001 unique images feature pixelated renderings of the chain’s sliders, fries and other menu items. They were created by artist Che-Yu Wu and are available on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Current prices, listed in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, range from about $8 to more than $400.

The chain said the $25,000 donation represents a “significant portion” of the net proceeds from the NFTs. 

"One of our primary responsibilities as a family-owned business is to make sure we improve our community, and that starts with our team members," said Erin Shannon, corporate relations manager at White Castle, in a statement. "At the heart of this innovative technical collaboration is making sure the soul of our company, the team members, know we have their back in their time of unanticipated need."

White Castle’s Team Member Relief Fund was set up by former CEO Bill Ingram in 2012 following Hurricane Sandy. Team members facing unexpected hardship can apply for relief grants of up to $1,500 from the fund.

Many restaurants, including Applebee’s and Domino’s, sold NFTs in 2022 as the trend took off. They’re primarily for promotional purposes, though White Castle had planned from the start to give NFT proceeds to its charity.

The chain’s team member fund could be in for future NFT windfalls: According to OpenSea, just 1,285 of the 5,001 images have been minted, or published, so far, and 524 people have bought one.

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