Five reasons for crowdfunding from the Quora article listed on Eater:
What they’re trying to do is really, really hard. Making fast food using whole ingredients at a price point that doesn’t deter the usual fast food customer is hard. And the startup costs for making such a wild dream a reality are pretty astronomical. It's a lot more up-front money than what's even being asked for, that's for sure. Rest assured, the restaurants will not be entirely crowd funded.
It’s a public good. Beyond the food being offered as an alternative to corporate-backed fast food, Patterson and Choi are planning on building on-site commissary kitchens into their restaurants that are available as teaching and learning tools to the local communities.
They want to connect with the world. Instead of just throwing up one more faceless restaurant (even in an underserved community), the duo want to actively involve their neighbors, and get them to think about food differently. What better way to involve those people then to give them a financial interest in seeing it succeed?
They’re losing money on the perks anyway, so why not engage with the community. Many of the paid perks are designed to lose money (his example: $25 gets you a $25 gift card to Loco’l AND a digital recipe book, meaning with overhead and processing they’re in the red). However, they increase engagement, getting people into the storefronts and talking with their community.
Regular investing hides lots of gross details. Sometimes chasing a big wallet means needed to come up with concessions that make investors happy. Patterson and Choi didn’t want to concede anything or feel like they had to bow down to someone else’s money by making big changes to their concept. Raising money allows them to do things their way, which (hopefully) matches up with the way that the crowdsourcing crowd feels, too. More good vibes for all.