The world is increasingly becoming more digital and restaurants need to explore new opportunities to stay relevant. Read on to learn more about the new opportunity that is the metaverse.
How Restaurants Can Tap into the Metaverse
The restaurant industry is under pressure as the world increasingly goes digital. As a result, restaurants are constantly looking for new and inventive ways to stand out.
While there are already technological advancements that allow food and beverage (F&B) companies to integrate digital features and services in the real world, many restaurants are taking one step further by turning to the metaverse.
Restaurant chains are entering the great unknown, exploring the metaverse and using it as another way to increase customer engagement and boost sales. It’s the latest endeavour by F&B companies to reach potential customers wherever they are.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a digital world that exists parallel to our own. It is a place where people can interact with each other and with digital objects realistically. Additionally, the metaverse is a place where businesses can create their own virtual spaces which they can use for marketing, training, or even sales.
Inside the metaverse, users interact and explore the metaverse world by using an avatar. The metaverse can also be seen to connect the virtual and real worlds where, in the future, technology can seamlessly enhance users’ lives.
Virtual and augmented reality are the technologies most commonly associated with the metaverse. There’s also metaverse hospitality which refers to different hospitality offerings available in the metaverse, such as virtual entertainment, VR experiences, and more.
How Can Restaurant Owners Use the Metaverse?
As the metaverse is still largely unexplored, it opens many opportunities and potential for businesses to bridge the geographical space between them and their customers. For example, restaurants can create a virtual world where customers can create memorable experiences, remove friction, and provide opportunities for interactions.
There have already been activities like virtual concerts and other performances in the metaverse hospitality world. For example, some companies provided their audience with virtual concerts through VR experiences. Meanwhile, others have explored the idea of virtual concerts in video games like Fortnite.
By taking advantage of VR technology, restaurants can provide the necessary tools for customers to fully explore their menu before booking. For example, this can include an option to see how a meal is prepared or explore the ambience.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the biggest hospitality marketing trends shifted their focus to bringing outdoor experiences into the home environment. Through the metaverse, restaurants can enable their customers to place their order in a virtual restaurant, interact with employees who are also represented by avatars of their own, and then pick up their takeaway in the actual restaurant.
Are there any Food Chains in the Metaverse?
Some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry are already using the metaverse to connect with customers and boost sales. For example, McDonald’s has created a virtual reality game that lets players experience what it’s like to work in one of their restaurants.
Other companies that have also ventured into the metaverse like:
- Wendy’s: Through their Wendyverse, they boast unique online games to connect and stay in contact with new generations. Customers can order virtual food in the Wendyverse Town Square Central, and in the Wendyverse Partnership Plaza, users can play games with a unique Wendy’s twist. Besides that, online customers can also get discounts and win Sausage or Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits for one dollar in real life.
- Chipotle: In 2022, the burrito chain launched its Burrito Builder on the gaming platform Roblox. Users can earn Burrito Bucks by building and rolling a virtual burrito. They can then exchange their Burrito Buck for a free entrée code or exchange them with Roblox gift cards. And players in the U.S. are eligible to participate in the real-time leaderboard, where the top 5 players each day from April 7 to April 13 will win free burritos for a year.
- Jimmy Johns: As a sandwich giant, Jimmy John’s has gotten in on it too. In fact, they tried to connect the virtual to the real by inviting customers to create a custom meta-sandwich and then allowing them to pick it up in real life.
Exploring the opportunity presented by the metaverse for marketing and growth is vital to staying relevant and connected with the customer base. A study shows that Gen-Z customers spend more time socializing in the metaverse than in real life. Therefore, having an online presence in the metaverse will allow you to connect with younger generations.
With so many possibilities, it’s no wonder the restaurant industry is also hopping on the train to the metaverse. The metaverse offers a unique way to connect with customers and widen your reach. So if you’re looking for ways to stand out from the crowd—the metaverse is an excellent place to start.
How Can Restaurants Meet Customers in the Metaverse?
The metaverse is still a vast and largely unexplored space, so there are no set rules for how the F&B industry can interact with customers. This means that restaurants have many new paths and opportunities to explore.
Here are some opportunities to consider:
- Offer Virtual Restaurant Tours: Customers can explore your menu and facilities through VR experiences. You can also offer ways for users to make purchases during these digital tours.
- Cooking classes: You can provide cooking classes for your customers to help them learn how to make healthy meals or guide them in making certain meals on your menu.
- Use games to connect with customers: Like the restaurants mentioned above, you can also create a virtual world where users can play games in your facilities and learn more about your restaurant.
- Create Loyalty programs & Promotions: You can make digital versions of your physical locations in the metaverse where customers can walk in, sign up for loyalty programs, and check for exclusive deals and promotions.
- Do Online ordering & Reservations: Like the loyalty program, you create a digital version of your restaurant where customers can walk in and place an online order or make reservations. Then these orders or reservations translate to real orders or reservations in the real world.
Explore the Unknown and Reach Success
The metaverse is still an unknown world to many, but while it’s still on the rise, it’s perfect for restaurants like yours to venture into the virtual world. Take advantage of the new opportunity it offers to connect with the old and new generations, and eventually, help your restaurant further its success by increasing your customer reach.
A way to truly maximize the opportunities by metaverse is by knowing what products and offers you can promote in your virtual world. Having access to your restaurant’s real-time data and analytics enables you to make data-driven decisions and helps your virtual world increase its chances for success. There are many online tools that were designed specifically to help restaurants improve their overall business success, like Mosaic Solutions.
Mosaic Solutions is a cloud-based restaurant management solution that gives you access to real-time analytics and streamlines your restaurant operations on one platform. You can use Mosaic Solutions to help you navigate your restaurant’s ups and downs and decide on how you can create your own restaurant in the metaverse.
Start your restaurant journey with Mosaic Solutions’ POS software solution and so much more. Contact us today!