How European Restauranteurs Can Use the Metaverse
It's all about creating customer engagement, customer satisfaction, and increasing profits.
Okay, what is the metaverse? According to a report from The Wall Street Journal (April 5), metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual environment in which people can use digital avatars to work, play, or shop. These virtual 3D space platforms may seem like a few years away for European restauranteurs, but establishing a presence now should increase brand awareness, attract more customers, and increase profits Restaurant Technology News.
So, among the first experimenters on this virtual 3D space are the European restauranteurs who offer a new and fun way to reward customers and to increase brand awareness. Those hungry, tech-savvy customers love their virtual interactions to order food or drinks by playing a game to collect virtual bucks or even by going on a winery tour with friends (no inebriated tasting or driving) as a way of social interaction.
Design a game like Chipotle's with Roblox on the metaverse to build a burrito described in its press statement: "Players can drag and drop favorite ingredients onto a burrito, then roll it up in the time allowed to collect "burrito bucks'." These bucks are a form of digital currency known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that cannot be traded for money or cryptocurrencies. They can be used by play-to-earn customers in a loyalty program to earn, for example, a fan-favorite burrito from the restaurant. Or offer a virtual European winery tour with a guide so that customers can pick out a collectible wine to buy and proudly bring out at their next celebratory dinner at home with friends.
And speaking of friends, create a virtual meta-wine club where a pool of virtual tokens or NFTs is waiting for the future purchase of a pinot noir and maybe even some seared scallops and a baguette as a suggestion to be picked up or delivered by their favorite wine bar. Or even give users the chance to make a dining reservation for friends by viewing tables, say by a window with a view of the actual grapes that went into that wine.
And speaking of beverages, European owners of fast food restaurants might offer home order and virtual food and beverage services to its customers. According to Business Insider, McDonald's and its McCafe announced that the parent company has made 10 applications on metaverse platforms. These include NFTs virtual food and drink application to sell products, others to present real-life representations of people in the metaverse, and even a venture into the music arena under its brand.
McDonald's is a giant restaurant chain and can afford this insightful step into the future. The possibilities are endless but will require European restaurant owners to invest in the digital technology required to meld the physical and digital worlds. Risky? Maybe, but as these virtual reality (VR) ideas are rolled out and tested, there will be data (e.g. quarterly earnings reports, etc.) on how much to invest and where successes and failures lie. Do the research and if this feels right, then jump in, watch the old and new customer NFTs accumulate--virtually that is.
It sounds so new, but customer engagement, customer satisfaction, and increasing profits are the ultimate goals--the same goals all European restauranteurs have had for centuries.
These platforms are another way to bring awareness to the brand and bring new and different foods and/or experiences to old and new customers who love playing games and browsing the Internet, thus increasing revenue streams. It might be a cooking class to those who might not otherwise know about, for instance, Colombian arepas that are a white corn flat bread stuffed with plantains and a salty cheese or how to fill and fry these delicious treats. It might be a virtual tour of your restaurant or wine bar. It might be a whole new concept restaurant.
Aaah, with only a few clicks, here it is right before your very eyes: an innovative, vibrant, sensuous merging of the physical world with the digital world.