Catering & Hospitality - Other

Are You Destined to Have Your Bar or Restaurant in the Metaverse?

June 2022

Catering & Hospitality - Other

Are You Destined to Have Your Bar or Restaurant in the Metaverse?

June 2022

Food and beverage businesses are venturing into the metaverse, offering inspiration on what’s to come and illustrating how the metaverse is an exciting marketing opportunity for restaurant and bar operators in the future.

What exactly is the metaverse? It’s used to describe a virtual environment in which people can use digital avatars to work, play or shop.

Wendy’s recently announced it was teaming up with Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality game from Meta, to open the Wendy verse. Although visitors can’t buy food there, they can play a basketball-themed game located near the digital restaurant.

Chipotle also plans to introduce a game and new virtual restaurant in Roblox, the online game platform and storefront, which emulates the company’s original location in Denver. The first 100,000 Roblox players to successfully roll a burrito in the game will earn Burrito Bucks, which can be exchanged for an entrée code that can be used at a real-life Chipotle location.

“We’ve tapped into play-to-earn, an emerging engagement model in the metaverse, to launch our newest experience on Roblox,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Jose Cuervo to Open First “Metadistillery”

Jose Cuervo announced in March that it will open the first distillery in the metaverse. It’ll be the very first “metadistillery” in the 3D virtual world Decentraland this summer. The idea is to bring fans 21-and-over together for virtual experiences, tequila education, as well as limited edition products and entertainment. Essentially, it’ll be a fixture in the metaverse for tequila lovers to visit.

Starbucks is another popular brand entering the metaverse. The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, announced in an Open Forum on April 4 that it would join the metaverse before the end of this year.

OneRare, the world's first food metaverse – also known as Foodverse – launched in the United States recently. Developed by real-life husband and wife team, Gaurav Gupta and Supreet Raju, the metaverse is bringing the global F&B Industry to Web3 – allowing participants to create virtual experiences, food NFTs and games, and the opportunity to interact with foodies worldwide.

Their Foodverse will feature zones where users can discover celebrity chefs, food brands and virtual restaurants. Designed like the real world, the Foodverse features various geographical areas like the beach, forest and lakeside, and viewers can explore the open world. There is also a gaming zone, with activity areas for players to explore, earn, collect and battle.“The platform is incredibly unique and offers the end-user with so many opportunities to explore food,” said Gupta, co-founder of OneRare.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles plant-based burger brand Honeybee Burger announced a collaboration with OneRare to create a virtual restaurant.

“We like to think of Honeybee as an innovator,” said Adam Weiss, the restaurant’s CEO and director, in a statement. “This innovation extends to our business and marketing, where we were one of the first to use Regulation CF to raise funds, and now we want to be one of the first to market in the metaverse.”

Out of the Box Ways to Use the Metaverse

  • Shane Allen, a consultant and futurist based in Dallas, said there are many opportunities for restaurants to have a metaverse experience. Here’s his advice:
  • NFTs – Is there something synonymous with your restaurant? Maybe you’ve got a unique and loved logo, or you sell a Bloody Mary with an entire fried chicken on top. Sell the image as an NFT!
  • Immersive Branding – Wendy's unveiled the Wendyverse earlier this month. Larger restaurant chains like McDonalds and Yum brands are not far behind. No longer will loyal customers have to drive to your brick and mortar to experience a one-of-a-kind, completely branded version of your restaurant experience. Want to include a huge golden statue of your mascot? Wendy's did.
  • Immersive Ordering – Adding to the immersive VR experience is adding frictionless ordering from within the metaverse. After ordering in your metaverse, the user gets their meal delivered to their door IRL. That's magic.
  • IRL & AR – The metaverse isn't just virtual reality. There are also great augmented reality opportunities. Those designing and redesigning restaurant spaces can no longer just think of the in-person experience. How can someone with VR headsets and AR glasses interact within your space? VR & AR menus and even metaverse chef's table experiences are all things that any restaurant of the future will want to consider.

“There is a future within this decade of restaurants that have zero real-life décor – everything the customer experiences audibly and visually experiences will be from VR and AR,” predicted Allen, on what could happen with the metaverse. “Photos and news footage of people sitting in blank white rooms [at restaurants or bars] will be unusual at first, but we'll quickly get used to it.”