Bonji Hot Takes: Volume 8
The Food Industry's Connection To Crypto & The Metaverse
Hi all, welcome back to Bonji Hot Takes, where we address some of the opinions and knowledge that we've picked up along our journey in the industry. We are here to offer assistance, stories, and hopefully some value!
Yeah, we know, it sounds crazy that a physical necessity like food is connected to a digital world at all. However, that is exactly the case that has presented itself to us today. We aren't here to spew on about NFT's and the next best “coin," but it is super important to be informed about this rapidly evolving space. Don't stress about all of this information, but try to realize that this technology is real, can help, and has been used before. In fact, the first-ever recorded purchase using a cryptocurrency was an order of 2 Papa Johns pizzas, which happened to be 10,000 Bitcoins, which now is worth an unbelievable amount of money. As the digital world has boomed in 2021, there are countless reports of the metaverse playing a crucial role for the food industry in 2022. Here are some interesting ideas and ways that crypto or the metaverse has been implemented into our real-life world:
1. Chipotle's Halloween Giveaway In the days leading up to Halloween, Chipotle took their marketing strategy into the digital world. Call it the metaverse, call it Roblox, call it a video game; describe it how you'd like, but Chipotle was the first of thousands of restaurants to have a digital version of their store. In the game Roblox, Chipotle designed a maze and a storefront that, when completed, allowed players to receive a “boorito” coupon valid for either $5 off an entree or an entirely free burrito. It may be due to the massive scale of the company, but Chipotle managed to generate an immense amount of buzz surrounding their brand. Now, we aren't telling you to go out and design a store in a game, but there are plenty of ways to engage consumers online.
2. A New Way to Engage Online has created so much opportunity for restaurants, but it seems that only the massive players are taking advantage of the changing technology. Understandably, it costs money to get involved with advertising on such large scales, however, there are simple ways to remain engaged with your customers. Social media is a given, as there is more opportunity than ever to engage with loyal or new customers every day. Additionally, online ordering, table reservations, contactless payments have all seen major advancements over the past year or so. There are currently online events that are teaching about food-tech and how restaurants can implement this new age of technology into their business or marketing plans. With the Super Bowl coming up, let's discuss a possible concept. Although the Super Bowl is beyond many of our reaches, we'll use it as a common ground. Many people are beginning to watch games, such as this one, online or in the metaverse. Just as if you were there in the stadium, there are countless advertisements for food that you may crave during or after the game. Those who are in the metaverse can now leave the virtual stadium to check out virtual storefronts or menus of restaurants that they saw during the game. The players can order right there in their digital world, through the blockchain (a secure and traceable platform), and have their food either delivered or ready for pick up thirty minutes later. This may seem way over our heads, but we'll touch on blockchain technology a bit more in the next section.
3. Blockchain-Powered Business From supply-chain solutions to table reservations, the blockchain is making its way into the restaurant and food-service industries. In simple terms, the blockchain is a digital database that securely stores information and payments. For restaurants, this could help solve one of the largest problems in the industry: no-show reservations. Restaurants, if they choose to do so, can ask for a table deposit to help ensure they won't reserve seats for a group not to show up. This deposit is securely established beforehand and transferred to the restaurant if the group doesn't show, or essentially “returned” to the party after the meal. This payment process is based on the smart contracts that are attached to the blockchain, which is another topic that deserves its fair share of research. Lastly, the supply chain that has been in shambles can see a vast improvement with advancing technology. The blockchain and smart contracts allow for real-time data, as well as secure transactions that are clear and traceable. Take a look at the charts below for a little bit more detail on the topic, however, we still suggest taking a deep dive into the blockchain and metaverse alike.
Final Thoughts: To summarize, we aren't suggesting that you need to be involved in this craziness called the metaverse or cryptocurrency. However, this technology is only going to advance and become more a part of our society every day. It's extremely important to at least stay informed and knowledgeable so that if major changes do take place, you are prepared to alter your game plan for success. “The buzzword of 2022 is going to be the metaverse,” said Jon Copestake, a senior analyst at EY's Global Consumer group. “From an innovative technology perspective, food brands need to change the way they engage with consumers."