I’m fascinated with thoughts, advice and discussions about the metaverse and how it can or might help small businesses across industries. So, I had to click into an article titled “Should restaurants enter the metaverse?” at FastCasual.com.
Good question, I thought. What might be the benefits? And what about costs in an industry with notoriously tight margins?
The article dealt with a discussion panel at the Interactive Customer Experience Summit in mid-September. So, among assorted points highlighted, what were the key takeaways?
“Meeting customers where they are”
First, Steve Lieber, VP of franchise business development at BurgerFI, “said he wants to meet customers where they are, such as within the metaverse. He said that BurgerFi wants to be able to integrate a virtual restaurant into a game like Roblox where users could order food within the game and have it delivered.”
Employee retention tool
Second, Lieber also pointed to employee rewards: “Lieber said they offered training with NFT awards for fry cooks. As he completed training, the fry cook would get a BurgerFI NFT, and after the fifth NFT, he would get a crypto wallet. ‘If they are one or two NFTs away from a big payout, they might not quit,’ Lieber said. This can work for employees who have been there for a while, such as giving out anniversary NFTs or special trips, such as to its culinary lab.”
Encouraging in-person experiences
Finally, David Kepron, founder and owner of NXTLVL Experience Design, pointed out, “argued that in-person experiences are key, and that, as Lieber said, the ultimate goal of those NFTs in BurgerFi’s training was to get an in-person experience such as a trip or going to the culinary lab.”
In the end, the old ideas of seeking opportunities, knowing your customers, knowing your employees, and understanding your numbers (including costs) will provide guidance for entrepreneurs as to how best to invest in, innovate in, and use the metaverse – from local restaurants to the largest companies.