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VR technology taps into the restaurant industry

November 7, 2018

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Opening a restaurant in the 21st century has allowed for more innovation and inspiring technology than our past generations could even dream about.

As technological advancements continue to blur the lines of the impossible, we have seen the age of both augmented and virtual realities change the way we experience daily life!

While Augmented-Reality (AR) uses the ability to layer computer graphics over real-time experiences (such as Pokémon Go), Virtual-Reality (VR) is a fully-immersive digital experience simulating any three-dimensional environment you can think of.

Having only recently tapped into their functional and entertainment capabilities, these new technologies offer some very exciting implications for the future of the restaurant industry.

By revolutionizing the way consumers and employees interact with their favourite brands, AR and VR are allowing restaurant owners to boost their marketing potential, improve employee training and elevate their customer experience.

MARKETING BENEFITS:

In an industry with such tight margins, restaurant owners are always looking for innovative ways to drive traffic and increase sales.

While the internet, social media and mobile phones have dramatically changed the way we do business, the technological opportunities for marketing have reached a very impressive point in our human history.

The prices of AR and VR tech have become much more affordable in recent years, and when paired with the processing power of the latest smartphone devices, have created some pretty incredible marketing campaigns.

A great example of this is used by Treasury Wine Estates through their “19 Crimes” branded wine bottles. By using an AR-compatible application, consumers are able to see and hear the stories of the convicts pictured right on their labels!

With roughly 800 million users on Instagram and 300 million on Snapchat, researchers have identified that millennial’s are actually posting 3.5 million food and drink images daily – which is, of course, a huge target market for the restaurant industry.

By offering digital content and in-restaurant experiences that encourage them to share across their social media streams, simulated realities have made a massive splash in increasing brand awareness while decreasing the need of traditional marketing expenses.

IMPROVING EMPLOYEE TRAINING:

Employee training can be a very costly part of on-boarding new restaurant staff.

Traditionally, the only two training options would be to:

A) Offer group training sessions for the sake of efficiency, or
B) Offer expensive and time-consuming one-on-one training

In the case of smaller restaurants, the latter is almost always the case. Until recently.

Virtual Reality (VR) tech have allowed restaurants to completely revolutionize the way they train their staff. By offering entertaining, standardized training sessions through VR games and/or experiences, restaurant owners have been able to free up more of their valuable time and resources while ensuring a thorough and effective training experience every time.

One major example is through the well-known fast-food brand, KFC. After rolling out their interactive training platform for employees and franchisees, KFC locations are now offering a hands-on escape room simulation for new staff to earn their “Chicken Mastery Certification”.

Titled “The Hard Way”, this quirky simulation features an animated Colonel Sanders delivering playful and educational training within a short 10-minute session!

ELEVATING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE:

Although AR and VR tech have become much more affordable for the back-end side of the restaurant industry, it is still a bit pricy to integrate into the full dining-room-experience this early on in the game.

However, ambitious restaurant experiences such as “Sublimotion” in Ibiza, Spain have taken the leap into blending augmented and virtual reality with food, art and technology through an experiential dining concept.

By transporting diners into scenes ranging from under the sea, to a 20th-century cabaret, to an airplane and much more – the novelty of our technological age is brimming with potential.

Until these types of experiences become mainstream, there is still an open opportunity for restaurant owners to distinguish themselves by bringing the wonder of VR dining to the city of Toronto.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BUILDING OR RENOVATING YOUR RESTAURANT, WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LATEST TECH FOR RESTAURANTS? GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR BUILD IT BY DESIGN PROFESSIONALS TO GET STARTED! CONTACT (905) 696-0486 OR EMAIL [email protected] FOR MORE DETAILS.

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