While we here at The Bite Life wholeheartedly believe that this Pokemon Go craze is utterly ridiculous, it may have accidentally become a God-send for restaurants and bars. People are wandering from far and wide to collect these colorful little monsters. And, with a little savvy on the part of business owners, these explorers are becoming customers.
Released on July 6 by Nintendo Co. Ltd., the Pokemon Go app is basically a virtual game hide and seek. Players score points and unlock other rewards by capturing various Pokemon characters. These little monsters are all around you. They can be found on a park bench, on top of a mail box, or just loitering at a red light. But, they are only visible when looking at your surroundings through a smartphone.
So, how is your favorite eatery taking advantage of the wildly popular phenomenon? Well, the smartest of the lot are buying “lure modules”. These modules do exactly what they say – lure. By dropping these lures in the virtual pond, characters are drawn to specific location. Players, of course, are on the hunt for the characters so they show up to capture, showcase, and battle. And, if you’re lucky, they’re buying some of your goods while they’re there.
The strategy seems to be working for some. According to Bloomburg, L’inizio’s Pizza Bar in Queens, New York saw food and drink sales spike by roughly 30% because of lures they purchased. Bon Appetit reported that businesses like Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, Massachusetts and Huge Café in Atlanta are seeing huge in-store traffic bumps, either from buying and dropping Lures or from the good fortune of being located near “Pokéstops”. Flying Saucer Pizza Company is encouraging customers to post a Pokémon Go picture to social media and then tag the restaurant to automatically enter a daily raffle for gift cards.
If restaurant owners are smart, this trend will definitely continue. If you can get people searching for Abra to buy a burger or Ponyta to purchase a beer, why wouldn’t you? A $10 per day investment could generate hundreds of dollars worth of business. Sounds like a win-win to us!
We wonder if any Pokemon Go characters hiding at Magic City.