How to ride the Pokemon Go phenomenon as a restaurant owner

Jul 15

The latest craze to hit the U.S. tech market is an application called Pokemon Go! It's a game that requires the user to walk around and visit specific locations across the user's city to 'capture' Pokemon and attempt to collect them, along with other items like poke balls, eggs, potions and more. Whether or not you are familiar with game details, and regardless of your desire to collect the creatures yourself, you can capitalize on this now-epic movement. People are flocking to businesses of all kinds to gather the little cartoon critters and with a little over 10 million downloads of the application over since its launch last week, Pokemon Go has more daily active users than Twitter. What's more, users are not only downloading the app, but also spending a great deal of time there “ more than Instagram and Snapchat, with an average use of 43 minutes per day. Users in cities throughout the country are listing businesses and restaurants on the web that are designated 'Pokestops' where users can the characters and game items. So what can you do to capitalize on the phenomenon?

  1. Embrace it!

Thousands of customers across Texas are going to play the game every day. If your businesses was one of the lucky ones to get picked, consider offering special promotions.

  1. Request to become a Pokemon Stop or Gym.

Originally, game creators Niantic designated Pokemon Stops or 'gyms' randomly. However, the company is now expected to release more locations in the coming weeks. You can visit them online here and request to become a new marker for app users to visit. As an employee of Star Seeds restaurant here in Austin told us, We've had a few people come to our restaurant just to sit, have a drink and play the game. Another restaurant in Austin, Verts Mediterranean Grill, hosted a 'lure' party to attract users to their restaurant and they reported a 114% traffic increase at the restaurant.

  1. Set clear guidelines for potential customers

For owners and managers, it's important to be clear with people who stop by your restaurant. You don't want to give free seating for people who are simply coming by for the Pokemon upgrades. However, you do want to capitalize on the traffic and be on-trend. Having signage available is important to give your employees, customers and Pokemon Go fans clear expectations of how your restaurant is going to operate. After all, nothing builds up an appetite like chasing around Pokemon characters all over town. Why shouldn't the next stop be yours? Take the next step to promoting your business and 'catch' as many customers from this trend as you can. For more information about Pokemon Go, check out these seven steps to Pokemon Go! from the National Restaurant Association.


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