Pokemon mania is sweeping the country. In fact, the Pokemon Go phenomenon has reached heights never seen before. The good news about this for restaurants is that this emerging trend can be a major draw for new business if you handle it right. All of this might seem rather strange to those who might be unfamiliar with why certain people seem to have their eyes fixed on their smartphones and chase characters that don’t seem to exist for anyone but them.
The most interesting thing about the Pokemon Go phenomenon is that customers are going to restaurants and bars in droves in search of what amounts to cartoon characters. In fact, many restaurants are claiming that they are enjoying as much as a 30 percent increase in business, even when they are not actively participating in the game.
For those who play their cards right, however, the spike in business has been much larger, a testimony to the power of located based technology that can literally bring customers right to your door. What follows are 4 ways that restaurant owners and managers can use the Pokemon Go craze to increase their bottom line.
4 ways to increase Sales with Pokemon Go
1. Take Advantage of Pokestops Nearby
The Pokemon Go phenomenon got into full swing before anybody knew what was hitting them. Fortunately, even though you have missed out on the start, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit by it.
Do you have any points of historical significance nearby your restaurant? These kinds of places are often flagged as “Pokestops” where players can stock up on essential items, kind of like a scavenger hunt.
There might be one right outside your door, which can be used as a huge draw for customers. Sure, people might come in for the Wi-Fi, but in the meantime, they’ll be eating and drinking as well.
Registering a Pokestop in the game can mean a huge boom to business as a brilliant marketing strategy. And if you want to eliminate any guesswork, try marking the front of your restaurant indicating that you are a Pokestop. This will get gamesters in faster.
2. Drop Lures Often
For a $1 in-app purchase, you can drop a lure module, which you can put anywhere to increase the spawn rate of Pokemon. Attach it to the nearest Pokespot, which will bring visitors into your restaurant. Increase them, and the numbers of players who stop by will increase as well. This will be virtually any gamers who happen to be in your area.
Want to bring in more customers? Why not put lure modules near any Pokestops that are nearby? This will attract people to your area who could easily be invited in for a drink or a meal. You can even get more bang for your buck by advertising that you are doing this, whether it be on your normal advertising schedule or on your Facebook page. Either way, it’s a great way to get additional attention.
Even if players aren’t a part of your regular clientele, you still have the additional motivation of bringing prospective customers close, which will motivate them to stay and enjoy a drink or a meal while they are there. Further, offering a special deal will entice customers to come in.
3. Play It Big
If the Pokemon Go phenomenon has accomplished anything, it’s the fact that large numbers of people are playing. Why settle for individuals or small groups of players when you can organize larger groups to come in and visit? Pokemon Go causes all kinds of different types of people to gather together and talk.
You could use this tendency to advertise a large scale event at your restaurant, making Pokemon Go into the centerpiece of the gathering. Several restaurants in larger cities have tried this, only to attract thousands of people to their events.
Needless to say, these events only create many opportunities for spinoffs. These include not only the sale of foods and drinks, but associated merchandise such as t-shirts and other products that can be created just for the event. After hours of chasing Pokemon, nearly everyone will be looking for a reason to take a break.
Speaking of hours, the time of day seems to have little bearing on when Pokemon Go enthusiasts are willing to stop for a bit of something to eat during their hunt. In fact, many events are intentionally scheduled for late night hours such as after 10 p.m. or even midnight, which can give its own flavor to the gathering.
4. Building Momentum
And just because someone has caught the Pokemon, doesn’t mean the fun is over. In fact, some restaurants are paying double the rewards after one customer has found him in a restaurant and tweeted his presence to their friends. It’s kind of like a loyalty program in a way. Whatever it takes to increase the momentum of people who come in.
Making whatever your event even more special besides Pokemon is another promotional tool for astute restaurant owners. This might include special Pokemon-themed drinks and food for those who have the bug of the game when they come to visit.
Talks are continuing among Pokemon makers that the near future will probably offer some kind of sponsored locations, but no announcements have yet been made. With this the firm will offer customers the opportunity to be on the actual gameboard, which will serve as an inducement to have players enter specific locations for the benefits of the game.
Customers might end up paying per customer who purchases an app for that particular business. The firm has used this business model before with other games and it enjoyed great success. Firms such as Jamba Juice have paid to be on gameboards for their promotional attraction.
As long as the Pokemon Go trend continues, restaurant owners and managers should continue to implement ways to make it create customers for their establishments. Regardless of how long it goes on, however, should serve as the impetus for future marketing efforts.
This includes associations that can be made with other establishments and groups that are created while the Pokemon Go phenomenon still flourishes.