With their innovative technological advancements, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are opening doors to various marketing opportunities for businesses, and the food sector is also eager to embrace this technology. The impact of social media shift in our everyday life is tremendous; for example, customers wait hours in a Starbucks que to buy the next trendy coffee flavour, or order the entire menu of MacDonald�s to eat in front of the camera, or trying food from other countries, etc.

Restaurants are quick to catch up with the trends their customers are looking for and AR is unquestionably the next big trend on the list. Burger King�s �Burn that Ad� is one such example- The Ad urges customers to scan competitor�s ad using a mobile phone and when customer�s �burn� the rival�s ad virtually they are rewarded with offers from Burger King. It is an impressive marketing technique that allows maximum customer engagement with the brand, in turn, customers are rewarded and Burger King generates revenue. A win-win for all.

What are some of the ways AR can be beneficial for the restaurant business?

  1. AR Food Menu Apps

With an AR food menu, customers can scan the menu through their smartphone and watch the dishes in 3-D, in motion, or a video. Customers can have an up-close look at their food, check the texture of the product, and see the portion size of the food in real-time. The item can be put on the table virtually and then customer can come to a decisive conclusion about what they want to order. Restaurants can even have their entire menu digitally projected on the customer�s table. It is a unique marketing technique for the business and offers maximum customer satisfaction.

Through an AR menu App, the customer will have a piece of complete information about the dish they want to order rather than asking the staff. They can get additional information such as the health benefit of the dish, nutritional value, calorie count, etc.

Wondering how an AR food menu would look at your restaurant? Check out how we at WowFoods do it for you.

  1. Build your own order through AR

Ever thought about how you would stack your burger or how you can decorate the pizza? With the help of AR menus apps, it is possible. Customers can choose ingredients, and create a personalised dish for themselves. Dominos with their new AR app �New Pizza Chef� allows customers to build their own Pizza. It is fun and interactive; customers can have a chance to be on the other side of the order.

  1. Guide Customers to your restaurant

Geotagging is a useful AR feature that allows interactive and informative digital content to location-based markers. Restaurants use this feature to help navigate their location for new customers, they can send a notification to patrons who are in the vicinity to notify them about the specials and offers of the day. This feature can also be helpful for tourists to locate authentic local restaurants and explore the neighbourhood, thus helping local shops and businesses in the process.

  1. Training Chefs and Employees with AR/VR technology

AR/VR technologies are increasingly being used in training and education. With the help of these technologies� chefs can take virtual classes, learn to cook new items virtually and skills. It can also be used to show the customers how chefs prepare the food. It can be used to train new employees/trainees about customer interaction, taking orders virtually and improve employee coordination inside the restaurant, which will increase efficiency in the business.

  1. Making the restaurant interior more unique

Every restaurant wants to create a fine-dining experience for their customer. With Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality setup, restaurants can make their dining space interesting for the customer. For example: If the customer has ordered Pizza, why not have enjoyed it in an Italian village? Similarly, customers can enjoy a seafood platter by the beach!

This way, restaurants will truly create an immersive fine-dining experience for their customer without them leaving the comfort of indoors.

  1. Eliminate language Barrier

Food defines a society and its culture, so it is natural for tourists to explore indigenous flavours of the land. Often, the menu is written in native language that tourists cannot understand, but with the help of AR menu apps, language barriers can be diminished. Customers can scan the printed menu on their phone and translate it in their language of convenience.

Additionally, a detailed digital representation will help in understanding the food item, and restaurants can even add what local ingredients are used to prepare food items and give their customer a wholesome cultural experience.

  1. Transparency and engagement with the customer

Waiting for the food after placing an order can be boring. Popular food delivery app Zomato has introduced the �Zomato Originals� feature on their app which contains shorts that people can enjoy while waiting for their food to deliver. Another such example is MacDonald�s VR happy meal, which transforms the happy meal box into a VR headset where kids can play games and entertain themselves while enjoying their meal.

With AR menu apps, customers can enjoy virtual games, watch their food getting prepared in real-time, get additional detail about their cuisine. Restaurants can use this to keep their customers engaged from the moment they step inside till they leave the restaurant.

  1. Know Your Customer Better

AR menu apps can be used as a tool to collect data about the customer and their preferences for better services. Such features are likely to help the restaurant to understand the market better, like: what kind of customers would visit their business, and accordingly restaurant can make changes in their menu, add items that are trending on social media, create an ambiance for their audience. Such digital surveys and data can change the way restaurants interact with their customers exponentially.