Disclaimer: If you’re reading this and are the least bit hungry, either grab a snack or get ready for some food inspiration before you want to completely redesign your brand’s digital experience.
Restaurant cuisine has come a long way. And no I don’t mean gross fast food or heavy oil-soaked burgers. I’m talking about real works of art. Just as the hipster movement grows, so does the craft beer and food movement. And no, I’m definitely not complaining (Although seriously, that beard needs to go. Beards are for manly men. Not to look “cooler” in your skinny jeans on your fixie).
This culture surrounding the art of food is definitely growing. From gourmet food trucks to eclectic little hole-in-the-wall restaurants popping up all over, restaurants and the food served have become more of an experience than ever. I mean, I remember thinking as a kid that hibachi-style restaurants were all I ever needed. Flipping that shrimp in your pocket with a spatula? Seriously?! It’s like the chef had magical powers that kept every single child sitting still in their seat, which is a miracle in itself.
But as I grew up and became an adult with less of an attention span and more distractions than I probably had as a child, restaurants had to learn to keep up. We’re a busy culture and a needy culture at that. If you don’t impress us or catch our attention right away, you definitely won’t win us over. So now, it’s no longer flipping that shrimp into the chef coat pocket. It’s about pouring condensed smoke (yes, literally smoke. This is a thing where I live) over your drink while you are almost afraid to dig into a plate that looks like it has been crafted to be part of a food photo shoot.
It’s all about that engagement, about the fun and the entertainment that comes along with these experiences. These are the things that keep our noses out from being buried in our devices and actually having a good time that we’ll remember the restaurant by.
Of course, even restaurants like these need digital experiences to catch their online visitors’ attention as well when their noses are buried in their devices. We’ve got a few for you below to give you some inspiration on how any industry can take their digital experience from static, passive content to an engaging, useful, educational, exciting experience that will keep the visitor hungry for more from your brand.
If anyone lives or travels to London, head over to Benitos Hat and let me know how it is. Because not only does their food look incredible, but they have quite the digital experience to match. Animated graphics combined with parallax scrolling offer a sense of interactivity and fun… and even more fun after you try a few of their margaritas!
This one may have already impressed you if you celebrated Cinco De Marketing Apps with us. It impressed us so much that we just want to show it off again. Tijuana Flats is a Florida-based restaurant and, even though we are a little bias because it’s a local gem, they have made a digital experience like no other. This is beyond interactive! View menu, locations, and online ordering all through a video game console. Try resizing your browser window as well! Hint: you’ll be taken back to your childhood when you do. With hidden gems like the lightswitch or their social icons as the console buttons, Tijuana Flats outdid it with this one.
Ok ok I get it. You’re probably questioning why I have McDonald’s on here as part of a craft food/eclectic restaurant post. While McDonald’s may just be a simple fast food chain, their digital experiences are never as simple. McDonald’s has created the MyBurger configurator and competition. You can artfully design your own burger with customized bun, meat, toppings, and condiments to create a mouth-watering masterpiece. Now while this isn’t my cup of tea, it sure is a blast to build your own.
To make up for those heavy, greasy burgers, I’m going to end on a sweet note. Tim Hortons gives visitors a challenging game of doughnut sudoku to play. You think sudoku is hard? Try playing with apple fritters and Boston creams. But their game-based marketing app does nothing more than make me want to drive to the closest Tim Hortons (which, mind you, there are none in Florida so this is commitment) and try every single one of their amazing creations. I’d say their marketing app gives visitors the exact feeling Tim Hortons was shooting for.
Even if you aren’t in the restaurant or food industry, be sure to satisfy your online visitor’s hunger for interactivity and engagement. Spice up your digital experience! Register and receive the free Marketing Apps for Brand Engagement guide now!