Metaverse Presents a New Opportunity to Connect With Dining Customers

One-third of grab-and-go customers are very or extremely familiar with the metaverse.

NEWTON, Mass.— A new report finds that 20 percent of restaurant consumers are familiar with the metaverse while 18 percent have participated in these cutting-edge environments, according to Paytronix Systems Inc. and PYMNTS series collaboration.

The latest report in the ongoing series, "The Digital Divide: Technology, The Metaverse and the Future of Dining Out," found that the metaverse — an advanced, social, virtual reality platform — may develop into another way in which restaurant customers will interact with their favorite brands, hang out with other fans of their favorite eateries, and maybe even buy their favorite foods.

However, according to the report, before restaurants can become well-versed in the metaverse, they must focus on their current customers. A majority of customers say that friendly waitstaff and staff continuity at their favorite eateries are some of the most important factors that keeps them coming back.

As Paytronix reported, more than 33 percent of consumers say that friendliness is the most important thing a restaurant can provide. Additionally, 75 percent of consumers also say that seeing the same staff every time they visit a restaurant positively influences their experience.

''The media landscape is already scattered, creating a massive fight for attention. Brands are vying for spots on Google search, in Facebook feeds, on Apple screens, and on any of dozens of different social sites. The metaverse represents the next battleground,'' said Michelle Tempesta, CMO of Paytronix. ''Loyalty programs open a direct line of communication between brands and customers that only continues to grow in importance. Customers want to maintain a strong relationship with their favorite brands, regardless of where that happens.''

Key findings of the report include:

  • 33 percent of grab-and-go customers are very or extremely familiar with the metaverse, more than double the share of either dine-in or either-or customers.
  • 40 percent of Gen Z respondents said they are very familiar with the metaverse, although they do not lead all generations in actual metaverse participation.
  • 34 percent of millennials have participated in a metaverse environment. This may have to do with the generation's superior spending power, as consumers who earn more than $100,000 annually are more likely than those of other income brackets to have participated in a metaverse environment.
  • 38 percent of consumers who already participate in the metaverse or are interested in it would be willing to integrate restaurant purchases into this environment, including a majority of grab-and-go customers.
  • 21 percent of consumers who say they are not interested in buying food in the metaverse are not interested because they are either unfamiliar with it or believe the metaverse is complicated.

To learn more about "The Digital Divide: Technology, The Metaverse and the Future of Dining Out," report click here

The ongoing Paytronix and PYMNTS series examines consumer relationships with restaurant technologies and views, attitudes toward digital food ordering trends, and virtual reality in the restaurant context. Paytronix and PYMNTS surveyed 2,496 consumers in the United States between April 6 and April 12 about their experiences.

The respondents’ average age was 48, 52 percent were female and 36 percent earned more than $100,000 annually.