It’s true, you can’t eat in virtual or augmented reality – but Pokémon shows us, you can lure in customers to your restaurant

Of course, the craze of Pokémon has offered up different ways of exploiting its popularity for food and drink venues. The good news is that none of this complicated or expensive. Forbes had an article on the options for restaurateurs, ranging from ingame purchases to just playing along. Forbes on restaurants Poké-innovation

The arrival of Pokémons in the courtyard of a Liverpool restaurant inspired Sapporo Teppanyaki to create some Poké-sushi and a short menu for Poképlayers to indulge in while waiting for their game to refresh.

Neighbours, Italian joint Il Forno, then got in on the act, inventing a pizza for the computer game fans, and of goes the publicity. Pokémon in Liverpool restaurants 

Maxwell's Poke freak shakeFreak shake favourites Maxwell’s in Covent Garden is reportedly spending up to £100 a day on ingame lures to encourage people to visit their burger and shake joint. By making Poké additions to their menus, the restaurant has boosted trade, and points to the future crossover between gaming and food venues. Pokémon in London joint

The Guardian reports that places in New York were the quickest to catch on with one restaurant claiming a 75% uptick in business from just one $10 investment in Pokémon lures. Pokémon in NY joints

To be fair, if you have an idea for where location-based augmented reality gaming can benefit high street business, there is a fortune to be made. Which is probably why all the ‘silicon valleys’ around the world are working on this and that Pokémon inspired a 53% leap in the value of owner company Nintendo’s shares in the days following the game’s release.

No doubt because it is a culture swamped in advertising, Japan’s version of Pokémon Go was the first to feature advertising and McDonald’s hooked up with the owners to turn their fast food emporia into ‘gyms’ where Pok´players can stage fights. And, presumably, spend their hard-earned on Happy Meals. Pokémon in Japan

I used to get in trouble with my grandma for fiddling with my cutlery at the dinner table – lord knows what she would say if I spent the entire meal catching superlambananas and fighting other Poképlayers. Remember the good ole days when we just used to quietly eat our meals chatting nicely and Instagramming each course as it arrived?

Words: Charles Howgego