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Can Mobile Augmented-Reality Save Full Service Restaurants?

I stated two years ago that meal kits were training wheels for Millennials.  In 2016 the meal kit industry reached $1.5 billion in sales, according to Market research publisher Packaged Facts.

This growth was driven in large part by Millennials. The same study found that by 2020 the U.S. meal kit delivery services market will generate approximately $6.5 billion in sales.

While only 11 percent of digital business professionals used or piloted Augmented-Reality in 2015, mobile augmented-reality (AR) might just become a key driver in the redevelopment and rescue of the full service restaurant sector, according to my own firm, Grocerant Guru. While AR isn’t a standalone strategy for restaurateurs, it may become a tool to both elevate and educate today’s mobile retail foodservice customers on the attributes of full service restaurants creating a platform for discovery, trial, and then adoption.

Restaurateurs are slowly evolving their branded messaging avenues of distribution from legacy static models to leveraging digital static platforms, all of which was yesterday’s strategy. Brand relevance today requires an invitation filled simultaneously with information, discovery, and enjoyment. AR enhances the brand story with customer relevance.

AR just might become the ticket to fill every seat in your restaurant.

Craig Smith, VP of solutions and customer success at Amplience, which focuses on mobile and merchandising, stated: “retailers must use AR if it truly enhances a broader mobile solution and provides the customer added value.” It is at the intersection of real time discovery and enjoyment that brands will be able to cultivate customer adoption. That is Foodservice Inside & Out.

Is your marketing team struggling to adapt to consumers new shopping habits? Are you creating engaging apps, content, and AR. There is only one metric that is relevant when asking that question, that is, are year-over-year customer counts up. 

Today 87 percent of mobile phone owners are using apps but only 3 percent of these are retail apps. The app market is a crowded space but there is great opportunity in 2017 for retailers to embrace the appetite for mobile, according to Smith. 

Does your foodservice marketing look like yesterday or tomorrow?  Outside eyes can deliver inside results.  Start looking a customer ahead by leveraging customer relevance today for brand building relevance tomorrow.  AR is a required baby step today prior to tomorrow's virtual reality in real-time marketing. Is it time that your brand stepped up to stand-out?

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