Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Use Pokémon GO To Lure Customers To Your Restaurant

Cacie Waller, Director of Local Marketing Services
Cacie Waller,
Director of Local Marketing Services

The augmented reality game from Niantic Labs and The Pokémon Co. that now has more users than Twitter is causing quite a buzz since sweeping the nation in just a few short days. It seems as though everyone is playing Pokémon GO and if you’re not a Pokémon Trainer yourself, you’ve likely heard that this is causing a craze unlike any smartphone game in history. The game uses your phone’s GPS and camera to create an augmented reality where users hunt for the iconic creatures and frequent Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops which in actuality are local businesses and landmarks.

While you may not be jumping at the chance to “catch ’em all”, you should be thinking of ways to leverage the game to catch more business.

Get in on the Pokémon GO action with these easy to implement promotions:

  • First things first, download the App to your mobile device (it’s free) to understand the game and also see if your business is a Gym or PokéStop. Potential customers could be on their way without you having to do a thing!
  • Set up a “Lure Module”. This is an in-game item that you can purchase to attract Pokémon to your location for $1 for 30 minutes. Consider purchasing the Lure Module for times when business is slower and let your followers on social media know your restaurant is a PokéStop during that time.
  • Incentivize diners playing the game to set up a Lure Module in the restaurant to attract more Pokémon and more customers! Offer customers that show their server they’ve set up a Lure Module a Free Appetizer or Dessert.
  • Host a Pokémon party with food and drink specials (or offer existing Happy Hour specials). Let potential customers know that playing the game is encouraged and promote free wi-fi, if you have it, available along with outlets for charging their phones.
  • Encourage customers to share photos of Pokémon they’ve spotted in the restaurant on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Choose a photo on a weekly basis to win a Gift Card to encourage user-generated content and repeat business.
  • Create a Pokémon-inspired menu item or drink to attract fans of the game. You can show your Chef or Mixologists creativity while getting players of the game excited to come in to try it.
  • Offer a discount to customers that show the app on their phone while dining. If you want to show you have Pokémon GO knowledge, offer an even better discount for customers that are on a specific team or can prove they caught a rare Pokémon like Pikachu.
  • Don’t forget the kids! Pokémon Go has just as many youngsters addicted as adults. Draw in families by offering discounts on kid’s meals or a free dessert to any young Trainers that show they’ve caught a Pokémon.
  • Get in on the conversation on social media using language that the game’s players are using for posts. Referencing the game and using the popular hashtags such as #PokemonGo and #gottacatchemall can increase your reach and engagement.

Using this popular app to your advantage is simple. If you aren’t already incorporating Pokémon GO into your marketing and advertising strategies there’s a good chance your competitors are luring foot traffic to their restaurants, so get in the game!

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