- Chipotle debuted a Garlic Guajillo Steak product on Roblox Tuesday, and the Mexican chain claims it’s the first restaurant to launch a menu item in the metaverse. The item is available for a limited time in the U.S., Canada and the metaverse.
- Users can visit the Chipotle Grill Simulator on Roblox to learn cooking techniques and product information from Chipotle’s Vice President of Culinary Nevielle Panthaky.
- Chipotle has been aggressively experimenting with Web3 applications, launching a virtual restaurant in Roblox last fall, its Chipotle Burrito Builder game in the spring and a crypto game in July.
Bridging the gap between virtual and reality could appeal to younger consumers and encourage digital engagement, which may provide expanded opportunities for data collection in the future. According to research from Vice Media Group and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish agency, Gen Z consumers spend twice as much time socially interacting in the metaverse than they do in real life.
“By launching Garlic Guajillo Steak in the metaverse, we are able to share our culinary traditions and real food proposition with Gen Z,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt said in the press release.
Metaverse users are also primed to spend online. A recent report from Paytronix and PYMTS finds that 38% of consumers who participate in the metaverse would be willing to add restaurant purchases to their experience.
Chipotle’s Burrito Builder, for example, led to one of the company’s best digital sales days, CEO Brian Niccol shared during the chain’s Q2 earnings call. Executives have noted digital customers tend to spend more. Chipotle can also better personalize messaging to its customers online, so there is an incentive for Chipotle to continue honing its metaverse offerings.
The metaverse is also poised to become more lucrative. According to Verified Market Research, the metaverse market was valued at $27.2 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a valuation of $824.5 billion by 2030. With a forecasted compound annual growth rate of nearly 40%, brands like Chipotle that establish their presence in the space early could reap a significant advantage.
This potential has drawn several major restaurant brands to dabble in the space. Wendy’s has opened a restaurant in Horizon Worlds, while Pizza Hut and Jimmy John’s are tying the metaverse to loyalty programs and offering rewards to reach a captive audience. Just this week, Starbucks launched an NFT marketplace called Starbucks Odyssey. The company claims its NFTs will “unlock immersive coffee experiences,” allowing users to interact with the brand in a similar way that Chipotle customers can with the burrito chain.