Artwork by Nico Heins
CHICAGO — About 18 months ago, tech company ShiftPixy began developing a ghost kitchen, planning a delivery-only business with virtual brands, a mobile app and loyalty program, and serving as a lab for restaurants interested in try technology.
The company purchased and analyzed customer data from third-party delivery companies to better understand potential customers, and it learned that many delivery customers play many video games.
“Your average gamer is 34,” said Jordan Mauriello, founder of More Yellow, which helps connect brands to gaming influencers. “Forty-five percent of gamers in the United States are female. So we have this very diverse segment that’s huge, that brands can connect to. »
Some restaurants are also beginning to recognize the gamer as a distinct type of consumer and are adapting their marketing plans. Chipotle launched its gaming strategy in 2019 to connect with Gen Z consumers, learning that young people were watching less TV and movies and playing more video games. Thus began Chipotle’s attempts to become endemic to the gaming world, participating in in-person gaming events and later partnering with well-known gamers and establishing themselves on platforms like Fortnite and Twitch, a video game streaming service.
Wingstop also woos players. “Our approach was to capture a huge segment of the population that is heavy [quick-service restaurant (QSR)] users who don’t use Wingstop and convert them to our brand,” CEO Charlie Morrison said recently on a call with investors.
Shortly after, he released an ad promoting his boneless wings that riffed on the “boneless dance” popularized by Fortnite, an online battle royale game with tens of millions of players.
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