11 ways cafés can harness Pokemon Go

Australian hospitality equipment funder Silver Chef has found local coffee shops are capitalising on Pokemon Go hotspots to draw in new business.

To help hospitality businesses attract customers using Pokemon Go (an augmented reality computer game based on the popular Pokemon franchise), Silver Chef have developed an e-book with tips on setting Pokemon lures, offering freebies in exchange for photos of Pokemon caught in cafés, hosting a poke hunt, and setting up charging stations to capitalise on the trend.

“There is no denying that Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm, and there is a huge opportunity for savvy fast-moving businesses to jump on the bandwagon and use the game as a way to attract new customers in store,” says Silver Chef Marketing Manager Toni Firth.

Toni says word of mouth from these new visitors will also help build brand awareness in the long term – long after the fad is over.

“The game has one of the highest engagement levels of any app, outperforming WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger by almost double in most cases. When it comes to cost effective marketing, the return on investment for small businesses using Pokemon Go is pretty unbeatable,” Toni says.

At the time of publishing the e-book, Silver Chef says the Pokemon Go app was downloaded more than 3500 times a minute from the iOS store.

The real power of the app is that it encourages players to get out and about “in the real world”. As such, Silverchef says this is how local cafes and small businesses can maximise opportunities.

Here are Silver Chef’s 11 quick and easy ways cafés can take advantage of the Pokemon Go movement:

1. Set lures

From inside your business, open up the Pokémon Go app on your smartphone and look for nearby Pokemon. Is there one relatively close to your café or restaurant? If so, you’re in business. Players are able to set lure modules at PokeStops which attract wild Pokémon to the area for a period of 30 minutes. Other players can see nearby Pokestops that have lure modules activated and will often rush to the location to take advantage of the Pokémon bounty that awaits them.

These modules are not free and can only be purchased within the game. A lure module costs 100 ‘pokecoins’ which equates to $1.49. However, in terms of cost effective marketing SilverChef says this one is an “absolute winner”. A business could set eight hours of lure modules for just under $24. That may mean some excellent foot traffic for not a whole lot of cash.

2. Encourage patrons to set their own lures

You can see in the app who has used a lure on your nearby PokeStop. By offering your customers a reward (such as a free coffee) for using one of their own lures, you can attract additional customers to your shop.

Another great thing is that Pokémon Go players travel in groups, so you may end up with three or more paying customers by offering a discount to one of them for placing a lure near your shop. TIP: Blackboards outside of your café work well. For example: “Free drink with any meal for Pokémon Go trainers who use a lure here”.

3. Freebies/discounts in exchange for photos of Pokémon caught in your café

Pokemon Go uses what’s known as ‘augmented reality’ where players are able to actually see and catch their Pokémon in the real world (through their smartphone). If people are catching all sorts of Pokemon in your café, you can ask your patrons to send their screenshots to a mobile number or an email address in exchange for a discount or freebie. You can then use this content for your social media channels to promote your business as a Pokemon hotzone.

4. Team logo/insignia chocolate coffee stencils

Take a break from your normal coffee art and serve your cappuccinos with a custom coffee stencil featuring different global Pokemon Go teams.
It’s highly likely this would prove as an Instagram-worthy shot, which gives your café more exposure on social channels.

5. Team discounts

Some businesses around the world have already started advertising team specific discounts. For example, Mystic Monday – 10 per cent for all team Mystic Trainers.

6. Host a Pokemon hunt

If you have a decent social media presence, let your audience know that you will be hosting a Pokemon hunt around your local areas (starting and finishing at your café). You can even pre-set lure modules for all attendees so that participants have a better chance of catching some rare Pokemon along the way.

7. Create customised Pokemon products

Can you make something delicious that resembles a Pokemon or Pokeball? Pokemon related menu items could be the perfect product/freebies to spruik at your nearby Pokestop, on your social media channels, or out the front of your business.

8. Pokemon Go charging stations and free WiFi

Provide dedicated Pokemon Go charging stations. The average active app usage time of 43 minutes will be chewing up a huge amount of phone battery for players.
Offer a place for them to have a rest, grab a bite and recharge their devices so they can continue on their hunt.

9. Have rewards set up for Pokemon Go levels

When there is an incentive in place, this is a great way to encourage more trainers to drop by when they reach a certain level. For example, a free upsize, 2 for 1, or free add-ons.

10. Sponsored Locations

While this option wasn’t yet available at the time of developing the SilverChef e-book resource, the Financial Times revealed that Pokemon Go developers plan on letting advertisers create sponsored locations to drive foot traffic and revenue for their businesses.

11. Request a Pokestop

If there are no Pokestops nearby then you can submit a request for your business to be a new location. There will be some turnaround time on its creation, but it’s totally free. While you wait, don’t forget that you can still join in on the fun by offering a team discount.

Love it or hate it, Silver Chef says Pokemon Go offers some exciting opportunities for fast moving businesses who are keen to take advantage of the Poke mania sweeping the globe.

*Please note that there is no knowing how long the Pokemon Go trend will last, and how long the above tips could be affective for a business. The above tips are merely suggestions of how businesses could maximise the Pokemon Go craze while it’s still in fashion.

To download the full e-book resource click here

For more information on SilverChef visit www.silverchef.com.au

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