1. Be al-lure-ing
While many restaurants were smiled upon and selected as a PokeStop or gym—places where the game's users congregate—some are putting extra effort into enticing players to visit their locations. For a marginal cost (about $1), restaurants can buy “lure modules” to become a sort of Pokemon Pied Piper.
These modules draw in Pokemon—followed by the humans who are after them—for spans of around 30 minutes. Weekend sales got a 30% boost at L’inizio Pizza Bar in Queens, N.Y., after manager Sean Benedetti paid around $10 to attract Pokemon to the pizza joint, Benedetti told Bloomberg.
2. Check your ID
Late last week, Yelp unveiled a new feature allowing users to filter their searches by businesses’ proximity to a PokeStop. Restaurants and bars close to a PokeStop may want to check whether their concept is identified as such by Yelp customers—and if so, play off of that designation with promos tailored to Pokemon fans.
Yelp users had identified thousands of PokeStop-adjacent businesses in less than one day after the feature launched, according to the review service’s blog.
3. Draw with discounts
Restaurants are responding to this new-school phenomenon with an old-school approach: discounting. Olive Garden is giving Pokemon Go users a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two entrees, while Red Robin is offering gamers $3 off a $10 order.
Other spots are giving more targeted discounts, such as the one recently offered by CitySen Lounge in Grand Rapids, Mich., which gave 10% off to Pokemon players on the Mystic team, with plans to roll out future discounts for the other two player segments.
4. Host a Pokemon party
Concepts experiencing an influx of Pokemon-related foot traffic could capitalize on that boost with a tailored event, such as the one hosted by Chicago’s Emporium Arcade Bar on Sunday evening and highlighted by the Chicago Tribune.
In promoting the five-hour Pokemon Go event, the bar noted that it is home to three PokeStops and would be purchasing lure modules throughout the evening. It also set up a device-charging station at the bar, giving avid gamers less reason to leave.
5. Stay social
Pokemon Go centers around interaction in augmented reality, so why not replicate that interaction online? Chains like IHOP, Applebee's and Cinnabon have taken to social media to share in the excitement—posting photos, giving hints about PokeStops at their locations and encouraging customers to share images of their own in-restaurant Pokemon captures. Red Lobster even tied the trend into its current Crabfest campaign by tweeting a photo of a Krabby Pokemon atop one of its seafood dishes.