How does Metaverse help the food industry?

Cryptocurrency and the food industry don’t seem to be the most intuitive pairing – one is based in the digital realm and the other is firmly rooted in the physical realm. But back in the early days of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s first real-world use case (Bitcoin) related to food. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz issued First recorded commercial BTC transaction, buy two Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins.

That day is now loaded into the crypto calendar as Bitcoin Pizza Day.For its part, the event eventually became annual celebration Both restaurant chains and cryptocurrency companies are taking advantage of marketing opportunities. However, in addition to marking Bitcoin’s debut as a medium of exchange, Bitcoin Pizza Day also kicked off a relationship between crypto and the food industry — one that started to flourish and will be further cemented as Web3 and Metaverse take over .

Crypto’s insatiable appetite for food

Despite Bitcoin Pizza Day, the crypto world seems to have been embracing food-related fads. Browse any list of “dead coins” and you’ll find plenty of examples of coins that sound like cooking, including Baconbitscoin, Onioncoin, and Barbequecoin. Pizzacoin even still appears on Coinmarketcap.

Like most projects that jumped on the initial coin offering (ICO) bandwagon, these projects tended to be tokens without any underlying technical support. However, the arrival of the DeFi era brought a new batch of food-related protocols, many of which have grown to this day – SushiSwap and PancakeSwap being the most obvious examples.

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Names aside, in the years between the ICO craze and the 2021 bull run, there have been many other developments in the convergence of blockchain, cryptocurrency and the food industry. Food traceability is an area ripe for disruption. Solutions such as IBM’s Food Trust are often associated with groceries, such as Nestle and Carrefour, but the company also worked Partnering with a seafood restaurant chain in California to bring more transparency into the sourcing and handling of its menu items before they are served.

However, it is in the customer relationship that blockchain and cryptocurrencies come into play in the food service industry. In recent years, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have found themselves increasingly distant from their customers due to the rising dominance of platforms like Uber Eats. It’s no surprise — the platform model has upended industries from private transportation (Uber) to hotels (Airbnb) to music (Spotify).

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Applied to the restaurant industry, the platform model means tech companies take over customer relationships, including payment processes, data processing and loyalty programs. Food operators are squeezed in the background so their product is the only part that is ultimately visible to consumers.Perhaps most disruptively, platform-dependent can Increase Food prices have risen by an eye-popping 90%.

restore balance

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are now increasingly able to restore balance by facilitating direct connections between restaurants and their customers. A blockchain-based marketplace for food operators provides a similar, user-friendly one-stop shop to find a variety of menu options, but allows customers and restaurateurs to interact freely with merchants owning their menus, prices and terms full autonomy. This means that consumers pay merchants directly without falling into the hands of a controlling third party. Instead, third parties act as infrastructure providers for restaurateurs and food stores, giving them the tools to run their online stores.

However, the current ecosystem is still only a fraction of its full potential and will play its part as the transition to Metaverse gathers pace.

Food in the Metaverse? Surely there is no place where an activity like eating is so firmly anchored in the real world? Digital consumption has its limitations. But as we live more and more in the digital realm, the food industry will always evolve with the times.

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So how will food service operators exist in Metaverse?

A richer food experience

The answer is: at least in some cases, they already are. Halloween, American restaurant chain Chipotle Open A virtual restaurant for Roblox players. Users who enter the restaurant get a Halloween-themed horror experience and then receive a promo code for a free burrito in the real world.

To a large extent, the entry of food service into Metaverse will be a continuation of the digital journey that has already begun. In addition to the platform model taking over food delivery and takeout, it is also increasingly common to start an online restaurant experience by researching options using Google or TripAdvisor. You might visit the restaurant’s website to view the menu or to see pictures or even videos of the meal and the restaurant itself. Imagine watching your team play a virtual big game and then seeing ads around the stadium for all-you-can-eat places, just like in a brick and mortar stadium right now.

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Once the game is over and you want to grab some takeaway, you can take your avatar to a virtual street food market, where you can check out the various operators and their menus, which are represented as virtual dishes. When you’re ready to order, you pay in cryptocurrency right away, and voila! For the next half hour, your meal will be delivered to your door in real life.

Or, let’s say you want to impress someone special in your life with a nice meal at a fancy restaurant. You can choose your venue and even your table based on the virtual tour. You can even discuss the preparation and ingredients of a specific dish with a virtual chef, or browse the wine menu with a virtual sommelier to advise you on meal pairing options.

A hodgepodge of opportunities

All of these scenarios are imagined from the customer’s side – and from the restaurant’s side, the opportunity is huge. For example, if someone reserves a table after a virtual tour, a restaurant can require a reservation deposit in cryptocurrency using a smart contract-based escrow system. This will prevent one of the biggest problems in the restaurant industry – no-show reservations. If the person doesn’t show up, the smart contract just transfers the funds in escrow to the restaurant.

To date, the food service industry has not benefited from the development of digital transformation. However, blockchain and cryptocurrencies offer an opportunity to restore the relationship between food merchants and customers. In addition to this, Metaverse is poised to create unparalleled new value for the entire industry.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Basrus Is the CEO of Bistroo, a peer-to-peer food marketplace that aims to break down barriers for real-life use cases of cryptocurrencies. Bas enjoys exploring how IT can improve business processes. With experience in IT management and risk assessment, Bas is deep into the blockchain space.