AR and Food: Top 15 Ideas for Restaurants and Beyond

AR and Food Top 15 Ideas for Restaurants and Beyond

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to transform the way we experience and interact with food. AR can enhance our dining experiences, provide educational content, and even make cooking more fun and engaging. 

We have prepared 15 cool tips and ideas for restaurants and beyond that will change your perception of augmented reality. It can help you in implementing AR in your business. It can also help you expand your areas of interaction if you already have some experience with AR.

Regardless of your role in the food and beverage industry, whether you are a producer, packaging creator, or skilled in making coffee or pizza, these ideas and tips will be useful. They can help you delight and surprise your customers, gather valuable marketing data, turn dish presentation into art, and stay up to date with the latest trends.

Many of these tips can be applied to other industries such as shopping, fashion, travel, hotel business, education, and more.

Intrigued? Then let’s move on to the tips!

Tip 1: Start with an AR Menu

It is the face of your establishment!

One significant way AR impacts the restaurant business is through menu visualization. Traditional menus can sometimes be limited in showcasing the true essence of a dish. However, with AR, customers can use their smartphones to scan the menu and see realistic, 3D visualizations of each dish.

This allows customers to have a better understanding of the presentation, portion size, and even the ingredients used. It enhances their dining experience, making it more informed and exciting.

For the sake of convenience and hygiene, restaurants can replace traditional paper menus with interactive AR tabletop menus. Why not?

Another way AR enhances the restaurant business is through virtual food try-on experiences. Customers can use AR applications to virtually try on different dishes. This allows them to see how a particular dish will look on their table before ordering. This feature is particularly helpful for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. They can visually explore alternative options without the need for physical samples.

Tip 2: Customizable Dining Experiences with AR

Everyone loves a personalized approach 🙂

With AR, restaurants can offer customizable dining experiences where customers can personalize their meals. By using AR, users can modify ingredients, portion sizes, or even cooking methods to suit their preferences. Mix and match ingredients, flavors, and presentations to create their own unique dishes.

This level of customization empowers customers to tailor their meals according to their dietary needs, taste preferences, or cultural preferences. It makes the dining experience more inclusive and satisfying for them.

AR can enhance the dining experience by providing real-time wine pairing suggestions for each dish. By scanning the menu or a specific dish, customers can receive recommendations on the best wine to complement their meal. This enhances the overall flavor and enjoyment of their dining experience.

Tip 3: Caution and Attention to Health

Even if you don’t remember about food intolerance, it remembers about you.

AR can be used to detect allergens in food, making dining safer for individuals with allergies. Users can access detailed information about the calorie content, macronutrient breakdown, or allergen warnings.

This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with dietary restrictions or those who are health-conscious, as it allows them to make informed choices and maintain their desired eating habits.

Tip 4: The More Holidays, the Better!

Variety comes along with events, holidays & festivals.

AR technology can also be used in the restaurant industry to enhance the experience of events, holidays, and festivals. Restaurants can use AR to create interactive and immersive experiences that engage customers and provide a unique dining experience.

For example, during holidays such as Halloween or Christmas, restaurants can use AR technology to create interactive displays or menus that incorporate holiday themes. Customers could use an AR app to scan a special menu or table setting, which would trigger an interactive content featuring holiday-themed decorations, animations, or even virtual performances.

Restaurants could also use AR technology to gamify the dining experience, giving customers a fun and engaging way to participate. For example, a restaurant could create an AR treasure hunt, where customers use their mobile devices to find hidden objects or clues throughout the restaurant.

AR technology provides restaurants with a powerful tool to create a unique and engaging dining experience for customers during events, holidays, and festivals.

Tip 5: AR ― the Best Decoration for Food and Place

Sometimes the Atmosphere is even more important than the food!

With augmented reality, restaurant owners can enhance the dining experience by creating a unique and memorable atmosphere for their customers.

AR can transform the dining ambiance by overlaying virtual elements onto the physical environment. Restaurants can use AR to create virtual decorations, themes, or even change the appearance of the surroundings, enhancing the overall dining atmosphere. 

By using AR to enhance the music and atmosphere of the restaurant, owners can create a truly immersive experience that takes the dining experience to new heights. The use of bright and dynamic folk motifs can help enhance the ambiance of traditional cuisine, while classical music can add a touch of sophistication to haute cuisine dishes. For molecular or unusual cuisine, the use of cosmic, unconventional music and design elements can create a futuristic and otherworldly experience.

Overall, the use of augmented reality in restaurants can help create a unique and memorable dining experience that customers will remember long after they leave the restaurant.

Tip 6: Use the Multiscene Option!

One QR code can offer numerous possibilities, especially if it’s the Multiscene option 🙂

The Multiscene option allows for the creation of multiple scenes within a single WebAR experience. Put simply, it enables you to group projects created on the DEVAR (MyWebAR) platform so that users can interact with them simultaneously.

With just one QR code scan, users can point their device’s camera at various markers and view different scenes without having to reload the browser page or activate each scene individually. The Multiscene option is great for creating AR menus.

What besides the menu? Anything! You can build a whole ecosystem inside your restaurant. Create your own Metaverse. And AR will become part of your brand.

Place AR content on napkins, dishes, disposable cups, bags, takeout boxes (a pizza box would be a great place), tables, tablecloths, loyalty cards, advertising banners, schedule on the door, on the website… even on the doormat! All of these AR scenes can have completely different content, but will be activated after scanning just one QR code.

In other words, the Multiscene option is an excellent tool that allows you to make the AR environment more accessible and convenient for users. It helps to speed up and simplify interaction with AR content, making it more interesting and attractive.

Tip 7: Never Forget About AR Packaging for Food!

Boxes and packaging for products are a powerful tool for promoting and engaging with consumers.

To fully realize the potential of packaging, Augmented Reality technology can be incorporated. It can help build brand recognition, enable closer examination of a product before a final decision is made, and simply grab attention.

By integrating AR into packaging, brands can create interactive experiences that go beyond traditional advertising. For example, when a customer scans a product’s packaging with their smartphone, they can unlock additional information, videos, or games related to the product. This not only engages the consumer on a deeper level but also provides an opportunity for the brand to showcase its unique selling points and create a memorable impression.

But in addition to boxes, which mainly influence product selection during in-store purchases, there is another category of packaging such as bottles and cans, as well as disposable (or reusable, why not?) coffee cups to-go, which occasionally become part of our external image and can convey style, values, or product features.

Bright cans for energy drinks, stylish bottles for sports beverages, atmospheric coffee cups to-go… All of this can be made even more effective by adding augmented reality content.

Tip 8: Update, Update, and… Update!

By using updates, you can make the same QR code work indefinitely. Muahaha!

Do you know that you can update AR scenes? Even if the content was linked to a specific QR code or image, you can simply update the content in your project, and then it will be replaced on all physical media.

How to use it?

Without changing the menu design, you can update its content, add seasonal and holiday events, share news, divide content for weekdays and weekends, and so on. In this way, you can always improve the atmosphere of your restaurant, add music and decorations, while keeping the previous interior elements unchanged.

This is a great way to keep your customers engaged and interested in your restaurant. By regularly updating the AR scenes, you can create a unique and dynamic experience that will keep customers coming back for more. You can also use this feature to promote new menu items, special promotions, or highlight popular dishes.

Tip 9: Share Something Interesting!

Everyone loves short, interesting facts and little stories. Do you have something to share? Share it!

Adding interesting facts to your menu (or on napkins, boxes, posters… your imagination is practically limitless) can not only make the wait more enjoyable for your customers, but it can also help create a deeper connection between your customers and your business.

By telling the story of your dishes, you can give customers a better understanding of the unique flavors and ingredients that make your restaurant stand out. In addition, sharing your company’s history and motto can help create a sense of community and shared values with your customers.

To take this a step further, using AR technology can help make this information even more engaging and interactive for your customers. By creating AR experiences that allow customers to explore the history and ingredients of each dish, or learn more about your company’s values and goals, you can create a more immersive and personalized experience for your customers.

This can help build stronger relationships with your customers and increase brand loyalty. Overall, adding fun facts and using AR technology can be powerful tools to create a more engaging and memorable experience for your customers.

Tip 10: Games and Interactivity!

Games are not just for kids. So never deny yourself the pleasure of playing a little!

Incorporating games into your restaurant experience through AR technology can be a fun and engaging way to keep your customers entertained and satisfied. Games have always been a popular way to pass the time, and by using AR technology, you can take this experience to the next level. Not only can games be a great way to entertain younger customers, but they can also be a fun and interactive way for adults to relax and unwind.

Some popular game mechanics that can be implemented in AR include puzzles, speed games, control, and object search. These games can be customized to fit your brand and menu, creating a unique and personalized experience for your customers. By incorporating branded items such as napkins, cups, or coasters, you can create an immersive and interactive experience that keeps customers engaged and entertained.

Overall, using game mechanics in AR can be a powerful tool to enhance the customer experience and build brand loyalty. By providing your customers with a fun and engaging experience, you can create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience that will keep them coming back for more.

Tip 11: AR Masks are Always Fun! (Especially for Food)

As long as AR Masks & Face Filters entertain and amaze, people will have fun and be amazed! It’s like an everlasting engine.

Masks and Face Filters in augmented reality can be a great way for cafes and other businesses to attract customers and create a unique and memorable experience.

By using AR masks and face filters, you can offer their customers an interactive and engaging experience that goes beyond just eating or shopping. AR scenes with masks and filters can also be updated frequently to keep the experience fresh and exciting for customers.

You can also use AR technology to promote your brand and products by creating branded masks and face filters that users can try on and share on social media. This can help increase brand awareness and attract new customers to your business.

And to get even more familiar with this tool, you can always watch our tutorial.

Tip 12: AR and Food ― It’s Art

So be skillful and bold with them.

Expanding on the idea of using AR in the restaurant industry, it’s important to note that AR can be used in a variety of ways to create a unique and memorable dining experience.

For example, AR can be used to create virtual art installations that complement the restaurant’s decor and theme, or to project images and animations onto the walls or tables of the restaurant. This can create an immersive and interactive environment that engages diners and transforms the dining experience into a true spectacle.

By the way, here is a great article about how our partners from Tenshino Restaurant (Bangkok) used AR.

Tip 13: Social Sharing and Engagement

The best advertisement is people and their opinions!

AR can facilitate social interaction and sharing within the food community. Users can capture and share their AR-enhanced dining experiences on social media platforms, creating a sense of community and sparking conversations about food.

This social engagement aspect adds a fun and interactive dimension to the dining experience, as users can exchange recommendations, reviews, and stories with others.

Tip 14: AR as a Quality Guardian for Food!

For prepared food, semi-finished products, or packaged food, AR will become the best advertisement and assistant!

AR can help in reducing food waste by providing real-time information on the freshness and expiration dates of ingredients. By scanning the ingredients or packaging, users can get suggestions for recipes or meals that utilize those ingredients before they spoil.

Some takeout food items may require customers to reheat or assemble certain components before they can be enjoyed. AR can provide step-by-step instructions overlaid on the packaging or the cooking area, guiding customers through the process.

This can help ensure that customers have a seamless experience and that the food is prepared and enjoyed correctly.

Tip 15: Utilize Marketing Tools

AR can not only be an engaging, entertaining, and helpful tool, but it can also help create smart retargeting campaigns.

Marketing Tools extension provides you with the ability to add social media pixels to not only websites but also AR projects. This allows you to communicate with your target audience more efficiently.

When users visit a website, they expect some form of advertising. However, with AR experience, users are unaware of the advertising. If you put a pixel in an AR scene on a specific product, such as a pizza box, you can get information about the user who bought the product. This data provides fascinating possibilities.

By using the Marketing Tools extension, you can gain a better understanding of your audience. You can make your targeted ads work more efficiently.

What’s next?

Augmented Reality can be a valuable assistant and tool in every aspect of the restaurant business. Whether it’s menu creation, advertising design, branding, decoration, or customer interaction, AR can help bring your plans to life.

Successfully implementing AR in the food industry requires creativity, openness to new ideas and technologies, and a willingness to experiment. By utilizing AR as a valuable tool, restaurant owners and managers have the opportunity to create a distinct and unforgettable dining experience. This can set their establishment apart from competitors and leave a lasting impression on customers.

This innovative technology can help differentiate their establishment from competitors and ensure customer loyalty. By embracing AR, restaurants can captivate their customers, leaving a lasting impression and encouraging them to return for more.

Try implementing one of these tips right now! Just start your journey into augmented reality!

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