Playing to Win

Games help promote customer engagement with foodservice program.

Published in FSD Update

Imagine customers actively engaging with foodservice at least once a day. That’s the reality when companies, such as Microsoft, partner with companies like Gametation, which “drives better choices using targeted, quick-to-play games,” according to the company’s website. At the Society for Foodservice Management’s annual Critical Issues Conference, Riyaz Habibbhai, director of business development for Gametation, presented the findings of a campaign his company performed with the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash. The results were impressive. (Microsoft declined to be interviewed for this article). Habibbhai says the team at Microsoft saw participation from more than 50% of the campus, which equates to 25,000 to 30,000 people.

“We thought the foodservice industry was the perfect market for these games because, for people in that industry, there are crucial times of the day when they want to capture a customer’s attention,” Habibbhai says. “How can we capture those customers’ attention and make it fun?”

How it works: Customers are invited to play on their smartphones to try to win a dining deal. If the user doesn’t win, operators can set up an ad to show up on the phone. Operators determine what and how long the game runs, how many people can win each day and how often they can play.

Game options: Habibbhai says the Gametation team initially created games based on nostalgia or prior knowledge such as Spin the Bottle or Scratch and Match. The team also develops custom games for clients such as a probability game.  

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources