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

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources