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.  

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