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

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...

FSD Resources