What McDonalds Thinks About the Metaverse

The Lempert Report
March 22, 2022

McDonald's recently filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that largely center around the $36 billion company's expansion into the "virtual food and beverage sector." Trademark attorney Josh Gerben tweeted about what he sees in their applications. He says that McDonald's is really after: "operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery." Unlike so many brands that are over hyping NFTs and other Metaverse applications – McDonalds wants to keep it simple – and for many grocery e-commerce players they should take note. It’s a way to create a better more fun user experience without over complicating. Kelly Main writes in Inc. magazine that there are 3 guideposts to an effective metaverse strategy.

1. Sell what sells for you.

No one decides to swing into a McDonald's because they're looking to invest some money or buy some artwork. So when McDonald's decided to join the metaverse, it wasn't just an attempt to stay relevant or to sell something totally new, but to keep selling exactly what sells: real-life burgers, fries, and other food products.

2. Meet people where they are.

A future where people are spending their time in the metaverse means that they're not going out to a McDonald's restaurant in person. But that doesn't mean McDonald's needs to lose the opportunity to feed hungry people looking for a bite to eat. And so McDonald's is using the metaverse to meet people where they are--a key to finding customers--by giving them the ability to visit a McDonald's in the metaverse and order real food, which will get delivered to their real homes. 

3. Offer a clear value.

Because they can get via the metaverse exactly what they would get from a real-life McDonald's restaurant, it will reduce friction and drive sales. After all, people know how much a burger and a shake costs, and when they buy it, they know exactly what they will get for their money. 

The genius of McDonald's entry into the metaverse is that it proves you can be true to your brand DNA AND explore new technologies. For McDonald’s and other businesses the metaverse is just another platform to reach customers and make sales. Don’t over think it and imagine how cryptocurrency or NFTs will expand your business or make you hip. It’s just a Big Mac.