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5 Ways Restaurants Can Benefit From Using Digital Assets


Greg Larson

Greg is an ethos content contributor, author, and web3 journalist who has contributed to more than 30 books, including Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers. His most recent book, ‘Clubbie’, was featured in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS Sports.

Greg is an ethos content contributor, author, and web3 journalist who has contributed to more than 30 books, including Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers. His most recent book, ‘Clubbie’, was featured in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS Sports.

When the restaurant industry embraces innovation, good things happen for both businesses and their customers. We’ve all seen the explosive success of delivery services in the past few years, and another area in which this industry is sure to benefit from is digital assets.

As restaurants look for innovative ways to adapt, the emergence of digital assets offers a unique opportunity.

In this article, we’ll dive into 5 ways that digital assets can be used to revolutionize the restaurant industry, catering to different types of dining experiences, from quick-service restaurants to upscale eateries.

Membership and Loyalty Programs as Digital Assets

One of the primary benefits digital assets bring to the table is the ability to uniquely digitize membership and loyalty programs within restaurants.

By purchasing digital assets that grant access to exclusive perks, customers can enjoy benefits such as reservation priority, quarterly tastings, or even custom-made dishes. This innovative approach not only encourages customer loyalty but also provides a new revenue stream for restaurants.

For example, Starbucks recently launched their Odyssey rewards program. Through the program, coffee lovers everywhere can earn digital assets by making purchases in Starbucks locations. Those digital assets can be exchanged for unique online and real-life experiences, such as virtual coffee preparation classes, personalized tumblers, free drinks, and more.

These NFTs have generated more than $1 million in trading revenue. In addition to generating revenue, membership and loyalty programs as digital assets can help restaurants gather valuable data about your customers' preferences and spending habits.

This information can be leveraged to create targeted marketing campaigns and offer personalized incentives, further increasing customer retention and satisfaction.

Recipes as Digital Assets

Digital assets can also be utilized to create and distribute unique recipes, offering them as rewards for loyal customers. By making your signature dishes available as digital collectibles, you can provide an added incentive for customers to return.

Furthermore, this unique reward system can foster a sense of exclusivity and community among patrons.

For example, Brazilian Chef David Rivillo, known for his creative pasta dishes, sells one-of-a-kind pasta recipes along with his digital presence via NFTs.

Recipes as digital assets not only adds value to the dining experience but also allows you to protect your intellectual property: blockchain technology allows you to assert ownership over your creations and provide a coveted recipe to your patrons. To make the NFTs more appealing and copyrightable, "bonus material" like insider tips or custom videos can be included with the recipes.

Cross-Promotional Opportunities

Cross-promotional opportunities allow you to collaborate with other businesses or even artists to create digital assets that offer combined experiences or unique perks, helping expand your customer base, forge valuable partnerships, and increase brand visibility.

For example, in 2021 Chipotle collaborated with Roblox, the online gaming platform, to offer $1 million in free burritos. Gamers could dress in Chipotle-themed costumes and accessories in the form of digital assets on the Roblox platform, which earned them free burritos. This partnership incentivized gamers to actively promote Chipotle, and it also incentivized Chipotle fans to sign up for Roblox.

Alternatively, a higher-end restaurant, such as a local farm-to-table spot, could partner with an organic winery to create a digital asset that grants holders a private tour of the winery, followed by a specially curated dinner at the restaurant featuring wine pairings from the vineyard.

This collaboration would not only offer a unique experience for customers, but would also promote both businesses and a shared commitment to sustainability.

Fundraising and Charitable Causes

Digital assets can serve as an effective fundraising tool for restaurants, both for your own business needs and for supporting charitable causes. By minting and auctioning off unique digital art or exclusive experiences, restaurants can raise much-needed funds.

Moreover, digital asset-based fundraising can help restaurants align with the values of their customers, contributing to a sense of shared purpose and community. For instance, Taco Bell launched a digital asset collection with all proceeds going to its Live Mas Scholarship, which supports passionate students across America.

Taco Bell sold a total of 25 digital assets, with some fetching over $800, while one of them even sold for more than $3,000. All buyers of the NFTs received a $500 Taco Bell gift card along with their digital assets. By leveraging the popularity of digital assets and creating a sense of exclusivity around these digital assets, Taco Bell was able to generate significant funds for their charitable cause and strengthen their connection with customers who share their values.

Unique Experiences & Merchandise

Unique experiences and merchandise can be unlocked through the use of digital assets, further strengthening the connection between you and your customers, all while adding value to the digital assets themselves.

As an example, the Chotto Matte restaurant chain launched a one-of-one digital asset with real life and digital benefits, such as invitations to new restaurant openings, first-class flights and accommodations, VIP distillery and vineyard visits, a New Year's Eve dinner for six at any worldwide location, and a private experience with the restaurant’s Executive Chef. Additionally, the digital asset grants holders access to major sporting events, including FIFA, boxing, and F1 races.

Another example could be a fine dining establishment offering a digital asset that unlocks a branded kitchen gadget, such as a high-quality chef's knife or a set of elegant coasters, and a special digital recipe book containing exclusive recipes from the restaurant's renowned chef.

This exclusive access and these items not only serve as status symbols for fans but also promotes the restaurant as customers proudly show off their experiences online and around town.

Customers who hold this digital asset would not only receive a useful and attractive addition to their kitchen, but also would have the opportunity to recreate some of their favorite dishes at home. In both cases, the digital assets not only offer unique and tangible rewards but also foster a deeper connection between you and your patrons.

Create Digital Assets for Your Restaurant

As digital assets are still relatively new, restaurants that adopt them early can enjoy a first-mover advantage. By embracing digital assets as a novel way to engage customers and support your business, these establishments can set themselves apart from competitors and attract a new clientele.

Ultimately, the integration of digital assets into the restaurant industry will lead to increased customer loyalty, new revenue streams, and a more resilient business model, ensuring that your restaurant can take advantage of the increasingly digital nature of the industry and continue to delight your patrons with exceptional culinary experiences.

If you’re interested in creating digital assets for your restaurant, connect with us at