Everything Restaurants Need to Know About Pokémon Go

Social Media Marketing NYC

Pokémon Go is the gaming phenomenon that has taken New York City (and the world) by storm. It’s been years since Pokémon’s glory days shined upon us and just when we thought we would never see those days again, they’re back!

People of all ages are reliving their nostalgia by playing the game by walking around the city looking for Pokémon to capture, train, and evolve. With advances in technology, the game has become more immersive as it interacts with the real world. It’s a game that requires players to get up and go outside, posing as a serious opportunity for your business to cash in. We’ll walk you through the right ways to bring in customers to your restaurant with Pokémon Go.

The 101 on Pokémon Go

The basics: Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game, meaning it’s a virtual game that takes place in the real world. Players, called “Trainers,” find and catch Pokémon with their smartphones. Unlike most video games, Pokémon Go Trainers need to walk around and explore the world around them to catch Pokémon in the real world. There are several kinds of Pokémon. Some are rare and others more common. Once Pokémon are caught they can be trained to be stronger for battle with other Pokémon.

Pokélingo You Need To Know

Pokéstops: These are areas of interest that exist in the real world. It could be a mural, art sculpture or, landmark. It’s an opportunity for Pokémon Trainers to acknowledge the world around them. In the game, when Trainers visit a pokéstop they acquire free items in the game, like pokéballs (red and white colored spheres) which are used to capture pokémon. Pokéstops are unique because “lures” can be set up to them. “Lures” are items in Pokémon Go that attract Pokémon to a pokéstop for 30 minutes. If your business is near a pokéstop or is one, this is an opportunity to lure Trainers to your restaurant (pun intended 😉).

Gyms: Pokémon trainers can train or battle at gyms to overthrow ownership of a gym in favor of their team, either Valor, Mystic, or Instinct. Training and battling at gyms helps Pokémon Trainers advance in the game. Similar to pokéstops, gyms are areas of interest, so there’s a chance your business may be a gym. Unlike pokéstops, lure modules don’t work at gyms. Despite this, there are still ways to promote your business in conjunction with Pokémon Go.

Strategies to Catch Customers While They “Catch ‘Em All”

When You’re Near a Pokestop If you’re near a Pokéstop or your business is a pokéstop (high five!) you can set up lure modules. They’ll attract pokémon and therefore customers to your business.

Not sure if your business is near a pokéstop? You can check on the app. Look for the floating blue cubes. If you see one that turns into spinning circles as you approach your business then congrats, you have a pokéstop near your business!

Now that you’ve figured out that you have a pokéstop near you, it’s time to bring in the trainers. One lure module costs 100 pokécoins (99 cents). While you can buy lures in smaller quantities, it’s better to buy lures in bundles, as they are discounted. Unsure about spending money on lures? Here’s how the math breaks down with just $100

14,5000 Pokecoins / 680 (cost of lures) = 21 eight packs of lures 
(21*8) lures /2 = 84 hours
$100/84 = $1.19 per hour

Here’s how to set up a lure to a pokéstop

  • Tap on the pokéball on the main screen of the app
  • Tap on “shop” to purchase lures.
  • Scroll down and tap on the purple rectangular lures to purchase
  • Once the purchase process finishes tap on the pokéball, then tap on “items”
  • Tap on the lure module
  • BAM! Lure module is set!

When You’re Near a Gym Lure modules can’t be used at gyms but you can take advantage of the many players coming to battle.

To see if your restaurant is near a gym or is a gym, check on the app. Gyms look similar to pokéstops except they are much larger, are either red, purple, and yellow in color, and usually have a pokémon on top.

Once you know whether or not your restaurant is near a gym, you can use the follow ideas to promote Trainers to visit your business.

Incentivize players to step inside your store by advertising a discount on the energy food or drink of the day for different teams. For example, if you own a cafe Team Valor can power up with a chocolate croissant, Team Mystic with a fudge brownie, and Team Instinct with a blueberry scone.

Provide a free appetizer or drink for the team who owns the gym at each hour. For example, let’s say Team Valor owns the gym at 1:00pm. During the 1 o’clock hour there will likely be many players battling for ownership of the gym. At 2:00 pm Team Mystic has taken over so now team mystic can redeem the discount. Feel free to implement this during your slow hours and try it out during happy hour. You may end up with a lot more smiles than you’re used to.

When You’re Not Near Anything Being near pokéstops and gyms aren’t the only ways to cash in on the Pokémon Go sensation. Even if there are no gyms or pokéstops near you, Pokémon are everywhere. Take advantage of store signage and social media to show which Pokemon are lurking right around your restaurant.

Motivate customers to show what Pokémon they’ve caught at your restaurant with a special hashtag on Instagram and provide prizes for those who catch rare pokemon or Pokémon with high CP.

Get Creative! The more fun you have with promoting Pokémon Go around your business the more people will want to interact with your business. Remember to spread the word about your Pokémon Go promotions both online and offline for best results.

Looking for guidance on how to elevate your business’s social media marketing? Clickdaily is New York City’s Premier Social Media and Branding Agency. We specialize in helping restaurants large and small create a distinguishable brand identity online. Start bringing in new business from your social media accounts and get the results you deserve.

Kelly Garcia