Digital solutions platform Lunchbox announced on Tuesday the auction of what the company claims is the first-ever NFT restaurant. The nonfungible token — which in this case is represented by a digital animation of a walkthrough fast food restaurant — was auctioned off on the digital OpenSea marketplace with all profits going to a charity that supports marginalized entrepreneurs.
The NFT restaurant was sold to Lunchbox’s partner, 35-unit casual-dining chain, Bareburger (also where Lunchbox founder Nabeel Alamgir got his start in the restaurant industry) for an undisclosed amount. For Lunchbox, this is not just a one-time attempt at buying into a fad, this is the company’s first foray into the oft-spoken-of metaverse: a connection of three-dimensional virtual reality communities that enthusiasts believe will become the next phase of the internet.
“Our NFT virtual restaurant is a completely new concept made for restaurant brands who’re interested in getting involved in the metaverse,” Nabeel Alamgir told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Brands like Bareburger have a desire to reach customers in new and creative ways. A regular virtual restaurant only operates online and is synonymous with third-party delivery companies like Grubhub and Uber Eats.”
So, what exactly will Bareburger do as the owner of Lunchbox’s NFT? The animation of the digital restaurant is already set up with virtual kiosks in place, so Bareburger will be able to retrofit the VR restaurant into its virtual restaurant portfolio, which includes a digital-only chicken brand, the Naked Bird.
“We've never shied away from technology but the metaverse allows us to reach our guests in a way no other technology has in the past," Euripides Pelekanos, CEO of Bareburger said in a press release. "Lunchbox's virtual restaurant allows us to showcase our offerings in the ever-evolving digital neighborhoods and communities of the metaverse which we're excited to be a part of. We're working on completely retrofitting the virtual restaurant into something that is both familiar and quite literally out of this world."
This won’t be Lunchbox’s only foray into the metaverse. Alamgir said that he is in talks with a few Lunchbox clients to talk about innovative ways to immerse guests into a virtual world and “take digital ordering to the next level.” Right now, any restaurant can purchase Lunchbox’s virtual restaurant NFT and implement into their own digital portfolio.
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