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Tech Tracker: Starbucks enters the metaverse

Senior editor Joanna Fantozzi on the latest innovations in restaurant technology


Starbucks is entering the metaverse. The Seattle-based coffee giant in September announced the creation of Starbucks Odyssey, a Web3 experience launching in late 2022. With Odyssey, Starbucks Rewards members can buy and trade collectible limited-edition NFTs to unlock new rewards benefits and complete interactive activities to earn NFT digital badges known as “journey stamps.”

With this announcement, Starbucks joins its other colleagues that have also experimented with interactive NFT trading and games in the metaverse, including ChipotleWendy’s and most recently, Taco Bell.

Starbucks is following the recent metaverse trend of lowering the barrier to entry for those without crypto know-how: the Starbucks Odyssey experience will not require users to use an Oculus Quest 2 (or any other special equipment) and it can be entered through the Starbucks Rewards app. Users also don’t need to have a crypto wallet to purchase the collectible NFTs.

According to Starbucks, the interactive games will encourage users to collect these digital badges, which will also be assigned points values based on their rarity and can be bought or sold on the blockchain to unlock benefits like a virtual espresso martini-making class, access to exclusive merchandise, invitations to events at Starbucks Roasteries and even international vacations, like a trip to the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica.

Each NFT will feature original artwork created by Starbucks partners and outside artists, and a portion of the proceeds of each NFT sale will go toward unspecified causes.

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