Augmented Reality (AR) in Restaurant: Benefits & Examples

restaurant augmented reality
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Gartner estimated that over 100 million consumers used AR to shop in 2020. While 66% of people say they are interested in using AR for help when shopping.

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With the help of Augmented Reality, retailers can customize and personalize the shopping experiences of these 100 million people as opposed to traditional retail experiences where most users would have a similar shopping experience. With targeted offerings in the retail space, AR shoppers are able to have a more impactful, personalized shopping experience.

Operating a restaurant in such a competitive market is already a challenging business, with the ever-growing demand for creativity and the ability to stand out. Therefore, retailers have never shied away from experimenting and choosing to adopt new technology in their restaurants. Augmented Reality can help them to provide a unique experience to their diners.

Why Augmented Reality in Restaurants?

There is an increase in demand for augmented reality restaurants because they complement and enhance the gastronomic experiences offered outside their routine home food. It helps the foreigner to not only read the menu but also have a look at each ingredient and a feel of what they are about to eat.

Hence, they feel empowered and confident before ordering their meal. Augmented reality restaurant offers ease of creating the food menu as per the diner’s choice, by allowing them to choose their ingredients and witness the preparation of food live. These restaurants also provide the liberty to choose the table for a fine dining experience and have firsthand exposure to the ambiance even before entering the restaurant.

Benefits of using Augmented Reality in Restaurants

Training the Chef & Staff

Augmented Reality is widely used nowadays to train and groom the staff by providing virtual classes to the chef and allowing them to learn to cook new items virtually. It also provides full access to all the locations in the restaurant thus helping the staff to become familiar with the surroundings.

Guide customers to your restaurant

Geotagging is an essential feature of AR which provides informative and interactive location-based markers to the customers. This also helps the restaurants in tracking new potential customer in their vicinity and offer them discounts and a special menu of the day.

Making interior unique

Restaurants are now coming up with unique décor which transports the diner to various countries and eras while enjoying the delicacies.

Eliminate the barriers of language

A detailed digital representation of the dishes eliminated the need for writing down the menu

7 Examples of Augmented Reality(AR) in Restaurants

Redefining entertainment at restaurants

People who love to go for a virtual scavenger hunt created a new channel for restaurants by turning into a real-life location for Niantic Pokémon Go. It helped the restaurants to leverage the love for the game by creating new revenue streams for their business by generating more foot traffic. Much augmented reality restaurant is offering their tabletops as set up for many board games which can be enjoyed by the customers while waiting for the food.

There are many other gamers like Niantic who are partnering with the restaurants to generate a two-way profit by offering free advertisement or credits to the gamers by visiting these restaurants. One such example is Chipotle which has come up with an app named The Scarecrow which entertains the guests by generating a quiz on ingredients and their procurement.

Augmented Reality Gifting

Augmented reality gifting is a rethinking of restaurant cards that have remained the same for decades. Uptown in partnership with Rock paper reality came up with a unique idea that changes the gift cards into a more personal and thoughtful gesture. They created a BYOM, a fully interactive digital menu that allowed the buyer to choose their dishes, time, and day with complete flexibility to pay online.

Product ‘Launch’ & ‘Promotion’

Absolut juice utilized the features of augmented reality and created a minigame with Snapchat. To catch the strawberries in a glass the user needs to open and close the mouth. This helped in engaging more and more audiences in a “fantastic” way and helped in promoting the juices to a vast audience while appealing to all age groups.

Interactive Advertising

One of the key marketing strategies is promotion and advertising. The stronger the advertising the more life the product has in this competitive market. To keep up the reputation and relevance in the market even restaurants try to engage in affecting advertising.

To suffice this, Bare burger is one such example, it is the fast-food chain that has used the power of augmented reality to create a hyper-realistic menu that lets the diners not only have a look at the final product but also have a full explanation of the ingredients that go into it.

Interactive Recipes

It is a welcome gesture from the restaurants when they started sharing the well-kept secrets of their recipes with the diners. It helped to create mutual trust between the restaurants and customers who can see how the food is prepared for them and could appreciate the detailed nuances of the delicacies.

Heinz a few months back allowed its customers to unlock some of its recipes in the form of an augmented reality book. To unlock it the buyers just needed to scan the barcode provided on the ketchup bottle. This way the customers could have a look at all the recipes they could try using Heinz Ketchup

Virtual Renderings

Try-on-session is a very common trend amongst beauty brands and fashion retailers. Similar tactics are now adopted by the businesses in the food and hospitality industry to provide a live experience to the customers during lockdowns and social distancing.

Magnolia Bakery in New York City, has utilized the platform for augmented reality to customize cakes and other confectionaries to provide the buyers a glimpse into their final product after customization without actually visiting the shop.

Living Product Labels

2020 has been a challenging year for the restaurant industries especially for breweries and wineries which saw a marginal drop in sales. This setback was very quickly compensated by the restaurant who had adopted augmented reality like Treasury wine estate did.

The winery partnered with a mobile app and created a series of animated characters for its 19 crimes bottle. Each crime label was depicted as a prisoner who would pop up on the screen as soon as the user clicks on the bottle picture in the app. The prisoner would provide a detailed description of its origin and its evolution over time.

Portals to educate customers

Brand loyalty can be created amongst consumers when they are made aware of the various ingredients that go into the dishes, the origin of the dish, and its evolution over the ages. Here Augmented reality restaurants found an upper hand by allowing consumers to have the access to the factory or the origin of the key ingredients on their signature dishes.

A great example came from Jack Daniels which allowed all its customers who indulge in Lynchburg Lemonade to have exclusive access to their factory. This allowed them to have a live tour of the production and packaging of their signature whiskey.


Augmented reality has lots of applications in many industries and when it comes down to restaurants it is going to be an integral part of this sector. Even though it is lagging due to a lack of knowledge and skill but slowly it is crawling back making its own space in the restaurant industry by attracting consumers and sellers both simultaneously. To ease out the experience of AR many platforms are available which are easier to use and are compatible with the restaurant industry.

One such platform is Vossle. It is the simplest platform to create an augmented reality experience in three steps in just one minute. The first step is to create an account. The next step is to upload the content and the last step is to publish and share the link to the website. It is important to utilize the full potential of such platforms to enhance brand engagement and ensure a full-fledged experience for the diners.