Applebee’s: making art in the neighborhood. One of America’s favorite neighborhood grill chains has taken a giant leap into the world of the Metaverse, and they’re serving up Metaverse Mondays. Each Monday involves the sale of an NFT, proving that a weird marriage between cuisine and digital art is more than just a pipe dream. This week’s art will have your love for art taking flight on the wings of a buffalo.
Applebee’s Newest NFT
Last week, Metaverse Mondays kicked off and they’re back again for a brand new deal and digital piece. NFTs are the new hot ticket item, and Applebee’s is serving theirs up piping hot with a plate of America’s favorite football snack: wings. Starting at noon on December 20, up for grabs will be a whole year’s worth of wings, and a breathtakingly beautiful stylized digital art NFT of wings on a plate.
The NFT was designed by Vizie, a Houston-area native who produces art in New York City. It features a perfect plate with stylized digital wings on it that look good enough to eat. If you want to snag this deal, head to Metaverse Monday‘s website and place your bid for “Meateors.” As of the writing of this article, the highest bid was around $111 – but that will rise quickly as evidence of a bidding war has appeared. With 46 hours left to go before the bidding closes, there’s plenty of time to get your hands on both the NFT and the dream of wings for a year.
This week’s NFT follows the success of last week’s, which was an NFT of a burger by New York artist Amber Vittoria. The NFT was of course inedible, but it came with $1,300 in gift cards so the winner of the bids could buy all the burgers they want. The first NFT only sold for $25, so if this week’s current bid is any indication, the newest one will out-sell the last one by quite a lot.
Restaurant Business shares, “‘We are all about ‘Eatin’ Good In The Neighborhood,’ and our ability to connect the real world with the virtual world through our great tasting Handcrafted Burgers was an innovative idea we wanted to seize,’ said Applebee’s CMO Joel Yashinsky in a statement. ‘Our first #MetaverseMonday was a success, and we look forward to continuing to engage our fans with real world food and virtual world NFTs that reflect our delicious food throughout this month!’”
Applebee’s joins White Castle, Dominos and Taco Bell in joining the digital art revolution that is NFTs and launching into the Metaverse world. Applebee’s will feature a new NFT every Monday throughout December.
Into the Metaverse
Perhaps your head is spinning a little bit with all the mentions of NFTs and the Metaverse. It sounds like the kind of lingo you’d expect in a science-fiction adventure movie, right? Well, the future is here. Investopedia explains the Metaverse: “The metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities.
As the metaverse grows, it will create online spaces where user interactions are more multidimensional than current technology supports. Instead of just viewing digital content, users in the metaverse will be able to immerse themselves in a space where the digital and physical worlds converge.”
Facebook has already jumped on board, changing their umbrella company name to Meta and vowing to expand their social media platform offerings into the virtual world. Other companies are finding a way to launch on the Metaverse as well. While you can’t eat digital food, you can certainly meet at a digital Applebee’s for karaoke night with the pals without leaving your own home. Is that over the horizon? It’s hard to say. But corporations across the world are scrambling to get plugged into the Metaverse so as it begins to take shape, they’ll be ready and waiting for customers.
The concept of the Metaverse isn’t without risk; just ask any fan of Ready Player One. But especially as the world faces another surge of COVID-19, this time the Omicron variant, and more people shift to remote work, the idea that people can still socialize and interact from home is an appealing thought.
It will require careful approach, balance, and like all things in life – moderation. It remains to be seen who will have the most control over the Metaverse, much the same way the internet remains a somewhat nebulous and uncontrolled Wild West. But with companies like Applebee’s already tuned in and ready to meet customer needs before they even know they have them, it will surely be a place of convenience and opportunity.