These Fast-Food Chains Are Coming To The Metaverse

Chances are you've at least heard of or seen the words "metaverse" or "NFTs" (which means non-fungible tokens) tossed around over recent years. But if you still aren't sure what exactly those phrases entail, it's essentially used to describe a digital world using virtual reality where people can create a second life (via The New York Times). In this separate world, people would converse with others and shop for digital things — including fast food — among other virtual activities. That's why those who venture into the metaverse would need to use a headset, microphone, and controllers to enter and maneuver through the 3D virtual world. 

Of course, if there is going to be another virtual world with shopping, it will also have restaurants that you can order food from. And McDonald's just might be the first one to enter the space since the chain has officially filed for several trademarks in the metaverse (via Entrepreneur). A total of 10 trademarks were filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office on February 4 on behalf of both McDonald's and McCafe to ensure that their interests are protected, including NFTs, "virtual food and beverage products," "operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery," and even "online actual and virtual concerts," Insider reports.

These chains are also moving toward virtual reality

That means restaurants like McDonald's can take orders in the metaverse and then deliver it straight to your actual home so you don't have to leave virtual reality to get your favorite fast-food order. But it will still be quite some time before this is a reality. According to Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer who spoke with Forbes, it can take up to nine months to get trademarks approved. So, don't rush to your home headset just yet. 

Of course, McDonald's is not the only food venue to try to make the most of the new technology. Panera also filed a trademark just one day before McDonald's for similar services, including entertainment, NFTs, and a metaverse rewards program. "I think you're going to see every brand that you can think of make these filings within the next 12 months," Gerben explained to Forbes.

According to The Spoon, other chains have already taken the first steps toward interacting with customers virtually such as Chipotle. You just might see even more virtual promotions and temporary experiences pop up while fast-food chains and other restaurants wait for their chances to start building their own virtual brand and services.