McDonald’s, which operates in 40,000 locations worldwide, has filed ten patent applications for its restaurants and McCafe related to the Metaverse. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben announced the move in a tweet titled “McDonald’s is headed to the metaverse”. The Fast Food company appear to be vigorously preparing to embrace the digital landscape.
Imagine you are in the Metaverse and are hungry, you will be able to go to a virtual McDonald’s, order your food, and it will deliver it to your real-world address. McDonald’s patent applications include trademarks for “virtual food and beverage products; downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio and video files and NFTs.”
McDonald’s plans to create Metaverse restaurants, concerts and events “featuring actual and virtual goods.” Real-world products will be available for home delivery. But entering into the Metaverse comes with its own risks. What may be a trendy spot one minute become a key meeting spot for a fascist group” the next. It will be vital for McDonald’s to keep up with the zeitgeist to know where to invest. Also, Mcdonald’s will need to get to “know the crowd” as not all Metaverse communities will welcome commercialisation.
Many areas of the Metaverse are seen as an escape from the commercialised world. In many ways, the Metaverse resembles the early web, with lots of niche places, an ethos of sharing and a population of nerds. The virtual world is now attracting corporate investment and mainstream users. The adoption of the Metaverse with the mainstream will likely be dependent on commercialisation. It’s doubtful that Twitter or Facebook would have gone viral had advertising been in place at the start. The same principles follow with web 3.0 applications, bring in commercialisation too early and you will lose the crowd.
McDonald’s patent applications are an intelligent way of future-proofing their brand for the Metaverse economy. It will allow the purchase of food and beverages without removing headsets. For McDonald’s virtual restaurants to be seen as a primary place for social gatherings within the virtual world, it will be vital that the brand position itself on a Metaverse platform where users welcome them.