Eatertainment has long been associated with the full-service segment. For many, the very term might conjure up images of somebody hitting a drive at Topgolf and then taking a bite of a chicken wing. Or maybe others think of being at an Alamo Drafthouse, eating a meal and watching a film.
While the segment had a tough go of it during the pandemic, demand for eatertainment may be at an all-time high—a recent Datassential survey found that the majority of people want “more eatertainment in their lives.” It begs the question: Is this moment an opportunity for the quick-service segment?
“We’re on this precipice of change, and you see it in how restaurant businesses are thinking of their buildouts moving forward,” says Mike Neri, senior vice president of distribution at Atmosphere. “They recognize that they have to bring some new element into the mix to get diners excited about eating there and staying there and ordering that extra drink.”
And, the bottom line is, eatertainment sells. Consider some eye-popping results reported by Neri’s company, Atmosphere. The streaming TV service reports that businesses see a 14 percent increase when they’re showing Atmosphere content, and—what’s more—a 19 percent increase in repeat business.
Atmosphere is the very definition of eatertainment, too: the service builds content that is meant to be as engaging as possible. With over 60 streaming channels, the content is curated to keep guests in a restaurant storefront, increasing their check size—one drink, small plate, or dessert at a time.
“This is all about the customer experience,” Neri says. “You see it all over the industry: operators are evolving and leaning heavily into tech to get patrons into businesses, to give them a better experience, and get them to spend more of their hard-earned money. But what does a customer do when they walk into a business, after they order food? They go nose deep into their phone, waiting for the cashier or server to drop off their food. Atmosphere is the best way to amplify the customer experience to where they’re taking it all in—you want to make them remember that feeling they had while they waited for their food.”
Atmosphere is already in the stores of quick-service giants like Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and many others. That’s because operators are increasingly cutting the cord and ditching cable in favor of Atmosphere—a free way to provide eatertainment to in-store guests. The business model is ad-driven, with space for restaurant businesses to place house ads to help drive interest in things like LTOs and loyalty programs—this win-win of a model is yet another reason Neri is bullish on the idea that Atmosphere will help make eatertainment a huge part of the quick-service model moving forward.
“We’re doubling down on quick-service right now because we just see such a huge fit for it,” Neri says. “And we’re working with high profile brands that see a ton of value in it. From a corporate level, so many of these brands want to provide them with a new tool that provides direct value to their franchisees. We’re that tool. We’re really excited to see where all of this goes in the next couple of years—we’ve got some big things in store.”
For more on how to get a free eatertainment solution, visit Atmosphere’s website.