Good news! You can now earn money while consuming in a bar. It is not necessary to have a fine palate or prodigious handwriting. We are not here today to discuss the food critic’s profession. We want to introduce you to Foodcoin. Foodcoin allows consumers to exchange tokens for food and drinks every time they go to one of the bars on their platform. Meanwhile, the owners of the bars get customer loyalty with much lower costs than any current loyalty system.
A pioneering project
How does Foodcoin work? This system is much simpler than traditional loyalty systems. Innkeepers only need to dedicate three minutes to fill in a form and establish the percentage of incentives (cashback) they want to offer. This percentage can vary depending on the time of day, encouraging consumption at times the innkeeper wishes. On the other hand, users simply have to download the Foodcoin app, visit a restaurant in Foodcoin’s network, pay by credit card, and they will immediately receive their local coins to use on their next visit.
For example, if a consumer pays a €100 bill in one of the bars on the network that offers a cashback of 20%, the user will immediately receive 20 local coins. As a result, this user will get a €20 discount on his/her next visit to the bar. The innkeepers only have to pay a commission to Foodcoin if users return to the restaurant and use their local coins. Therefore, they will only have to pay in case of success.
How did this pioneering project come about? Foodcoin merges two trendy sectors. The restaurant sector, one of the principal victims of the pandemic, and the blockchain sector, a sector with an intense growing use of digital technologies and a commitment to this sector.
Ricardo Marín: the architect
Mr. Marín is the mastermind behind the project. He is probably familiar to many of you, as he co-founded the “Adopt a bar” project, an initiative that encouraged customers to pay in advance for their consumptions in bars when the pandemic kept their shutters closed. Ricardo is convinced that he recovery of the hospitality industry depends on the digital world. This time, he decided to go a step further and put the crypto world at the service of bars. Unthinkable a few years ago.
However, such an idea is not born overnight. Foodcoin, currently in a pilot phase, was born after more than 200 meetings with innkeepers and CEOs of large restaurant chains. A previous study by Coca-Cola, Mahou San Miguel, Pernod Ricard España, Makro, and EY had previously determined the need for bars to build customer loyalty with a simple and intuitive model. As a result, Foodcoin comes as a response to a previously defined need, exponentially increasing its chances of success and growth.
Foodcoin is likely to grow in several ways. First, geographically. Foodcoin proposes a digital and easily scalable business model. Thanks to a simple form, any bar (regardless of its location) could join the program. Moreover, the platform could offer new functionalities in the near future.
Back to the case of the user who received 20 local coins. What would happen if the user is not satisfied and does not return to the restaurant? Would the user lose his/her tokens? No. The company wants to implement a global currency: the foodcoin. Over time, if the user does not use the 20 localcoins, these could be converted into 10 foodcoins. These 10 foodcoins could then be used in all the bars on the network. The other 10 localcoins would be returned directly to the bar.
Such a global currency is not the only novelty that Foodcoin plans to implement in the near future. The company is also considering introducing beverage suppliers into the business, offering users cashback for consuming their particular brand. There are other possible ways of monetization, such as advertising on the platform or conducting studies on consumer preferences, which would be very useful for innkeepers.