Dave & Buster’s is starting the summer by doing something the eatertainment category has never seen—diving into the world of NFTs.
NFT stands for “nonfungible token,” meaning it’s one of a kind and can’t be replaced. Forbes explains it as a “digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos.” They are exchanged online, frequently with cryptocurrency.
The brand is one of the first restaurant and entertainment venues to offer NFT/digital collectible coins and cards that can be claimed as prizes. The collectible series features D&B Game Coins and D&B City Cards ranging from “common to rare to uber-rare” NFTs. Dave & Buster’s says collectors can acquire, trade, and resell its NFTs through Sweet, which is a broad-scale NFT marketplace allowing brands to mint and distribute NFTs to consumers through “gamified and immersive experiences.”
To start the Digital Collectibles Prize program, Dave & Buster’s will auction off an “uber-rare” NFT D&B Game Coin, with proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation. The auction is open to the public, and bidding will start June 23 at daveandb
“Winners of these uber-rare NFTs will unlock unique experiences that can be shared with family & friends at Dave & Busters,” the company said in a statement.
A couple of quick-service chains have hopped on the NFT train, as well. As part of a tongue-in-cheek press release, Domino’s said its cartoon rival the Noid is putting three NFTs up for auction on NFT marketplace Rarible. And in March, Taco Bell announced that it was selling taco-inspired artwork as NFTs on Rarible.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) March 8, 2021
But NFTs are only one piece of Dave & Buster’s planned innovation. The brand is also launching a new craft quality menu that features 23 new items and four summer-inspired drinks. Among the offerings are a Chimichurri Bowl, Fresh Burrata Mozzarella Bruschetta, Mushroom Stout Burger, Garlic Parmesan Truffle Fries, and Strawberry Shortcake.
It’s a strategy Dave & Buster’s has hinted at since last year. COO Margo Manning said in December that the chain is moving forward with an “Inspired American Kitchen” theme that’s rooted in enhanced flavors and quality ingredients. The company said the elevated menu would be 28 items, or 33 percent fewer than the 42 on Dave & Buster’s pre-COVID menu. The transition to the new menu began in mid-November.
“We expect our menu to drive an improved guest experience and increased food attachment rate, all aimed toward increasing food and beverage sales,” Manning said in early April.
Dave & Buster’s will also look to attract guests with more innovative arcade games including a life-size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos, Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, and new virtual reality experiences like Terminator: Guardian of Fate and Vader Immortal: Lightsaber Dojo.
The new offerings are celebrated by Dave & Buster’s new “We’re Back” brand campaign, which comes to life in more than 40 unique content pieces across broadcast, digital, and social channels starting Wednesday.
“Summer is here, and we’re excited to make this the best one yet!” said Pete Thornfield, vice president of brand marketing, in a statement. “This year, we’ve got bigger and better offerings to get our guests excited. With our new menu and cocktail offerings, game launches and introduction of our NFT Digital Collectible Coins & Cards, we’re excited for our guests to unlock that everyday winning feeling with family and friends.”