The adoption of tech-based strategies will help chicken foodservice concepts improve engagement with today’s consumers. “It’s going to be the younger consumer that’s really going to glom onto the metaverse and those sorts of things,” said Kelley Bailie Fechner, director, customer solutions, Datassential. Fechner will highlight the technologies and trends ready to shape the future of chicken foodservice in 2022 and beyond at the 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit.

“If you’re trying to attract a younger consumer, digital is going to be a way to create excitement.”

Make plans to attend the 2022 edition of Chicken Marketing Summit scheduled for July 25-27, 2022 at the Château Élan in Braselton, Georgia. Registration is now open with early savings available.

1. Ghost/virtual kitchens

Ghost and virtual kitchens capitalize on the popularity of delivery. Many of these concepts operate inside already existing restaurants and help optimize search engine optimization (SEO) for a brand, since many consumers search for a particular menu item when ordering delivery.

“As the pandemic was occurring, wings blew up with the ghost kitchens. I think it will be interesting to see what that looks like post-COVID,” said Fechner.

Chicken wings are an especially popular menu item for ghost and virtual kitchens, however they are also one of the foods that saw the greatest price increases due to high demand, supply chain shortages and inflation.

Given that fact, the question remains if chicken wings will remain dominant in ghost kitchens and virtual concepts or if another menu item will gain traction, she added.

2. Advances in ordering technologies

From apps to digital kiosks, it’s easier to order chicken and other food online than ever before. Some foodservice concepts are even piloting artificial intelligence (AI) in the drive-thru.

These technologies can be a major benefit for several reasons.

First, it gives restaurants the ability to implement dynamic pricing. Operators could easily raise the price of chicken products when they are in high demand.

It also helps from a staffing perspective as well. Automated prompts can easily upsell menu items to consumers, freeing up staff to focus on preparing chicken sandwiches.

“It can take some stress off the staff, especially when we’re all in a situation where staffing is definitely tough,” noted Fechner.

3. Welcome to the metaverse

With the metaverse, consumers don virtual reality glasses, create an avatar and meet up with friends. Although these activities take place in the metaverse, users can place orders for chicken wings, chicken sandwiches and other items that get delivered directly to their home.

For example, quick service restaurant brand Wendy’s recently launched its first virtual-reality Wendyverse restaurant. The new location in the metaverse gives users new opportunities to react with each other and the brand, including the chance to go behind the counter, meet friends and shoot hoops with a virtual Baconator.

“You’re not really eating in the metaverse, but you’re creating that ordering perspective. It’s another way to highlight lots of things and drive traffic,” Fechner explained.

“It’s worth trying because you do really feel like you’re really in that metaverse and you’re looking around.”

Attend the 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit

The 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia on July 25-27. Serving a unique cross section of the chicken supply chain, Chicken Marketing Summit explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior.

NEW FOR 2022: Submit your free nomination for Chicken Marketer of the Year.

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