Luring Customers in with Pokemon Go

By on November 1, 2016

Social media changes constantly. With that in mind, we highlight our favourite trends for you to stay on the cutting edge. Follow along for tips on applying them to your restaurant’s strategy. 

The Pokemon Go craze has made some massive waves in the restaurant scene. It’s possible you haven’t heard of this till now, but highly unlikely. If you restaurant has yet to work with Pokemon, it’s not too late. Though the heat of the initial craze has died down, it’s still a great tool to show a playful side and bring in new visitors. Here are some ideas on how your restaurant can use this trend to increase sales.

Option 1: Your restaurant is a PokeStop – lucky you!

If your restaurant is a Pokestop, you may have already seen an increase in traffic. What are some ways to increase this traffic even more?

Place Lures

One of the easiest ways is to buy and place lures at your restaurant. Placing a lure at a PokeStop attracts Pokemon to the area, which attracts Pokemon players. A lure costs around $1.39 for half an hour or around $35 for the whole day. Your restaurant is likely to have servers or staff who love playing Pokemon so if you aren’t too Pokemon savvy yourself, bring them on board to help you place lures.

To get the most foot traffic from your lures, your restaurant should also be using social media to advertise when you will be dropping lures. This way, customers can plan in advance to be at your restaurant when you are placing the lure. Using your restaurant Facebook page or Twitter is great way to reach out to your current customers about when lures will be dropped. One way to reach out to new customers is through posting in local Pokemon groups that you will be placing lures. Make sure to share on social media when a rare Pokemon is spotted at your establishment! This will get the word out among trainers and bring some hungry Pokemon players into your restaurant.

Be Listed Under PokeStop Nearby on Yelp

That’s right, yelp allows people to filter by PokeStop Nearby now to fuel their Pokemon addiction even at dinner. If you restaurant isn’t registered under this filter, let Yelp know so you can lure some Pokemon players into your restaurant.

Hold a Pokemon Contest

If your restaurant wants to focus on engaging customers and building a community, you can hold a Pokemon contest. One idea is to ask customers to post pictures of Pokemon at your restaurant on social media and tag you in it. Every week, you can draw a winner and award a gift card or a dinner on the house. This can help get the word out that your restaurant is a good spot to catch Pokemon among Pokemon trainers through social media.


Pidgey Poke


Host a Pokemon Night

If your restaurant regularly hosts events, you can host a Pokemon night like a Pokemon trivia night to get extra traffic through the door. Another way is for your restaurant could be a part of a local Pokemon pub/restaurant crawl. This is bound to bring to customers through the door and promise a high energy night for your restaurant. To encourage a good turnout, promoting your event on social media is recommended. This is also a great time to drop some lures so that curious Pokemon players walk through the door and stay for the event!

Option 2: So your restaurant isn’t a PokeStop.

Not to worry, there are still plenty of ways for restaurants to get creative with the Pokemon hype. These ideas apply to restaurants who are PokeStops and want to go above and beyond as well.

Offer a discount to Pokemon trainers

People love discounts! If your business can afford to give discounts here and there, advertise on your chalkboard outside and on social media that you are offering discounts to Pokemon trainers. To spice things up a bit, rather than offering a 10% discount to anyone playing Pokemon, here are some ways to offer different discounts.

  • A discount equivalent to their level on Pokemon Go. If a customer has a level of 11, they get 11% off. Of course, this could get a bit out of hand when you have Pokemon masters at level 25, so how about a discount just on dessert or drinks?
  • A type of Pokemon they have. If you have a rare Pokemon, you
  • A discount for a specific teams. There are three different teams (Valor, Instinct, and Mystic). However, one thing to keep in mind is that lots of Pokemon trainers have not chosen their teams yet so distinguishing players by teams might not be the best idea.
  • A discount based on which team owns a nearby gym. This idea builds on the idea above of offering discount to one of the three teams. If your restaurant is near a gym, you can offer a discount to trainers of the team that owns the gym.

Become a Pokemon Go Friendly Location

Restaurant margins are already low and you might not want to offer a discount. Here are some ways you can become a Pokemon Go friendly location and lure customers in without offering discounts! Important thing to remember is to execute on the ideas with strong marketing for the word to get out that you are a Pokemon Go friendly location!

  • Offer phone chargers to customers. As fun as Pokemon Go is, it’s quite battery draining – if your restaurant or cafe has quite a few outlets, invest in a few phone chargers and advertise that you lend chargers to Pokemon Go trainers.
  • Create Pokemon Go inspired drinks/desserts. Lots of restaurants and bars have been creating drinks like a “Pikachu” drink! It’s a fun way to join in on the Pokemon Go hype. You can even offer a Pokemon Happy Hour menu as some restaurants have done successfully!

Pokémon-inspired cocktails at John Strongbow's.

Hopefully, there’s an idea or two in there that excites your team and works well for your restaurant! Once again, one of the most important things about carrying out a Pokemon Go marketing tactic is to make sure the word gets out in the Pokemon Go community. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Images courtesy of: Yelp,, Washingtonian)