The Lowdown: the scannable burger

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: the scannable burger

Related tags: Burger, Japanese cuisine, App store, Restaurant

Modernised-Japanese restaurant Ichibuns is selling a burger with a scannable QR code branded on its bun

OK…why?
To celebrate the launch of the restaurant’s partnership with mobile-payment service Zapper. The app allows customers to make safe payments and split bills using their pho-

Yes, we all know what mobile payment apps are. What have they got to do with burgers?
Oh- the burgers are just a clever way of getting customers to download the Zapper app. By scanning the (edible) QR code on the top of the burger bun, the diner gets £7 off their first bill, and 50% off for return visitors paying with Zapper.

Surely they could just delete the app straight afterwards?
They could, but then they would miss out on the next trick Ichibuns and Zapper have come up with to "give back to diners".

What’s that, then?
Pinball. If customers download yet another app (this one’s made by the restaurant itself, and is called Ichipachinko), they can win points by playing virtual games of pinball, which can then be exchanged for vouchers on Zapper. Points can only be won, not bought – so there’s no cheating – and you would need 9,600 of them to win a burger. That said, we would argue that playing pinball at the table is one step worse than texting on a date.

They do realise we’re adults, right?
We feel like where there are free Wagyu burgers and milkshakes on the table, you might overlook the fact that you’re being infantilized into downloading loads of apps. And in fairness, the restaurant does have real, non-virtual pinball machines downstairs that are pretty popular with customers, and those don’t even get you any freebies.

Fair enough.
If that’s not enough to convince you to download the apps, Ichibuns CEO Benjamin Goldkorn reasons that by using Zapper in the restaurant, you will reduce waste from bill receipts, whilst also keeping on top of spending.

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