The food brands getting in on gaming

In recent years, well-known food chains have partnered with video game developers to offer in-game rewards for their products or services. This collaboration not only enhances the gaming experience by adding an extra layer of excitement and motivation for players but also allows restaurants to reach the 40% of Gen Z and nearly 60% of Gen Alpha who refer to themselves as “gamers,” as uncovered in Cassandra’s landmark Gen Alpha report. These in-video game rewards and dining experiences demonstrate the growing intersection of the gaming and dining industries, and quick-service restaurants are going all-in on these immersive moments for gamers. Ahead, we take a bite out of a few of them.


Pizza Hut and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longstanding history that goes back to the ‘90s, and as part of a campaign around last month’s release of the latest TMNT movie- and in a nod to the Turtles’ subterranean lair, Pizza Hut toyed with underground deliveries to New York City subway stations that were ordered by texting a turtle emoji to a special hotline. In addition, the pizza chain also released an AR game - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pizza Power, where players are delivery drivers tasked with finding the four Turtles under virtual manhole covers, fighting mutants, and delivering pizza for the chance to win movie tickets and free pizza for a year.


KFC has a background in the gaming world, including a 2019 dating simulator where players were challenged to impress an animated Colonel Sanders in their adventures in culinary school. This year, however, back in June, the chicken shop launched a spicy promotion tied to the new Diablo® IV video game release. For a month, customers who purchased any KFC Chicken Sandwich on the KFC app or KFC.com were eligible to unlock exclusive in-game rewards, including up to five battle cosmetics in KFC's signature red and white brand colors, with each piece of equipment representing one Diablo class, to help gamers show off their style.


Keeping it in 2019 for a minute, Chipotle also went all in on in-gaming rewards and launched the Chipotle Challenger Series, an online e-sports competition for popular video game streamers and teams to win cash and a yearlong supply of free burritos. Fast forward to the present day, Chipotle recently announced itself as the official launch partner for the highly anticipated fighting game Street Fighter 6, where players earn in-game currency with every online purchase made via Chipotle’s website and mobile app. In addition, the Mexican restaurant chain also announced an initiative with Twitch, making it the first ever restaurant to offer free chips and guac just by watching Street Fighter 6 content on the platform.