The Halal Guys Explores Potential Power of NFTs

In honor of The Halal Guys opening store No. 100, the brand is offering loyal customers who have dined with the restaurant 100 times or more entry into the Century Club, which includes an exclusive NFT of the original food cart.

The program acknowledges longtime guests with various perks and exclusive gifts. Other benefits include swag, a Century Club coin, and a 3D printed cart.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique token stored on a blockchain, which is a type of digital ledger. NFTs can be sold and traded by whoever owns the token on various digital marketplaces. NFTs are non-interchangeable units of data — making them easily identifiable — and are usually associated with photos, videos, and audio. Holding an NFT gives the owner exclusive access to these files, which drives interest due to the limited number released for any one collection. Usually, the more exclusive the NFT, the higher it will cost.

The popularity of NFTs has skyrocketed in the last year-plus, and has attracted the attention of major brands, like Papa Johns and McDonald’s, and smaller chains, like Chick’nCone.

“We felt the NFT offered an interesting juxtaposition of the same kind of old school carts we’re so well known for with a modern 2022 twist on it,” says Andrew Eck, The Halal Guys VP of Marketing. “I’ve been paying attention to what some other concepts within this space of the industry have been doing… I thought it could be a cool way to bring The Halal Guys into that world as well.”

READ MORE: Should Restaurants Buy Into the Crypto Craze?

Eck believes the recent uptick in interest is a prime opportunity to blend digital tokens into the brand’s marketing strategy. With this being the fast casual’s first exploration into the metaverse, Eck is keeping an eye on the campaign’s effectiveness.

“I very much believe in the world of crypto, NFTs, and the use of blockchain technology,” he says. “I think it’s something that will be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future.”

Eck says The Halal Guys is approaching the promotion of the Century Club in the same way American Express does with its black card, opting for an exclusive angle rather than blasting promotions across various channels. The hope is that members will promote their inclusion on private social media profiles and through word of mouth, as opposed to The Halal Guys dropping marketing dollars.

Although he believes crypto and the digital world will play a major role in the quick-service space in the coming years, Eck is quick to admit that meshing the two worlds is still in its fledgling stages. He says several technological advancements — such as making the innovation more accessible and less complicated — will have to be introduced before things like NFTs are accepted by the masses.

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