Given the absolute frenzy Pokémon Go has stirred in the few days since its release -- it's been downloaded more than Tinder! It earned Nintendo $9 billion! -- it's really just a matter of time before businesses start cashing in on the phenomenon. And inevitably, there will be a Pokémon Go pop up restaurant or café.
Already, the world has seen a cat café, a cereal-only restaurant, and even a Saved by the Bell pop up. So why not a Pokémon Café? Some savvy entrepreneur needs only to figure out if there's a gym within proximity of an available space. Take this scene from Central Park over the weekend as an example.
This Burger Comes on a Fried Cheese Bun
Now imagine that same number of people in a place with free Wifi, frequent use of lures, and all the amenities a Pokémon Go player wanted. It'd be like a Starbucks in a hip part of town, except everyone would be playing Pokémon on their phones, and not doing... whatever people in coffee shops do on their laptops. It wouldn't be hard to gain customer loyalty.
The game's designer, Niantec, Inc., chose its PokéStops and PokéGyms through a system involving Google Maps and user-submitted locations. Restaurants are already taking advantage of their proximity to Stops and Gyms -- some advertising their proliferation of Pokémon.
While the game's only been around for a handful of days at this point, making your business's Pokémon friendliness known to potential customers already seems to be making a difference. A Pokémon pop up is just an extension of that.
Surely, the game's popularity will die down. But for now, the augmented reality that is catching 'em all has real world consequences -- ones that inevitably will lead to some sharp businessperson making a lot more than just Pokécoins.
Also, feel free to send money my way if and when this venture happens.