How McDonald’s Is Making Its First Foray Into the Metaverse

By Charlene Badasie | 3 months ago


Fast-food giant McDonald’s is gearing up for its foray into the metaverse. Earlier this week, trademark attorney Josh Gerben said the eatery had filed 10 new trademark applications indicating that it’s planning to open a virtual restaurant in the digital realm. The documents include trademark protections for virtual food and beverage products. The applications also mention downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio and video files, and non-fungible tokens.

The McDonald’s McCafe brand was also included in the trademark paperwork, as well as entertainment services that include virtual concerts and other virtual events. Along with all those fancy offerings, there was also an application for a virtual restaurant featuring physical and virtual goods. There will be home-delivery options for real-life items.

The development comes amid the metaverse expanding in several parts of the world. Trademark attorney and the founder of Washington, DC-based Gerben Intellectual Property, Josh Gerben, shared the information in a post on social media. The filings were submitted by McDonald’s on February 4th. “Operating a virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods, operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery,” the trademark reads.

So how would all this virtual stuff work? In a follow-up tweet, Gerben explained that metaverse McDonalds would allow virtual reality gamers to walk in and place an order without putting down their headsets. The virtual burgers would be prepared by a brick-and-mortar version of the restaurant and be delivered to your home. 

However, McDonald’s isn’t the only food joint looking into joining the metaverse. Panera Bread also filed trademark documents for restaurants in the metaverse, along with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that could be used to buy virtual food and drinks. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Panera also seeks to register the brand name “Paneraverse” for its virtual presence.

Interestingly, this isn’t McDonald’s first step into the metaverse. In January, the burger outlet partnered with Chinese-Peruvian fashion designer Humberto Leon to create an interactive virtual exhibit to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The eatery launched the Hall of Zodiacs on January 31st. The immersive exhibition can be experienced through Tuesday, February 15th on virtual reality platforms like AltspaceVR and Spatial.  

The exhibit includes Leon’s interpretations of the 12 animals in the lunar cycle. Visitors can also get a personalized horoscope for 2022 based on their birth year and zodiac animal. Speaking about the project at the time, Leon said, “Kicking off Lunar New Year with McDonald’s in a way that underscores the creativity and innovation of the Asian-American community, makes me proud to offer a true expression of my identity and the influences that have shaped it, to which I know many will relate.”

The average time for the US Patent and Trademark Office to review an application is about nine and a half months. So for now, an official confirmation from McDonald’s on their metaverse development remains awaited. Meanwhile, food lovers can check out the brick-and-mortar stores for some cool offerings.

McDonald’s recently added customer-made menu hacks to its fast-food menu. Drawing inspiration from its most creative fans, the fast-food chain is selling four new items popularized by consumers. It’s the first time the company has sold “hacks” by name, which have become prominent on social media platforms. The four brand new menu hacks include creative additions like the Hash Brown McMuffin, the Crunchy Double, the Land, Air, & Sea, and the Surf + Turf.