What do you think of when you think of Chick-fil-A?
A certain wholesomeness, perhaps. Maybe even a sanctimoniousness.
Then there’s the whole “my pleasure” thing, as opposed to “you’re welcome.”
It all smacks of a certain white picket fence quality, garlanded with food that so many seem to love.
You might think, then, that the chain wouldn’t go the way of its competitors, pandering to every new whim. Chick-fil-A’s menu, after all, is relatively brief. It doesn’t even bother opening on Sundays.
I’m afraid I have to disabuse you a little. This week, Chick-fil-A quietly filed trademark applications for, oh, NFTs and the metaverse.
You’ll say this was inevitable. I’ll agree with you. McDonald’s has already piled into the metaverse in order to protect its name from Futureworld predators.
But just reading elements of the application — as revealed by trademark attorney and astrophysicist Mike Kondoudis — may make some customers mutter: “Oh, no. They can’t do this, can they?”
There’s something so real about Chick-fil-A, as evidenced by the traffic jams its drive-thru causes. So how can the chain straight-facedly now sell “virtual food and beverage products” and “downloadable virtual goods, namely, food items and beverages for use in virtual worlds”?
Of course, it doesn’t stop there.
How about: “entertainment services, namely, providing online, non-downloadable virtual food items and beverages for use in virtual environments”?
This application sinks further: “Non-downloadable computer software, namely, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for facilitating commercial transactions.”
I want to offer hope.
There’s this sentence, for example: “Conducting an incentive program whereby individuals can earn real world and virtual rewards.”
There you are, stuck in the metaverse. You’ve been there for many days. You can’t find your way out. You are, though, hungry.
Imagine, then, that your virtual activity might earn you rewards that you can use at your local Chick-fil-A. What an edifying prospect that would be.
And perhaps, just as with McDonald’s metaverse aspirations, Chick-fil-A will let you disappear into its pristine virtual world and order food for (what’s left of) your real world.
I fear those of a less than celestial persuasion will offer a darker view of this development.
Could it be, they’ll say, that this plunge into the Hades of the metaverse will allow Chick-fil-A to finally make money on Sundays? The chain doesn’t open on that day, so that employees can worship or simply rest, which seems quite sane in our world.
But you can’t shut down the metaverse just because you want a day of rest. Suddenly, you have an opportunity to make money on a day you’ve never made money before.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And what happens in the metaverse, well, no one needs to know, do they?