Zorawar Kalra enters the Food Metaverse

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New Delhi, March 6 (IANSlife) To redefine the landscape of blockchain industry in India, the first-ever project to build a metaverse for food, gaming, and NFTs on the blockchain ecosystem is on the cards. Onerare, announced its collaboration with Massive Restaurants to bring all its entities into the Foodverse, starting with one of the most loved cafes by the people of the country – the Farzi Cafe.

The collaboration will enable Massive Restaurants, known to celebrate modern Indian cuisine, to enter into the Metaverse, and create its first experience restaurant in OneRare’s Food Metaverse.

Massive Restaurants will present NFTs celebrating their signature dishes on the blockchain for the first time ever, as well, create virtual restaurants, interactive experiences and more. OneRare and Massive Restaurants will together explore the blockchain world to power up table reservations, online ordering, and offering the world’s first tokenisation layer for food, creating an immersive and gamified experience.

IANSlife spoke to Zorawar Kalra, Fuunder and Managing Director, Massive Restaurants and Supreet Raju, Co-Founder OneRare to get all the details.

Cloud kitchens and take away are having their moment thanks to the pandemic. Your thoughts on this?

Zorawar: Yes, I think its bourgeoning, and we are still at the initial phase of this food stage in India, just at a fraction of numbers in orders and deliveries compared to other countries. But its growing at a fantastic pace, it’s going to be the next big thing. Obviously Covis-19 has helped the growth of the online space because brick and mortar was shut, but I don’t foresee see any more lockdowns, but I think delivery has cut itself as a big slice of a pie, and is here to stay.

We are now building a lot of brands they are going to be singularly focused on bringing food to people’s homes, Louis Burgers has had phenomenal success in Delhi and Mumbai, and will available in 4-5 cities by the end of March. We are also looking at about 100 points of sale by the end of the year, brands like ours who are into restaurants realize that the cloud space is very relevant, its important and its here to stay. It will offer incredible growth possibilities, its not a substitute and compliments the existing business.

You’re leaping straight into NFT craze, your thoughts on the Food Metaverse?

Zorawar: I think the Metaverse is fusion of intellect and more importantly how use we use social media or to order food online. The Metaverse is going to position itself between the virtual and real world, so actions you take in the virtual world will give you real life benefits in the physical world. I think that’s the beauty of Metaverse, its going to be an alternative reality which will allow you to have a life online with benefits in real life.

The actions take online can be redeemed offline, for example you can collect all your ingredients online and then redeem that dish in a Farzi café. I think that’s the future, it’s also about community building. The ultimate test for online community building, is going to be a world where you can have friends and an alternate life, cool games and count on experiences virtually.

Currently businesses like ours are present on Facebook and instagram and platforms like Zomato, its still very limited, its not very community building, what the Metaverse offers is a place where you can actually have online sessions, where you can collect recipes, collect tokens and only those people that are present on the metaverse can enjoy that dish, cocktail or mocktail in the restaurant. The possibilities are endless.

Farzi Cafe being the first, do you plan to expand across brands in the group?

Zorawar: We are excited about the Metaverse being a company that embraces technology at the slightest chance. We know it also can have real life beneficial aspects for any business, we embrace technology and are trying to get most of our plans online. Next on our charts is Louis Burger which is anyway a virtual restaurant and very popular among the youth. So yes most of our brands will be in the NFT space or NFTs round heritage recipes, so there are a lot of possibilities with metaverse, not just our brand but also with food in general.

The Metaverse may not be accessible to people who are not familiar with tech, NFTs or with gaming and auctions, how do you plan to overcome this?

Supreet: Its something like the instgram moment of 2009, back then we really didn’t have those brilliant phones to take pictures that we do now, we didn’t have such big phone screens, the Blackberry phase, but now everyone has access. When something like the Metaverse comes up, there will be a small group that takes to it first, the earlier adopters, this is true for any technology or any particular fashion moment. But when interest grows everything starts supporting that movement, so the Metaverse will grow.

The way the metaverse will grow is more people will get interested, so more businesses will cater to the demand of simplifying it and improving that experience. Right now all our social interactions are Zoom or video etc, 2D experiences, tomorrow the Metaverse will be more interactive and immersive, creating a 3D environment experience.

How important from a brand point of view is first mover advantage in this space?

Supreet: When social media started brands didn’t take to it and thought that it such a niche teen age audience, how will it be monitised? It was a big question for brands as to why they should spend money on something intangible, but it happened. Incase of food, some home chefs came up on instagram and ended up with millions of followers, releasing cook books and opened their own restaurants later.

I think its that moment all over again, may be little more important this time because it involves technology at a larger scale and so for brands this is huge moment to get in early and be able to take early advantage. After 6-8 months to be honest, everybody is going to be here. I actually haven’t seen much into resisitence to people coming on the Metaverse, and it’s a matter of how well they do understand it.

In Zorawar’s case the group is tech friendly and even the young chefs understand the power of tech, and its use to take business forward. But overall I think for brands if they create a brilliant experience early they can really jump ahead of competition.

What do you plan to offer on NFT for Farzi Cafe, what is up and what is available?

Supreet: We plan to l launch Farzi cafe NFTs with two particular layers, the gaming layer and the virtual restaurant layer. In the gaming layer we basically will be using Farzi Cafe’s most iconic dishes, people can try to make them by collecting all the ingredients and they can use the dish in NFT to play more games. In the virtual restaurant we will be setting up virtual Farzi cafe experience, modern Indian cuisine and redefining the gastronomical experience to create an unique experience in their particular virtual space.

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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