I visited Chipotle in the metaverse to try and understand why restaurant chains are flocking to it, and the experience left me both baffled and hungry

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

  • Chipotle is experimenting with digital restaurants in Roblox.

  • I visited the virtual location and made burritos.

  • Although it’s amusing, I don’t foresee metaverse restaurants as a lasting feature.

Chipotle recently launched its second foray into the metaverse in Roblox, so I decided to visit and see what it was really like.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I’ve never played Roblox before, so I was prompted to make an account.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Roblox is a free gaming platform with over 100 million active users, many of whom are children.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: Insider

I’m not much of a gamer, but I was able to install the game in about five minutes by following some easy instructions.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I preemptively closed Slack and Photoshop, correctly anticipating that Roblox would have my computer’s fan going into overdrive.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

As soon as the game opened, a text bubble informed me that I’d been dropped outside of the first Chipotle in 1993.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

There were shortcuts to see the leaderboard of other players, emotes I could use, and inventory, though I didn’t have any yet.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The intersection where I was dropped leaned heavily into the ’90s aesthetic, with a “Burritobuster” stylized like Blockbuster across the street from Chipotle.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I was assigned an avatar with red hair and a denim jacket.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The red arrows pointed me towards Chipotle, and I quickly realized I could move using the arrow keys.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The Chipotle looks notably different from the restaurant’s style today, true to the original location.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The little details really hammered home the idea that I was transported back in time — especially the payphones on every corner.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

After exploring outside a bit, I followed the arrows to go inside Chipotle.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The interior looked more familiar to me, like any other Chipotle I’ve been inside.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I made my way to the Chipotle worker at the cash register, who told me I was also part of the crew.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I noticed other players around me had customized outfits, like the minion pants on the player behind my Chipotle coworker.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Next, it was time to play the burrito builder game, which Chipotle has promoted as a highlight of the Roblox installation.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: Insider

The game fits its “burrito builder” name. Customers come up to the counter and show small pictures of ingredients they want in their burritos, which you must drag onto their moving tortilla before it gets to the end of the line.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Once the ingredients are added, use the arrow keys to roll up the burrito.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I got through four burritos before I failed, but I earned some burrito bucks for my trouble.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I also briefly made it onto the leaderboard of my server.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

After I exited the game, my Chipotle coworker directed me to the pickup shelf for another game.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I grabbed my backpack from the pickup shelf, starting the five-minute timer for the next game.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The game is all about delivering burritos to customers’ homes, a major part of Chipotle’s business in recent years.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: Insider

I stepped outside in my newly-acquired Chipotle uniform.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The backpack comes with a map that shows photos of five destinations where burritos must be delivered.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The objective is to deliver the burritos to the right locations before time runs out.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The town surrounding the virtual Chipotle has a few blocks of houses, apartments, and stores to search for deliveries.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

At first, I didn’t do very well at the game, because many of the houses look similar.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Eventually, I figured it out, and it was a moderately fun way to kill a few minutes.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The games are all about accumulating prizes and burrito bucks, which can be exchanged for other items in the game. Some players can also win a free burrito at a real Chipotle.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I won this little “burrito buddy” for the deliveries.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Then, I talked to the cashier, where I learned that burrito bucks can be exchanged for in-game advantages.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I explored a bit around the kitchen in the back of house.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I wandered back into the walk-in refrigerator, where renderings of all of Chipotle’s ingredients were stacked on shelves.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

There was a light in the middle of the refrigerator with the option to teleport, the most unexpected part of the Roblox world for me so far.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I landed in an outdoor area that I quickly realized was Chipotle’s previous Roblox promotion from Halloween.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I walked around the corn maze a bit.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Then, I talked to the skeleton host, who told me I could wear a Chipotle-themed Halloween costume.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Although there were several options, I couldn’t resist the mummy burrito look.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I wore my new costume into the second Metaverse Chipotle, this one a more modern design.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

After spending time exploring Chipotle’s metaverse restaurants and playing all the available games, I didn’t understand the appeal any more than I had before.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The games were fun for a few minutes, though I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to play again.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I don’t really understand what Chipotle gets out of it, though, or why I as a customer should come back and play again.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Roblox is primarily popular with children, who don’t necessarily have the buying power or access to buy Chipotle themselves.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Talking and thinking about burritos made me a bit hungry, but I didn’t feel compelled to head to Chipotle after I logged out.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Quick service restaurants like Chipotle, Wendy’s, and others are popular in large part because of their convenience and relative affordability.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: Insider

Metaverse restaurants by their nature can’t replicate these features, and I don’t see them catching on with typical consumers any time soon.

Chipotle Roblox

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Comment