wagamama are to introduce augmented reality into its restaurant as part of a new marketing campaign set to launch next month – a first for a UK restaurant.

wagamama loungeTens of thousands of placemats across wagamama’s 80 restaurants will be augmented by Blippar so diners can use their smartphones to find out more about the wagamama lounge that will be appearing at music festivals this summer.

The wagamama lounge will be an area for festival goers to eat the restaurants’ dishes, listen to music and see artworks being painted around them. The lounge appeared at festivals last year including Parklife inManchesterand Summer Sundae inLeicester, with more events expected to be announced for the 2012 festival season.

wagamama  believe it will appeal to their technology savvy customers, Ingrid Williamson, Director of Marketing at wagamama, said: “Our customers tend to be a bit more technologically savvy than average and they’re often looking for fun things to keep themselves entertained before and during their meal. We think the campaign with Blippar will be a great way to grab our customers’ attention and get them engaged in the exciting plans we have for our appearances at music festivals later in the summer.”

Anyone who blipps one of the placemats – via Blippar’s free app –will be able to find out more about the wagamama lounge, with links to further information on Facebook and YouTube, while the blipp also lets customers enter a competition to win a meal at wagamama.

The blipp will run from 7th May until 3rd June in all wagamama outlets across the UK, and works via the restaurants’ free, in-venue WiFi as well as 3G.

Jess Butcher, co-founder of Blippar, said: “wagamama is ahead of the curve in embracing augmented reality technology. Lots of diners go into a wagamama restaurant, make their order and then get out their smartphone to check social networking sites and catch up on news. It’s good to see a restaurant brand thinking about how to capitalise on that behaviour and use our platform to develop more of a relationship with their customers.”