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Why Restaurants Should Use QR Code Menus for Contactless Dining

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In the restaurant industry, it is crucial to provide a seamless and efficient ordering experience for guests. One of the easiest ways to do that is by using QR codes to display your digital menu. The term “QR” stands for “quick response” and is exactly what a guest wants from your restaurant!

Similar to a barcode that may be scanned at a supermarket, a QR code is a unique square-shaped pattern that leads to a specific website when scanned. A QR code is used in restaurants to give guests easy access to their digital menu. The code can be scanned using a mobile device that opens up a digital version of the restaurant's menu. The implementation of QR code menus is rising rapidly in the restaurant industry and has proven to be very beneficial for both guests and brands!

6 Ways QR Code Menus are Beneficial for Your Restaurant

There are many reasons for restaurants to incorporate QR codes into their guest experience. We've brought together the top six that can help boost your brand's restaurant guest experience in the contactless dining era!

1. Reduces the spread of viruses and disease

As the world begins to transition into a post-pandemic lifestyle, there are a few changes that have been normalized. One of those is preventing the spread of illness in restaurants by using QR code menus. A study in the Journal of Medical Virology reported that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. This includes the hard copy of the menu that is used by hundreds of people daily without being cleaned. Not to mention, it may be one of the last things guests touch before digging into their meal. Allowing guests to view the menu easily on their mobile devices helps minimize the spread of viruses.

Another great addition to our post-pandemic life is the option of cashless payment. Similar to QR codes used to scan a menu, restaurant can put a customized QR code at the bottom of a receipt to allow payment online. The checkout process is more efficient and sanitary for both parties involved.  

2. Saves money and makes menu changes easier

It’s not uncommon for restaurants to change their menu regularly. This could happen seasonally with new promotional items or price changes. Updating a printed version of a menu every time there is a change can become costly to the business. With a QR code menu, changes can be made digitally at no additional expense. Only one QR code is needed per table and can be reused every day even when the menu changes. 

Some guests may prefer to use a printed menu instead of a QR code. However, the number of copies needed will still be much lower than it was before. With the lower amount of physical menus being used, it allows the opportunity for them to be disinfected without having to take up too much time.

3. Increases time efficiency and order value  

In a high-speed environment, it is essential to create a time-efficient experience. QR code menus are an easy way to do so. When restaurants experience a rush they may have guests waiting for a table to be available. During this time it’s not uncommon for guests to wait around the restaurant. Businesses can strategically place their QR menu codes in noticeable areas as well as curbside to help make the ordering process quicker and easier. Guests will have the opportunity to browse the menu before being seated which can increase time efficiency. It also gives the guests something to do while they wait for their table. 

The addition of menu browsing and extra time may also convince guests to increase the size of their order. Having the time to look through the menu before being seated takes away the pressure that guests may have felt from a fast-paced environment. A longer browse period can lead to discovering new menu items that they might not have seen before. This helps save time for both the staff and the guest!

4. Entices customers with images of the food 

The well-known expression “You eat with your eyes first” is a huge selling point for QR code menus. With so many different options to choose from it’s almost impossible for restaurants to include pictures of their meals on their printed menus. With a digital menu, this problem is solved! Restaurants can easily incorporate pictures into their digital menu, as well as update them when needed. They can be designed to look like a physical copy, or customized with new designs, photos, videos, and more. This all comes without the stress of having to fit pictures onto a physical menu and the financial burden that comes with it. Being able to see the food before guests order is a great way to help them make a final decision on what they’d like to eat. 

5. Promotes app downloads, loyalty programs, and social media

For restaurant owners, digital menus may also be a great place to promote app downloads, loyalty program signups, and increase followers on social media pages. When a QR code is scanned it can bring guests to a pop-up page that shows current deals and promotions before accessing the menu. It can also showcase icons to a restaurants' social media pages as well as to their branded, mobile app. Some guests might not have known about the current promotions or the loyalty program and may now be more inclined to sign up. Incorporating these features into your QR code is an easy way to further build brand awareness.

6. Easily accessible and inclusive

Another benefit of QR codes is the ability to create a multilingual feature. This means the same QR code can be used to connect a website in English, Spanish, French, and many other languages. The digital menu will also create an easier experience for individuals who require extra assistance when ordering. It’s important to create a safe environment that promotes inclusiveness and provides accessibility to all guests. They'll want to come back for another enjoyable experience! 

Restaurants can enhance their guests’ experience in many different ways with their QR menu codes. This can include adding Braille so visually impaired individuals can still access the menu. For a visually impaired guest this may include TalkBack mode and other voiceovers available on mobile devices that will read the menu for them. Additionally, the digital menu allows customers to read more detailed descriptions of their possible choices and makes it easier for someone with diet restrictions to find the perfect meal.

Are QR Code Menus the Future of the Restaurant Industry?

There are a number of benefits to using restaurant QR code menus. In fact, 52% of restaurants have switched to QR codes and more are expected to follow. With all of the amazing benefits it brings, restaurants should consider using to QR code menus to enhance the contactless dining experience!


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