Just when you think QR codes are a thing of the past, they are making a comeback in the restaurant industry!
What started as a way to combat the virus and reduce physical touch as much as possible is now a new way of doing business.
QR-based contactless menus are quickly becoming the norm in restaurants, bars, cafes, and other hospitality venues.
Many restaurant operators find that QR codes provide their guests with an enhanced experience while keeping them safe during the pandemic.
In fact, the global QR code label market is expected to increase from $916.7 million in 2020 to $1268.1 by 2026.
So if you’re a restaurateur, here are some of the top 13 emerging trends to watch out for when using a QR menu for your establishment.
QR code menus can provide customers with interactive menus that allow them to view images of the food, watch a video tutorial on how to make a dish, or even place an order for delivery.
Customers who know what the dish looks like are more likely to order it. With interactive QR menus, you can ensure your customers can see the food in advance and confidently decide what to order.
QR codes can create fun and engaging experiences for customers by allowing them to scan a QR code on their table that unlocks an interactive game. This can help drive up customer engagement and loyalty.
For instance, if your restaurant mainly caters to families, you could create a game encouraging the kids to stay at the table while waiting for their food.
Personalization & Customization
Customers can customize their own menu experience by selecting from various options such as dietary restrictions, allergies, and more.
By using QR codes, customers can easily access personalized menus that fit their needs while also allowing restaurants to customize their offerings.
This will not only improve the customer experience, but it can also reduce waste due to incorrect orders.
According to McKinsey and Co., digital payments have risen since 2020.
A digital menu with QR codes allows customers to pay directly from their phones, eliminating the need for cash or credit cards.
This contactless payment system can help make the checkout process faster and more efficient, which is especially important for take-out orders.
According to Juniper Research, 1 billion smartphones will access QR codes by 2022.
Restaurant customers always have their smartphones handy, so QR codes can be used to create an automated ordering system.
A QR code menu allows them to quickly place their order from their phones without ever having to talk to a server or cashier.
Picture this, a busy restaurant with a long line of customers. Seated customers can scan the QR code on their table to quickly order and pay for their meal.
This system will save the customer and the restaurant time. You will also save on menu printing costs since customers can order directly from their phones.
Cross Promotion & Upselling
Digital menus can be used to promote related products or services, such as prompting customers to order a side item or dessert with their meal. This will help restaurants increase sales and drive more revenue.
For example, let’s say a customer orders an appetizer. The restaurant can use a QR code to suggest they order a drink or a side dish to go along with it.
Restaurants can use QR codes to incentivize customers and keep them returning by offering rewards for orders placed via the menu. This helps ensure customer retention and loyalty while also providing restaurateurs with valuable data about their customer’s preferences.
For example, if you operate a wine bar, you could offer a complimentary bottle of wine for every five orders placed through the QR menu.
Web Browsers and Smartphones Being QR-friendly
Google Chrome, Safari, and other web browsers can now generate QR codes.
This allows customers to quickly access restaurant menus without downloading any additional apps.
Even smartphones like Apple’s iOS 13 has low-light QR scanning feature
QR menus enable restaurants to collect valuable data about their customer’s preferences and behavior, such as what dishes they order, how much they spend, how often they visit the restaurant, etc.
This data can be used to optimize the menu and enhance customer experiences.
For example, let’s say more customers are ordering your vegan mushroom burger than your classic turkey burger. You can use this data to inform your menu and ensure you offer the dishes that customers want.
This way, you’ll save costly waste and be able to provide a better service to your customers.
Social Media Integration
For example, just one attractive post about your special vegan dish can attract hundreds of customers to your restaurant.
Add in those catchy hashtags, and you’ll be sure to get your restaurant noticed.
But where do QR codes fit in?
QR codes can be used to direct customers from social media posts to your restaurant’s online menu, increasing visibility and engagement.
By using QR codes, restaurateurs can make it easier for customers to view their menus and place orders without leaving the social media platform. Restaurants can also share QR codes with links to Google/Yelp page.
QR codes can also allow customers to easily share photos of their food directly from their phones – driving engagement and boosting your restaurant’s online presence.
Young Adults Are Using QR Codes the Most
Many people use smartphones while strolling the market or at workplaces.
But the usage of QR codes is a different story.
This can be attributed to the fact that this age group is most active on digital platforms, making them more comfortable using QR codes.
That’s why some restaurants are more inclined to offer both QR codes and physical menus to cater to their young customers.
The best thing to do is evaluate your customer base and decide which suits your restaurant.
Getting Product Information
QR codes can also inform customers about the food they are ordering.
For instance, let’s say a customer wants to know about the ingredients in the dish or where it was sourced from.
Using QR codes, customers can easily access this information on their phones without asking the server.
This helps them make informed decisions and also increases customer satisfaction.
The Issue of Security
QR codes are generally regarded as safe. In fact, according to a study by Statista in 2020, 42.55 % felt most secure at a restaurant, bar, or café when using a QR code.
However, there is still the risk of malicious users abusing this technology for their own gain. Restaurants should therefore ensure that the system they use is secure and updated with the latest security protocols.
One way to do this is to opt for a payment service provider (PSP) that offers secure payments and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance.
With the proper security measures, QR codes can be a secure method for customers to pay for their orders and enhance their restaurant experience.
Verdict: Should You Continue Using QR Codes for Your Restaurant?
The answer is a definite yes! QR codes are growing in popularity and offering more benefits than ever before.
They provide restaurateurs with the data they need to understand their customers better and optimize the menu for maximum efficiency while providing customers with an interactive, contactless experience.
Tip: Consider your customer base and thoroughly research before deciding whether to go with QR codes or paper menus.
Don’t forget to review your analytics and ask your staff if they have feedback or suggestions.
Finally, invest in security measures and choose a payment service provider (PSP) with PCI DSS compliance. Doing so will ensure your customers feel safe and secure when using QR codes at your restaurant.
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