What are QR Menus, and How Do They Work?

Home /Blog /What are QR Menus, and How Do They Work?

How many restaurants have you been to where you’ve had to wait for a server or waiter to take your order?

This can be especially annoying if you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like waiting. Luckily, QR menus are revolutionizing the way restaurants do business.

Though the pandemic seemed to have accelerated the adoption of these menu systems, QR menus have been around since 2013!

So what’s wrong with using regular menus? Why incorporate a QR code menu in your restaurant industry business if it’s not sustainable and a digital trend?

But the fact is, QR code menus are not just a passing trend but a new way for restaurants to go digital and embrace technology.

Plus, the stats don’t lie.

The number of mobile QR code users is expected to experience constant growth by 2025, surpassing 90 million users in the US.

If you’re interested in learning more about restaurant menu QR codes, we’ll provide a quick rundown of what they are and how they work.

So keep reading to discover why a QR menu is becoming integral in the future of dining!

What Are QR Codes?

Free photo person scanning qr code

QR codes are a type of barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone, allowing users to access content or websites without typing in URLs.

It’s easy for restaurants to provide digital menus, allow customers to find out what food items are available immediately, and even place orders immediately.

How Do QR Menus Work?

QR menus are incredibly easy to use. Customers must scan the code with their phone camera, which directs them to a digital menu of the restaurant’s menu.

These menus can include pictures, descriptions, and prices for each item so that customers can quickly find what they’re looking for.

Free PSD smartphone screen mockup psd showing a qr code

Once they select what they’d like to order, customers can then use the restaurant’s mobile app (if available) or website to place the order and even pay for it securely beforehand.

In some cases, restaurants may offer special deals or discounts when customers use their QR menus which is a great incentive for repeat business.

7 Benefits of Using QR Menus

Photo asian customer women paying by qr code scanning on mobile phone at coffee shop

So what exactly do QR menus have to offer?

Many!

Here are some key benefits of using QR menus:

1. You can go paperless

With so many people being advocates for the environment, QR menus can help restaurants go paperless.

Your customer base appreciates it, and it’s a great way to show that your restaurant is environmentally friendly.

Plus, there’s no need to print out a new menu every week when adding new items, which saves you time and money.

2. Easier to update

When the supply of an item runs low, or you want to add something new, it’s easier to do with a QR code menu than reprinting the whole menu.

For instance, if you run out of an item, click the button to mark it as unavailable.

You can even add pictures and descriptions for new items to make it easier for customers to decide.

3. Increased customer satisfaction

When you’re so packed that you can’t even take orders, having a QR menu helps streamline the process and increases customer satisfaction.

Customers can scan the menu and place the order themselves. This means they don’t have to wait in line or risk their food getting cold while they wait for a waiter.

They can also quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, so your wait times will decrease, increasing customer satisfaction.

4. Increased staff efficiency

With a restaurant menu QR code, waiters don’t have to spend as much time explaining the menu or writing down orders.

Free photo young happy waiter using digital tablet while talking to a couple and taking their order in a cafe

Sometimes new hires can take a while to learn the menu and adjust to their new job. But QR codes make ordering and training staff much easier, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the menu quickly.

5. Reduced human contact

Though the pandemic is presumably over, most restaurant owners still take precautions to reduce human contact as much as possible.

Free photo young man texting in the cafe. happy businessman smiling and texting on the smartphone at the table

With a contactless menu, customers don’t have to worry about touching physical menus or having their waiters come too close.

This greatly reduces the risk of spreading germs and helps keep customers and employees safe.

6. Digital record-keeping

Restaurants can keep track of what items were ordered, when they were ordered, and who ordered them. This is great for when you need to review a customer’s previous orders.

You’ll also be able to adapt new dishes and promotions to please your customers.

7. Encourages return visits

By offering discounts or loyalty rewards, customers are more likely to return and use your QR menu again.

Free photo friendly african barista gives the ordered coffee customer of modern coffee shop

For example, you can offer a 5% discount for customers who order with your QR code menu.

This encourages repeat business and helps build customer relationships, increasing loyal customers and giving your restaurant more exposure.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why there has been such a surge in QR menu adoption by most restaurants!

Now that you know the benefits of QR menus, let’s check out the best tips to create a great one.

Our Tips When Making Your QR code Menu

Free photo side view hands scanning qr code

Creating a QR code menu doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips on how to get started:

1. Keep it simple

Keep your menu organized and concise. Too much information can be overwhelming, so keep it laid out with no more than two choices per item.

For example, you should mention the key ingredient of the dish, such as the main protein, and a few other details like sauce or side dishes.

Don’t paint your descriptions with fluff – customers want to know what they’re getting without decoding your menu.

Tip: Don’t forget to mention allergen information. This is especially important for people with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

2. Make it visually appealing

Include images of your dishes to make them more visually appealing. This can help customers know what to expect when they order, and it will encourage them to try something new.

You might also consider adding a short video of your restaurant or a few behind-the-scenes clips of how dishes are prepared as an additional touchpoint for customers to connect with your brand.

But pictures should be enough to get your point across if you’re starting out.

3. Make sure your main menu page is mobile-friendly

Your QR code menu should link to a mobile-friendly website or app.

This way, customers can easily order from their phones or tablets without having to zoom in on tiny text.

Also, ensure your main menu page is easy to navigate and includes only the necessary information and images you want customers to see before ordering.

4. Don’t invert your QR code’s color

Don’t overthink the color of your QR code. Using a background with too much contrast can make the QR code hard to scan.

Your QR code should be easily recognizable. The best way to do this is by ensuring it has the right color contrast and isn’t inverted or too dark for customers to see.

5. Put a CTA in your QR menu

Make sure your QR menu has a clear call-to-action (CTA). This could be something like “Order Now” or “Try Our Dishes Today.”

Ensuring your CTA is visible and easy to understand will help customers quickly and easily decide what they want.

6. Customize your QR code menu for different occasions

If you want to make the most of your QR menu, customize it for different occasions.

For example, you can offer special menus or discounts on holidays or during peak times. This will help encourage customers to come back and order with your restaurant more often!

7. Test your menu before launching it

Once you’ve created the menu, make sure to test it out with a few customers or staff members to work out any kinks and ensure that everything is working properly.

It’s also important to offer customer support should they encounter any issues while using your menu.

Transcend Your Menu Items into Digital with a QR Menu

Creating a QR code menu is a great way to offer customers an easy and convenient way to order.

It also helps your restaurant stand out and encourages repeat business. Plus, it’s more sustainable than paper menus!

Follow our tips above to ensure you create the best QR code menu for your customers.

Did we pique your interest?

Why not try our very own QR menu maker? It’s 100% frill-free and incredibly simple to use. Download it today and start digitizing your menu in minutes!

What to read next

Music and Dining: The Perfect Playlist for Your Restaurant

The Power of Personalization: How to Customize the Restaurant Experience for Every Customer

5 Ways to Create a More Sustainable Restaurant Business Model