5 Ways Restaurants Can Use QR Codes

December 19, 2013 - 5 minutes read


As one of the more modern forms of advertising, QR codes have become both a recognizable and effective tool for customer engagement. These two-dimensional barcodes offer the ability to advertise almost anywhere and the message is being heard by everyone, not just by Millennials and Generation Z.

ScanBuy, a world leader in mobile engagement solutions, has provided several QR code scanning reports confirming this practice has become more prevalent in 45-54 year-olds and 55 and older age groups. The 25-34 year-olds remain the top QR code users, but this data shows restaurant goers of all ages are utilizing these coupons and links.

So how can your restaurant benefit from QR codes? There are various platforms to utilize if you know which will work best for you. Here are five ways restaurants can use QR codes: 

Market Specials and Promos
Marketing can be tricky for a variety of reasons such as lack of space and high cost.

Also, if you have a time sensitive offer or an advertisement with a lot of content, how can you cost-effectively convey your message? The answer: QR codes. By using QR codes in print and outdoor advertising, you can present a traditional marketing scheme but also offer daily specials, promos and access to your menu in a tiny box. The advertisement does not have to be overwhelmingly large and you can change the landing content as often as you wish.

Entertain During Wait Time
Nobody likes to see a line out the door when they arrive at a restaurant—especially if their stomach is already rumbling. Many restaurants have chosen to provide QR codes at the hostess stand linking to games, videos about the restaurant, and more. Lots of people browse their smartphone while waiting, so why not advertise and entertain your customers on the device they’re already using?

Give Health Information on Menu
Providing health information for your dishes is fast and easy with QR codes. Instead of flooding your table menu with nutritional information and ingredients, a small QR code can be scanned providing a detailed account of the menu item. You can also provide a picture of the dish and exactly how the dish is prepared. QR codes offering health information and pictures will save your wait staff time and give the customer instant satisfaction and a faster ordering process. An executive chef at San Diego’s Harney Sushi actually printed edible QR codes on rice paper allowing customers to see where their fish was caught, the fisherman and the global stock of the species.

Offer Drink Specials on Coasters
When a customer enters your restaurant with drinks on their mind, the first question they ask is what the specials are. Placing a QR code on a coaster will let them quickly scan and decide what they want before the waiter comes by with their water. Placing the QR code on the coaster directly associates the code with drinks and can be done tastefully and creatively. Samuel Adams once placed QR codes on bar coasters to generate buzz and highlight their specials during the holiday season.

Request Feedback on the Check
When a customer receives their bill, many restaurants train their wait staff to highlight a phone number or web address where they can provide feedback on their dining experience. Instead of having to dial a number or search for your webpage, QR codes can be scanned in a second, prompting the customer to give their name, email and feedback right on their phones. You can also add a QR code for loyalty customers to scan and accumulate points towards free food, drink, and merchandise.

Author Bio:

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, (http://www.bluepay.com) a firm that provides support with accepting credit cards from customers for restaurants. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.

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