QR Codes: Are They Here To Stay

In 2020 the pandemic brought some major changes to the hospitality industry, and some of those changes might be here to stay. The QR code made a big comeback during the pandemic thanks to its hands-off approach, but with relaxing restrictions and the return to normal, we aren’t seeing a full shift back to traditional menus like many thought we would. 

The QR code has been around since 1994, and until 2020, the majority of the hospitality industry used them for promotional/event purposes only. 

Now, you see them everywhere. They keep printing costs down and provide a convenient way for you to connect with your clientele. Below are a few ways you can utilize QR codes, and of course, some considerations to go along with them! 

1. Easy access to your menu or special features

This is an extremely low-cost option for owner/operators, especially if your menu changes frequently. This makes it easy to promote special offers, new menu items and limited-edition products as well. 

Did you know that you can get free QR codes or paid QR codes that allow you to change the URL of the QR code without reprinting it? Paid QR codes also give you analytics on how many times they were scanned during any given period.

2. Accept reservations, easily join waitlists, or push people to take-out options

Make it easy for customers who walk or stop by to make a reservation, or have the code handy for people who want to join your waitlist. You can display it on a window or poster, on or  in your storefront. When you are full for reservations you can easily switch the QR code to take you to a take-out page. 

3. Grow your mailing list & loyalty program.

Encourage customers to sign up for your mailing list or loyalty program. Provide an incentive on the table if they give you their email address ( to make it a no-brainer) while they’re waiting for their food to come out. 

4. Collect feedback

You can add a QR code to the bottom of your receipts that ask customers to leave a review, or print it on a thank you postcard. The reviews links can either go to your Google Business Listing, or to a private form.

These are just some of the ways QR codes can benefit your business! So regardless of how you choose to integrate QR codes, remember that the customer experience is key. While they can easily add convenience, be sure to consider the pro’s and con’s of what you are linking to. Do they fit with the vibe/brand of your restaurant? Are they taking away valuable customer/server interaction time? Am I providing the experience I want for people who come into my restaurant?