QR codes, short for quick response codes, are those blocks of square dots that look like some sort of New Age Rorschach Test or maybe one of those visual puzzles that if you stare at long enough you’ll see a different image. In reality, they can reveal a whole lot more.
Menus are best when they’re concise and uncluttered. But guests also like to have more information about a dish. Instead of the waiter reciting the ingredients and cooking method. Link to detailed descriptions with individual codes. Radisson Edwardian Hotels in Great Britain and Mike’s City Diner in Boston put QR codes on their menus so diners can see a video of signature dishes being prepared.
Some people want to know the nutritional information of the food; some people don’t. Link to details about calories and carbs with a QR code and let the guest decide. The Nutrition Center of Netherlands is doing it on a big scale, with QR codes on 1,500 billboards throughout the country that link to nutritional info.
Put a QR code on the front door or window for people passing by to scan. Link to a video that gives them a virtual tour of your restaurant to entice them to come inside. It works for the real estate industry, it can work for restaurants, too.
Print a QR code on the receipt that links to a guest survey that customers can fill out when they get home. That’s what Guerro’s Taco Bar in Austin does.
Put a code on the menu that links to a video of your chef in action along with a voiceover that explains your restaurant’s philosophy of food. Mesob, an Ethiopian restaurant in New Jersey, shows guests how injera is made.
With a QR code, the smallest black and white print ad can turn into one that sings and dances in living color, like the one for Avalon restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, does.
Photos of food printed on a menu can look tawdry. Use QR codes to link to professionally produced photos of your signature dishes, like Ayara Thai restaurant in Westchester, Calif.
Put a QR code on the wall near the front of the restaurant that links to a special promotion. Guests will make a point to stop in and scan it just to see what the deal of the day offers. Chino Latino, a fusion restaurant in Minneapolis, has QR codes throughout the building – even in the restrooms.
Quick serve restaurants, such as Convivio in Porto, Portugal, can speed the ordering process by allowing guests to scan their orders while waiting in line. Once the reach the cashier, they can show the order number and pay for the purchase.
Instead of paper takeout menus that are expensive to print, put your menu on a QR code that guests can scan on their way out the door.
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