New to QR codes? Love them or hate them, they’re proving to be essential in this COVID-19 world where contactless transactions are the norm. There are many ways restaurants can use QR codes to their benefit. But first, let’s start with the basics.
A QR (Quick Response) code is an optical label (simply put, an image) that can be deciphered by a smartphone’s camera. When a user’s smartphone scans the QR code, it unpacks the data it contains and can point the smartphone to a website or an application. As a result, QR technology application is used for its ability to bridge the physical world (e.g. a sticker at the entrance, a tent card on the table, or on your bill folder) with the digital world.
What types of data can a QR code contain?
QR codes can contain a variety of data, allowing for its many applications in a restaurant. These are broadly some of the types of data they can contain:
- Website: The most common QR Code type, users will be directed to a webpage.
- Business card: A contact card with details such as name, address, phone number, and email will be automatically stored into the contact list of the smartphone.
- Wireless network: After scanning, smartphones will connect automatically with wireless network credentials.
- Send an SMS: Save the content and the recipient’s phone number of an SMS. After scanning, you will only have to confirm before sending it.
- Send an email: This works exactly like the SMS QR Code type. Only this time, you enter the email content, the subject and the recipients to enable sending after scanning.
- Add an event to a calendar: After scanning these QR Codes, you will be asked if you want to save the event in your smartphone’s calendar. By adding the event to your calendar, you will be reminded of the correct date.
Where and how do I apply QR code technology in my restaurant?
1. At the entrance: Contactless check-in and queues
“Checking in” at a restaurant to facilitate contact tracing has been the new norm for cities that have resumed social activities in COVID-19. SafeEntry — the national digital check-in system in Singapore that is compulsory for every restaurant — utilises QR technology that is quick and contactless.
For restaurants in cities without such infrastructure, a QR code placed at the entrance can lead to an online form where diners input contact details. This facilitates contact tracing for unidentifiable walk-in guests.
To avoid crowding at restaurant entrances, queue management is another concept that has resurfaced in response to COVID-19. ChopeQueues, our proprietary queuing system, utilises QR codes to allow diners to join the virtual queue on their own mobile device. Restaurants are able to assign tables to diners in the queue with clear visibility of all their bookings from the same dashboard. Diners too are free from the pain of physical queues and crowds can get updates about their queue status remotely.
2. When diners are seated: Digital menu/contactless ordering system, WiFi details, and event marketing
On top of providing great offline marketing opportunities, tent cards that sit on the table or posters that are displayed around your restaurant can also house QR codes.With QR codes, you can take your menu and payments online, reducing the need for shared surfaces. Solutions such as Chope’s digital menus allow diners the complete experience of discovering menu items with images and prices, allowing diners to order from the menu without the need for contact with staff.
If your restaurant is often visited by tourists or diners who stay for extended periods of time, “What’s your WiFi password?” is a common request. WiFi network QR codes free you from having to repeat yourself, or worse still, picking up your diners’ phones.
If you’re organising an upcoming event, help diners mark their own calendars easily with marketing material that contains specific information about date and time.
3. At the end of the meal: Contactless payment and voucher clearance, feedback form or website
Bill folders and inserts are often the last physical touchpoint that diners encounter during their restaurant experience. On top of their function to aid the final transaction of payment, QR codes also allow the diner to continue their journey with you beyond the physical limitations of your restaurant. Consider using QR codes to direct diners to leave their feedback on an online form or visit your restaurant website.
Instead of passing physical credit cards or cash between diners and staff, opt for contactless payment options that are often aided by QR codes. WeChat Pay and Alipay, two of the biggest payment gateways in China for restaurants, rely heavily on QR codes. In Singapore, PayNow, PayLah, and Grab Pay are all QR code enabled.
With Chope, diners purchase cash credit ahead of their visits with ChopeDeals, using QR codes as a tool for verification when they’re redeeming their credit. Consider contactless forms of payment by adding these QR codes to your bill folder inserts.
Choosing your QR code generator solution
Once you’ve decided on utilising QR codes, you’ll need to decide on a QR code generator solution. Chope integrates QR code technology, providing you with the necessary customised codes you will need to apply the solution at your restaurant. However, if you want to explore even more QR code applications independently, you may need to source for a QR code generator solution.
Here are some of the variables of QR code generator solutions:
- Ability to encode the right data: As explained earlier, there can be many kinds of QR codes depending on the type of data you want to encode in them. Ensure that you pick a solution that can deliver the outcome you are seeking.
- QR Code performance statistics: Different plans of solutions would allow you to monitor the performance of the QR codes such as the number of scans over time, unique users, and the location of the scan.
- Static vs. dynamic QR codes: Dynamic QR codes allow you to update the data within a specific QR code. For example, if you are using a QR code to allow diners to connect to the WiFi in your premise, you will not have to print a new QR code each time you change your WiFi password. Instead, you’ll just need to change it from the dashboard of your QR code generator solution.
- Design and customisation: If you’d like to ensure that your QR code continues to align with your restaurant’s brand, pick a solution that’s robust enough to accommodate your intended designs.
If you need more information about picking a QR code generator solution, start by reading this comprehensive review.
Have more great ideas about how QR codes can be used at a restaurant or want to share more about technology at your restaurant? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and share it with your restaurant community!