Dining Experience | 5 mins read

How QR Codes are Revolutionizing the Dining Experience

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

How are QR Codes Impacting the Dining Experience?

During COVID-19, restaurants had to do whatever it took to stay profitable and remain open. Not only did they need to follow safety regulations, but they had to change many of their internal processes. This required cutting employee hours, complying with mask mandates and minimizing contact at all times.

While 2020 wasn't the best year for anybody, some good things came out of it. Everyone is more aware of what it takes to keep things clean. Zoom and remote work options are preferred ways to communicate and work. QR codes helped restaurants comply with safety standards, save money, and provide a digital experience. It also appears as though QR codes are here to stay.

So, what exactly is a QR code anyway? A QR code is a barcode-like image that is displayed in black and white. It appears in a box or square form and is usually found on customer tables in restaurants or stores. Patrons may see one on the wall next to the table, on bar coasters, or in the front of the house. Customers scan the image and then are taken to a landing page full of content. This may include menus, promotions, or business information.

QR codes are cost-effective and help to save money on menu printing. They are also a great way for a restaurant to showcase its brand and promote unique content. Furthermore, QR code menus align with health standards and consumer safety needs. Dining experiences are just as great as before, just with much fewer germs. But QR codes aren't just for menus. Read ahead to learn some creative ways to incorporate QR codes in the restaurant industry.

Creative Ways to Use QR Codes to Revolutionize the Dining Experience

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Both bars and fine dining establishments utilize QR codes to create a unique experience for customers. There isn't any size or type of restaurant business that can't incorporate QR codes in some way or another. Most restaurants already use them to provide an entirely digital and regularly updated menu. However, there are numerous other ways to make QR codes work for a restaurant's brand. Read ahead for some top examples.

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1. Improve Dining Experience by Encouraging Reservations

As COVID-19 conditions improve, it's important to let customers know that the restaurant is open too. Owners can encourage patrons to make a reservation with the help of a QR code. Patrons can scan the code and visit a reservation link on the restaurant website or OpenTable.

To optimize this experience, owners can include other promotional materials. This may encompass flyers with takeout orders (in QR code format). Restaurants can place the code on the window so it's easily visible. Patrons can then schedule a reservation when it's most convenient for them.

  • Create efficient processes for large reservations
  • Make sure staff is adequately trained to inform customers of these processs
  • Assign designated reservation managers or organizers
  • Remind guests of their reservations to prevent no-shows and bottlenecks
  • Consider using software solutions or QR codes rather than paper

2. Improve Dining Experience by Allowing Guests to Join Waitlist

Who says guests need to go up to the entrance and put their names down to be on the waitlist? While this is the traditional option, it requires greater manpower and is more prone to error. Restaurants can use a QR code to encourage guests to quickly join the waitlist online.

Patrons can check how much longer they have, which gives them more control over the process. They can even get text messages when it's their turn to be seated. This streamlines the reservation/waitlist process and minimizes the employee workload.

3. Improve Dining Experience by Sharing Restaurant Information

Restaurants can let customers know what to expect when they visit a fine dining establishment. A QR code can link to the restaurant profile, which may include operating hours and dress requirements. Restaurants can place this on the window for passersby to decide whether they want to come in. This will minimize some of the phone calls that come in and create less work for employees. Patrons are armed with all relevant information, which creates a better dining experience.

  • Put yourself in the customer's shoes and ask what information they would want
  • Evaluate how others expect to be served
  • Use proper grammar and, greetings, antecdotes, and jokes
  • Make it easy to access links and ensure QR code is optimized for mobile phones

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4. Improve Dining Experience by Displaying Menu Options

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People like to see food. Online recipes that include pictures get much more clicks than those without. Visual aesthetics are not only appealing, they are great ways to promote a brand. Restaurants can show off dishes through a QR code to capitalize on this.

Too many visuals can clutter physical menus, but QR codes make it simple to display photos of top guest picks. Restaurants can also put pictures of pricier or popular items to boost profits. This will improve sales and enhance the overall dining experience.

5. Improve Dining Experience by Luring Guests to Online Community

Social media marketing is critical in this digitized environment. Whether the restaurant is on Facebook or Instagram, it can use a QR code to invite patrons to those communities. Owners can use incentives to encourage customers to post pictures of great food. This will increase the restaurant's online engagement and improve its following.

  • 30% of millenials use Instagram to decide where to eat
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over advertisements
  • 74% of individuals who actively follow brands on social media are more likely to order from those establishments
  • Responding to criticism and engaging with customers on social media makes them more likely to trust the restaurant's brand

6. Improve Dining Experience by Asking for Feedback

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The type of feedback and online reviews a brand receives is critical to its reputation. Restaurants can use QR codes for feedback to fix inefficiencies and prevent poor reviews. Or, they can create QR codes to encourage patrons to answer feedback surveys. Some restaurants give guests an incentive to do so, which increases customer loyalty.

Key Takeaways for Dining Experience

In conclusion, here are ways to make sure QR codes improve the dining experience -

  • Restaurants can use QR codes to maintain the reservation list and allow guests to join the waitlist.
  • Restaurants can use QR codes to share important restaurant information and display menu options.
  • Restaurants can use QR codes to encourage patrons to visit social media and the restaurant website.
  • Restaurants can use QR codes to ask for customer feedback and improve any inefficiencies.

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