Not Just For Your Menu: Creative Ways to Use QR Codes at Your Restaurant

March 2, 2021

If you've dined out at all during the pandemic, your menu wasn't handed to you. Instead, you got it by scanning a QR code. QR codes have become commonplace at many restaurants in the past year. Whether displayed on stickers or propped up alongside table tents, they’re a quick and clean way to distribute menu information directly to customers’ phones.

If you only use QR codes for your menu, however, you’re missing out on a world of opportunity. By making QR codes an integral part of your message distribution — especially in prominent places like on digital signage — you can create innovative, memorable and profitable dining experiences that stand out from the competition.

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Digital Menus

The average QR code menu simply delivers guests to an online PDF version of a restaurant’s printed menu. It’s an acceptable experience but doesn’t bring any new value to your restaurant. Take a minute to imagine how you would want to order food at a restaurant. Do you want the face-to-face interaction with a server? Or maybe you like the newer, entirely self-serve experience in some fast-food restaurants where you input your order on a kiosk.

Imagine an experience where you could order entirely on your mobile device by scanning QR codes alongside lush photos of menu items. Imagine getting immediate, measurable feedback on your orders.

Experiment with how you communicate menu items, integrating all the tools at your disposal, including your digital signage. Showcase mouthwatering videos of a high-margin meal on your screens to create interest. A few seconds into the video, once customers are craving the dish, display a QR code next to the video. The QR code would allow them to view the meal on the menu or even order it directly from their phone. 

Alternatively, make limited-time offers even more enticing by creating an air of mystery. Instead of promoting 20% off a dessert dish, make guests scan a QR code to find out what discount they’ve “won.” These kinds of messages aren’t just memorable — they activate the desire centers of your customers’ brains, driving more interaction and revenue

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Mobile Coupons

Did you know that 80% of mobile coupons are redeemed within a week of download? That’s a lot of return visits and additional revenue for a restaurant — not to mention a loyalty builder. 

How do you drive this ROI? Ensure customers notice and download these coupons. Digital signage has high visibility and naturally draws the attention of guests. After you’ve captured customer attention with engaging digital content, promote your available coupons to drive an increase in check size or return visits. Make access to these coupons easy by including a QR code. The moment that diners feel motivated to take action, all they have to do is scan the QR code with their phone’s camera, and the coupon immediately appears on their phone. This eliminates filling out forms or digging through emails that can discourage guests from redeeming coupons. 

Additionally, offering convenient and accessible perks and deals shows customers that you appreciate their presence and care about their  experience.  Giving a little, especially in a creative way, forges a meaningful bond with customers that will mean you get a lot in return.

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Review Generation

Every restaurant counts on reviews to stay afloat. According to Inc, 82% of people trust online reviews as much as they do a recommendation from a friend. Unfortunately, people are more likely to leave a bad review than a good one. This means driving positive word of mouth is crucial. In order to drive reviews, you need to get customers to act fast, while their great experience at your venue is still top of mind. The longer you wait to ask, the more motivation they lose. 

This is why QR codes, especially those displayed on your in-venue signage, are such effective drivers of positive reviews. Not only can you pair your request for reviews alongside an incentive like a free drink, the QR code delivers customers directly to whatever review site you prefer, whether it’s Facebook, Google or even Yelp!  

With the need for contactless communication more important than ever, it’s time to consider the nearly limitless marketing options of QR codes. Use QR codes to enhance menu experiences, drive coupon utilization and increase customer reviews.

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