For obvious reasons, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic did a great deal to accelerate the existing trend towards contactless ordering in all sectors of the restaurant industry. And the use of restaurant QR codes to enable contactless ordering from digital menus was a tremendous help in building customer confidence.
As the pandemic continues into 2012, this trend will no doubt continue to gather in strength.
But it’s important to understand that QR codes can offer far more than mere safe ordering. And the restaurants that will survive in the harsh, post-COVID world will be those that are ready and able to take full advantage of QR and other rapidly emerging technologies.
So here’s a look at just a few of the other ways in which QR codes can help with building and marketing your business.
The demand for curbside pickup options has surged during the pandemic.
And while the use of QR codes to display menus on customers’ mobile devices is one obvious application, they can also be used to keep them updated on the estimated timescale for the completion of their order.
You might also deploy QR codes to encourage orders by allowing access to reassuring videos about the standards of staff and kitchen sanitization within your outlet.
Gatherings such as birthday parties, anniversaries, and other special events are still happening – albeit with restricted numbers – despite the pandemic.
And they remain a significant source of revenue for many outlets.
But during the pandemic, there are significant problems of organization and communication in arranging successful events.
QR codes placed either outside your outlet or, better, on your website, can be a great help in allowing invitees to access details of the event, advance contactless ordering facilities, and the necessary safety precautions they’re expected to take.
You can also use QR codes to allow invitees to check-in for the event digitally.
This may be something more to be considered post-pandemic, but it’s worth bearing in mind nonetheless.
Many restaurants and bars rely heavily on “happy hours” and other regular, short-term promotions to incentivize customers. They also often run particular offers for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and 4 July.
And the creative use of QR codes can help streamline the process by enabling the rapid – and contactless – changing of prices, menus, and special offers.
Both regular menus and special offers can easily be contained in QR codes on printed flyers or downloadable PDFs.
As regular footfall trade increases post-pandemic, why not display QR codes in your window, leading customers to a digital promotion of your restaurant, signature dishes, and other attractive features.
QR codes can be designed to encourage customers to sign up for your loyalty program, or to include a call to action that will deliver a coupon or discount.
One such call to action could be an invitation to customers to complete a survey about their dining experience.
And doing this via a QR code means that the whole process can be contactless, the survey being completed digitally in the comfort of the customer’s home, and sent with a single touch directly to your e-mail.
Customers are therefore far more likely to complete the surveys – which are an essential way of fully understanding and improving the products and services you offer.
You might also use a QR code to enable customers to link easily to all your social media platforms.
Finally, remember that despite its challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has also encouraged a number of rapid advances in restaurant technology. And that QR codes are just one of the ways in which imaginative business owners can look to profit from these developments.