QR codes are not a particularly new concept, they’ve been around for a while. But there’s no doubt that the last couple of years has seen a big uptake of them. Particularly in Hospitality. At some point we just got used to seeing a square barcode on the table, ready to scan instead of a tangible menu. So the question is, are they still relevant? Are people still using QR ordering, or has the use slumped post-pandemic?

So, now that there are little to no restrictions in place, let’s take a look at the latest situation for QR codes


What is a QR code, and what does it do? 


A QR code is a square matrix barcode. It’s very similar to a normal barcode found within a supermarket and is made up of squares and dots. Each of these symbols can be scanned and turned into readable data.

There are two broad types of QR codes to be aware of: static and dynamic QR codes. With static codes, the information within them can’t be edited again later. There’s also no ability to track a static QR code once it has been created.

By contrast, a dynamic QR code is a more advanced type of QR code, it allows you to track the number of scans and you can edit it later – for example, if you notice a mistake or want to change the URL behind it.


So what are the benefits of QR codes?


It’s hard to sum up the many benefits and uses that QR codes can bring to your restaurant, bakery or coffee shop, so bear with us whilst we give it a go…


1. They allow customers to order from their table

Order at table is potentially the most visible benefit of QR codes (in our industry at least). An affordable and efficient alternative to a tangible menu, a quick scan directs your customers to your digital menu. There were obvious benefits to this during the pandemic (which we won’t bore you with).

But just because the dreaded ‘social distancing’ is a thing of the past, doesn’t mean that the benefits of ordering from a QR code are too. QR codes help both you and your customers. They save your staff time and you the expense of endlessly printing menus. What’s more, QR codes create a slicker, more seamless experience for the consumer, leaving them with a great impression of your service.


2. Manage staff shortages

We are feeling these shortages with you. It’s a difficult landscape to navigate right now, finding good staff takes money and time. So any form of technology that might lift some weight off both you and your staff’s shoulders is a good thing right?

‘Order at table’ tech like ours can be excellent for precisely this. It frees up your team’s time, allowing them to deliver the key aspects that make hospitality so enjoyable and personal!


3. Turn tables faster

Since restrictions have lifted, eating out is back with a bang. Demand is up and with it comes the opportunity for higher volumes and revenue.

So you want your in-premise system not just to cope but to thrive. Relying on manual ordering can be really inefficient in busy times. In contrast, a QR system is quick and simple. The customer simply scans and in a few taps, they can have their item ordered. It’s slick and intuitive, and will help you serve more customers to a higher standard.


4. Boost order values and tips

Some of our partners using QR-code-based solutions have said to us that a convenient and easy-to-use platform like an ‘order at table’ app often encourages their customers to spend and tip that bit more than they might have otherwise done.

Yes, even in the world of hospitality, ‘impulse buying’ can be a thing. Particularly when you  catch your customers in a mood to pay slightly more when you make it super-easy for them to buy from you. And the best bit is it’s a really cost-efficient solution, bringing you a lot of financial benefits without heavy investment.


5. They’re people and planet friendly

The fact that QR codes can help you reduce your paper usage saving you money and waste is a really powerful reason to stick with them long after the pandemic.

The climate crisis is assuming ever-greater prominence in the news headlines these days, so it is crucial that all businesses do everything possible to minimise their day-to-day environmental impact.

This is not just something for your conscience but an issue that the modern day consumer cares about. Investing in the planet could even help you attract and keep hold of those customers who share a belief in the importance of protecting the only planet we have.

It’s also just much more efficient. Rather than having to reprint every time they get dirty or you update your menu, you can simply utilise dynamic QR codes and update the link to your new menu. That’s a much quicker and slicker process than having to have your paper menus edited and reprinted each time, just because of a few minor changes you might wish to make.


6. They are very diverse 

We’re sure you’re getting the picture by now but QR codes have so many uses. You can print them on pretty much anything, and implement them into your marketing collateral for example.

Consider the scope to have QR codes on your posters, flyers, paper menus, and even on your food packaging when delivered to the customer’s home, to encourage repeat orders.

Meaning you could send customers (rapidly) to your restaurant’s latest menu or ordering app, or to current limited-time-only promotions.


You can put QR codes on you packaging!


Who can use QR codes? 

The short answer is: everyone! And certainly, every type of hospitality business active today. Whether you operate a quick-service restaurant (QSR), bakery, takeaway, or a similar establishment, QR codes could help your business operate more efficiently in 2022, while minimising pressure and stress for your team members.

How do I get started? 

QR codes can be extremely useful, we’ve established that for sure. The pandemic may have been responsible for their rapid growth but QR codes are here to stay. So, you should make sure to include them in your business’s strategy.

We get that there are a lot of new trends and technologies to keep track of, so if you need a bit of guidance, Slerp is here to help.

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