Are Menus a Thing of the Past?

Paper menus, physical checks and long lines for the cashier. Is food service finally done with the headache?

Restaurants, breweries and the hospitality industry as a whole have embraced the digital age. Just like physical cash gave way to credit cards, so too is online ordering taking the place of in-person customer service. First, self-service became prominent via standalone kiosks and tableside ordering devices that let customers complete their own transactions without standing in line or waiting for service. Tablets and devices connected through the restaurant’s WiFi network send these orders directly to the system, with minimal interaction between customers and staff. Instead employees have time to help customers operate these machines, answer questions and generally provide a more intimate customer experience.

Now QR ordering is taking these advancements a step further.

What is QR Ordering?

Restaurants don’t need a million and one devices to have the most up-to-date capabilities. With the right point of sale system, customers order directly from their own phones. They just have to scan the QR code and it takes them directly to an online menu where they can view all the options, order and pay all from the same screen. It works just like a tabletop tablet or self-order kiosk except even more convenient because customers can do it right from their own mobile device. Restaurants just became touch-free.

Once they submit an order, the information goes directly to the point of sale system and all applicable devices including kitchen display screens, so that kitchen staff can start cooking right away. For even more convenience, QR ordering is compatible with all the same payment methods as the point of sale system itself; if the restaurant’s credit card processing model accepts it, then customers can use the card to pay for their meals through QR ordering. This technology makes it increasingly important that restaurants choose the right payment processing model as transactions get more secure and self-sufficient.

This also helps guide waiters around the restaurant. Spend less time wondering what order goes to who; QR ordering narrows down the right table and reduces interactions between waitstaff and customers. That means customers experience fewer lines and don’t have to wait to order or pay their bill. Did you know that long lines actually hurt your business? Many restaurateurs think that crowds beget crowds, but the truth is exactly the opposite. Cut them down or eliminate them completely and watch your bottom line, and your reputation, improve.

With less wasted time and a better experience overall, QR ordering increases the chance that a one-time visitor becomes a loyal customer for life.

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Advantages of QR Ordering

The introduction of tabletop technology, like tablets, revolutionized ordering by making it faster, more accurate and more efficient. Now QR codes personalize the experience further by putting all the power in guests’ hands. This is especially important in the age of COVID-19.

As the pandemic rages on and restaurants open and close on a dime, QR ordering helps upper management follow convoluted reopening guidelines like proper social distancing inside enclosed spaces and reducing capacity. Digital channels are the safest way for people to order dine-in and also ensures social distance during in-house payment; in many cases, one-touch or contact-free ordering is the only way to pay for food when local COVID-19 cases surge and restaurants cancel sit-down service.

A surge of new restaurants seek to adopt QR ordering to help their customers and subsequently boost their bottom line. QR ordering has proven to increase the amount customers spend per order, just like other self-service technology, because of how easy it is to modify or add to their cart without fear of judgment. QR ordering works alongside these other devices, not in place of them; customers are still free to use self-service kiosks and tabletop tablets or to order from staff members in-person, but QR ordering has a lot of the same functionalities, such as upselling features that lead to higher average check sizes, as well as other benefits like social distance. They’re a real asset for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Employees can also focus on areas of the business that need more attention when they aren’t caught up taking orders and enforcing health and safety measures against COVID-19. They need to constantly sanitize shared devices like kiosks so as to reduce the spread of germs and potential infection. With QR ordering, workers can focus on other aspects of the job that may lack manpower and automatically reduce their own risk of catching a virus.

Use QR ordering alongside other point of sale features, like online ordering and automatic syncing across every device on the network, to maximize the benefits of all these channels. QR ordering is just another option available to customers and an increasingly popular addition to the existing network of food service technology that works together to make the best customer experience possible.

The Future of Food Service

In summation, QR ordering systems:

  • Improve accuracy and reduce human error.
  • Hasten table turn time so that you can serve more guests per day.
  • Improve the customer experience, leading to greater loyalty over time.
  • Make employees’ jobs easier so they can focus on other tasks that need more attention.
  • Improve business operations overall and lead restaurants to greater success.

Increasing capacity, spreading out tables and implementing outdoor seating areas all add to the confusion when restaurants are already readjusting sit-down services for the first time in months. QR ordering tells staff exactly where to go so they can provide a better experience even while getting back on their feet.

QR ordering is the next major step for restaurants looking to grow their business, cater to customers’ needs and implement the most advanced technology out there. Menus, like a lot of outdated restaurant staples, are going out of fashion: We’re entering a touch-free age that prioritizes the health and safety of everyone who comes inside. Together we can cultivate a more positive restaurant experience.

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