QR Codes: Restaurant Ordering of the Future

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants and other small businesses worldwide have been looking for ways to adopt contact-free strategies that cultivate a healthier and safer dining experience.

eatOS developed its own solution that’s improving the speed, accuracy and efficiency of business operations: QR codes that take customers to a personalized menu where they can peruse their options, order directly from their smartphone and pay, all from their phone. This kind of contact-free technology will completely alter how we view the restaurant experience as a whole, not just during this global pandemic but also beyond it. It’s going to change the trajectory of how we approach restaurants and restaurant technology at its very core.

Benefits of QR-Code Ordering

Digital menus are better than physical menus for multiple reasons. Single-use or reusable menus might have certain advantages but in the age of COVID-19, it’s not sanitary to share items. It’s also time-consuming to clean each one after every use, placing an extra burden on an already stressed-out, overworked staff. With QR ordering, your employees have spare time to devote to more productive activities.

There’s clear benefits for employees when you decrease the number of face-to-face interactions that they have with customers, but it’s also better for your guests because they can control their own experience. When customers can take on the bulk of the responsibility for their visit, it necessarily customizes everything to their specifications which guarantees a more positive experience. They’ll be able to ensure that their order is entirely accurate, decreasing how often meals get sent back to the kitchen or complaints go up to the manager’s office. People prefer personalization, and when they feel taken care of on a personal level, it fosters a better relationship with the restaurant which in turn creates customer loyalty.

Additionally, reading on a smartphone is easier than other contact-free options, such as displaying full menus behind the counter or on a menu board, both of which can be hard to read and creates unnecessary pressure. On their phones, people can take their time browsing their options, which is shown to increase the average check size since they’re not anxious about judgment or impatience from other customers or cashiers.

When menus are online, you can easily make adjustments, edit or delete items, add dishes, rearrange the order or update photos to ensure continued accuracy and optimization of your main selling point: The food. All of this can be done paperlessly, which is better for the environment and easier on your business. Editing a virtual menu automatically implements those changes everywhere in your store and thus doesn’t waste time, or money, reprinting and re-laminating all of the menus.

It will soon be the norm to peruse menus, order and pay from your mobile device, and use other restaurant technology like our self-service kiosks. Convenience, even in the absence of sanitation concerns, usually guides technological advancement. Simply put, QR codes are more profitable, more efficient and they just make sense.

Tools for Success

To ensure the success of your QR codes, you need to have the rest of your operations digitized as well so that the system runs smoothly through your point of sale device. At eatOS, we have state-of-the-art point of sale and associated devices to ensure that your business always runs smoothly.

Any digital menu needs to be compatible with mobile first and foremost. People tend to search for restaurants on-the-go, so it’s important that they can easily browse and access menu information right from their smartphone without any hassle. The layout also needs to look good, as messy and unorganized screens will prompt potential customers to take their business to someplace looks better and is more easily operable.

You should also have a way to handle touch-free transactions, or else customers will have to share keypads and payment screens, detracting from the sanitation of QR code ordering. It also makes ordering slower and less convenient. Consider accepting “wallet” payments like Apple pay, taking Venmo or Paypal, or designing your mobile menu with options for one-click payments through the app itself. You can also create strategies for introducing even more contactless services, which will make your restaurant as sanitary as possible. Consider, for example, creating mobile notifications for pickup and delivery services as well as contactless receipts, mobile check-ins, mobile reservations, mobile waitlists and anything else you can imagine that would make for a smoother, safer restaurant experience.

Where’s the best place to put your QR code? It should be somewhere easily visible and accessible so the customers know exactly where to go, without hassle. For example, the code should be at the table for dine-in customers so they can easily tap to order from their seats, whereas to-go customers should have some other point of access, perhaps on the website, in the storefront or even on the host stand. The exact placement of your code depends on your restaurant’s look and feel, but QR codes should optimize crowd disbursement to prevent spreading the virus. Put it somewhere easy to find and view.

At eatOS, we’re committed to making your work a breeze. We give you everything you need for a mobile menu; you approve the design and overall presentation, and we handle all the rest. Check out our tips for optimizing your online menu to make your new endeavor the best it can be.

Contactless ordering via QR codes is here, and menus are right at your fingertips wherever you go. Join the future of food service technology—sign up for a demo of eatOS products today.

Editor's Picks