As a restaurant owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve the customer experience and bring in more business. One tool that’s been gaining popularity in recent years is the QR code. These little squares of black and white can be scanned with a smartphone camera to quickly and easily access information. QR codes have been used for marketing purposes for some time now, but they’re now being used in innovative ways to improve customer engagement in restaurants.
You may have heard it a million times that QR codes are dead, but they are not.
We’ll explore the benefits of using QR codes for restaurant marketing, how to create and generate QR codes, and ways to use them in your restaurant.
Benefits of using QR codes for restaurant marketing
There are several reasons why QR codes are becoming increasingly popular in the restaurant industry. Firstly, they provide a quick and easy way for customers to access information. Rather than having to search for a website or navigate through a mobile app, customers can simply scan a code with their smartphone camera to access menus, promotions, and other information. This convenience factor is particularly important in the restaurant industry, where customers are often looking for quick and easy solutions.
Secondly, QR codes can be used to gather valuable data and insights about customers. By tracking how often a code is scanned and what information is accessed, restaurants can gain a better understanding of their customers’ preferences and habits. This information can then be used to tailor promotions and marketing campaigns to specific groups of customers.
Finally, QR codes are a cost-effective marketing tool. They can be created and printed in-house, or outsourced to a professional printing company. Compared to traditional advertising methods such as billboards or print ads, QR codes offer a much more affordable way to reach customers.
Using QR Codes and Kiosks in the Restaurant Industry to Drive More Customer Engagement
QR code statistics
The use of QR codes has been steadily increasing in recent years, with a significant uptick in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey conducted by MobileIron, 53% of consumers said they had scanned a QR code in the past year. This figure is likely to continue to rise as QR codes become more widely used in everyday life.
In the restaurant industry specifically, QR codes are being used for a variety of purposes. 49% of consumers surveyed by MobileIron said they had used a QR code to access a menu at a restaurant. 29% had used a code to pay for their meal, and 28% had used a code to access a restaurant’s loyalty program.
How to create and generate QR codes for your restaurant
Creating and generating QR codes is a relatively simple process. There are several online tools available that allow you to create and customize your own codes. Some popular options include QR Code Generator, QR Stuff, and QRickit.
To create a code, you’ll need to decide what information you want to link to it. This could be a URL to your restaurant’s website or menu, a coupon code, or a link to a feedback form. Once you’ve decided on the information, simply enter it into the QR code generator and download the code. You can then print the code on menus, flyers, or other promotional materials.
It’s important to note that QR codes should be tested before they’re printed or used in marketing campaigns. Make sure the code is scannable by testing it with different types of smartphones and cameras.
Ways to use QR codes in your restaurant
There are several creative ways to use QR codes in your restaurant. Here are a few ideas:
- Menu access – One of the most popular ways to use QR codes in restaurants is to provide customers with easy access to menus. Instead of handing out physical menus, you can place a QR code on the table or at the entrance of the restaurant. Customers can then scan the code with their smartphone camera to access the menu.
This method has several benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need for physical menus, which can be costly to print and sanitize. Secondly, it allows customers to view the menu on their own device, which can be more convenient and hygienic. Finally, it allows restaurants to easily update their menu without having to reprint physical copies.
- Promotions and loyalty programs – QR codes can also be used to offer promotions and discounts to customers. For example, you could offer a discount code or free appetizer to customers who scan a code at the entrance of the restaurant.
QR codes can also be used for loyalty programs. Customers can scan a code to sign up for the program, which could offer rewards such as free meals or discounts.
- Feedback and surveys – QR codes can be used to gather feedback and insights from customers. For example, you could place a code on the table that links to a feedback form. This allows customers to easily provide feedback on their dining experience.
- Table ordering and payment – QR codes can also be used for table ordering and payment. Instead of having to flag down a server or wait in line to pay, customers can simply scan a code to view the menu and pay for their meal.
Tips for successful implementation of QR codes in your restaurant
While QR codes can be a valuable marketing tool for restaurants, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure successful implementation. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure codes are scannable – As mentioned earlier, it’s important to test QR codes to ensure they’re scannable. Make sure to test the code with multiple types of smartphones and cameras.
- Keep it simple – When creating a QR code campaign, keep it simple. Avoid using too many codes or overwhelming customers with too much information.
- Promote the codes – Make sure to promote the QR codes throughout the restaurant. Place codes on tables, at the entrance, and in other high-traffic areas.
- Monitor analytics – Track how often the codes are scanned and what information is accessed. This data can be used to improve future campaigns and promotions.
Examples of successful QR code campaigns in restaurants
Several restaurants have successfully implemented QR code campaigns. Here are a few examples:
- McDonald’s – In 2020, McDonald’s introduced a QR code campaign to enable customers to conveniently access the restaurant’s menu and place orders using their smartphones. This campaign aimed to minimize physical contact between customers and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Subway – Subway recently launched an innovative QR code campaign that enables customers to access the restaurant’s menu and place orders by simply scanning a code. This campaign aims to enhance the overall customer experience and minimize wait times, making it an excellent choice for busy individuals.
- TGI Fridays – TGI Fridays recently rolled out an exciting QR code campaign that allows customers to scan a code and gain access to the restaurant’s loyalty program. This program offers enticing rewards, including free appetizers and meal discounts, making it a fantastic way for customers to enjoy more value for their money.
QR code analytics and tracking
QR codes can be tracked using analytics tools. Many QR code generators offer built-in analytics that allow you to track how often a code is scanned, what information is accessed, and other data. This information can be used to improve future campaigns and promotions.
Common mistakes to avoid in QR code campaigns
While QR codes can be a valuable marketing tool, there are several common mistakes to avoid. Here are a few:
- Using low-quality codes – Make sure to use high-quality codes that are easily scannable. Low-quality codes can be difficult to scan and may frustrate customers.
- Not testing codes – Make sure to test codes before using them in campaigns. This ensures they’re scannable and links to the correct information.
- Overwhelming customers – Avoid using too many codes or overwhelming customers with too much information. Keep it simple and easy to understand.
Conclusion and future of QR codes in restaurant marketing
QR codes are a valuable marketing tool for restaurants. They provide a quick and easy way for customers to access information, can be used to gather valuable data and insights, and are a cost-effective marketing solution. By following best practices and avoiding common mistakes, restaurants can unlock the potential of QR codes to improve customer engagement and drive business. As QR codes continue to gain popularity, we can expect to see more innovative uses in the restaurant industry in the future.
EZ-Chow has solutions such as an Online Ordering Solutions and Self-Ordering Kiosk Solutions that integrate into your existing POS systems. To learn how EZ-Chow can help you with these initiatives and more, get started by contacting us here.
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