QR Code Ordering: Enhancing the Customer Experience and Generating Revenue

QR codes have rapidly transformed the traditional restaurant landscape in recent years. Their contactless nature and ease of use earned them an excellent reputation, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers could find menus online, earn rewards and pay their checks — all with a simple scan. And today, customers still appreciate that convenience. 

Today, nearly 60 percent of adults expect to use their phones to access key restaurant features, including ordering food. And more quick-service and casual dining restaurants are adopting QR code ordering to improve operations. Customers access a digital menu through their smartphone camera and place orders without reviewing physical menus or interacting with servers. When you implement QR code ordering at your restaurant, here’s how you and your customers benefit. 

Reduced Wait Times 

One-third of customers become upset if they don’t receive service within five minutes of being seated at a restaurant. QR Code ordering eliminates the initial wait time, paving the way for a faster dining experience and higher customer retention. Diners scan the QR Code on their table to access the restaurant menu and place their order as soon as they’re ready — no need to wait for a server. 

Improved Operational Efficiency 

Restaurants that have switched to self-serve QR code ordering see a 35 percent boost in sales. The technology removes the more transactional aspects of restaurant service, such as food ordering, off your staff’s plate, freeing time for them to focus more holistically on the dining experience and food quality, especially during the critical rush hours. 

QR code ordering also improves order accuracy, leading to fewer mistakes and less food waste. When guests place their orders themselves, it reduces the chances of misunderstandings between them, servers and chefs. And happier customers tend to leave better tips. By minimizing miscommunication and increasing face time with guests, servers receive an average tip increase of $1.50 per hour

In times of employee shortages, restaurants rely on operational efficiency to maximize their limited resources. Self-ordering with QR codes helps your restaurant remain competitive and successful.

Relevant, Up-to-Date Information

The cost of replacing physical menus to reflect a dish or price change can add up. QR code ordering shrinks these printing costs and streamlines your menu update process, especially for temporary changes. For example, if you’ve sold out of avocados, you can remove avocado dishes from the menu until you receive another shipment. 

Informed Decision-Making

Traditional menus force you to work within a set content space. You must carefully choose what details to include because you don’t want to pack too many words on a page. With zero space constraints, QR code menus allow you to share as much context, photos and nuances about your dishes as needed to help customers make the best, most informed decision.

Higher Average Order Value (AOV)

Guests feel more comfortable customizing their orders if they don’t have to run them through a staff member. In fact, 65% of consumers prefer self-service kiosks. Self-service ordering also improves the perception of the customer’s experience since they feel more in control of the situation. 

Additionally, QR code ordering can leverage passive marketing to influence customers and encourage them to “think more” or “think big.” When customers see multiple options to add items or order second helpings with just a click, they’re more likely to do so. QR codes allow guests to personalize their experience and order without inhibition, resulting in higher order values. In fact, QR codes increase AOV by about 12 percent — or $2-4. 

Helpful Customer Insights 

QR code ordering also facilitates information sharing between customers and restaurants. Some QR code generators provide insights like total scans and device type. QR code generators can also help you better understand customer expectations and needs by identifying the most popular menu items, promotions and peak business times. This data generates insights to inform marketing strategies and improve overall business performance. 

Nearly 90 percent of smartphone users will scan a QR code this year. Adopting QR code technology for ordering reaches that growing pool of customers, gives your business a competitive advantage, enhancing the overall dining experience and driving revenue.