Worldwide, the foodservice industry has been changed beyond recognition by the COVID-19 pandemic. The transformation has been so dramatic that to an extent, the sector may never be the same again.
One of the biggest shifts has been the acknowledgment that establishments need to become more digital in nature. Adoption of the latest technology by restaurants and eateries over the years has been gradual but needs to be stepped up significantly to overcome current challenges.
Precisely where innovative ‘no-touch menu’ options like the digital menu QR code are already making a difference. Along with keeping customers happy, these are the types of innovations that also contribute to health and hygiene.
How Have Restaurant Businesses Been Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Most restaurants in key territories worldwide were forced to shut their doors for much of 2020. Some continued to offer takeout, but the combined losses suffered by the sector were catastrophic.
In total, it is estimated that at least $25 billion was lost by the restaurant industry in the United States alone.
Large restaurants scaled down their operations, many smaller businesses closed permanently, and millions of people lost their jobs. With no immediate end in sight, the future for the industry as a whole continues to look uncertain.
Nevertheless, when restaurants begin cautiously opening their doors once again, the full ‘contactless’ experience will play a bigger role than ever before. Quite simply, anything proprietors can do to minimize contact with customers is something they must do.
Features of QR codes in Restaurants during the Coronavirus Pandemic
QR codes and social distancing go hand in hand. They have been widely used in China for several years now, though are just beginning to find their feet in the West.
A QR code can be scanned using any connected device, instantaneously transporting the customer to a page or document accordingly. For the food service industry, these codes can be used to instantly provide customers with access to menus with information on real-time availability.
Just a few of the benefits of switching to QR code menus under the current circumstances include the following:
1 To Follow Social Distancing Guidelines
With QR codes, customers are able to read menus, make their choices and even place orders with no contact. They do not have to approach, speak to or interact with any of your staff members when ordering. This immediately makes it much easier for businesses to follow social distancing guidelines, which may apply indefinitely.
2 An Easy and Engaging Experience
The convenience of QR code menus also appeals to customers, who in many cases prioritize speed and efficiency. They don’t have to wait to be handed menus or to be approached by a server. Instead, they simply access the menu at their convenience and place their order at the touch of a button. Custom QR code menus can be created to ensure an eye-catching and engaging experience for every customer.
3 Huge Potential for Promoting Products
There are absolutely no limitations to where you can place a QR code around your establishment. From tables to the bar area to outside the door for passers-by, QR codes have incredible promotional potential. They can also be included in all of your printed marketing materials, such as leaflets and flyers. Not to mention, published on your website, your social media profiles and in every email you send.
4 A Step Ahead of the Competition
Sooner or later, QR code menus will become the new standard for the vast majority of restaurants. In the meantime, there’s the opportunity to gain an important edge over your competitors. QR code menu uptake remains surprisingly slow in many areas, despite the obvious advantages. By using QR codes, you demonstrate both your innovative approach and your commitment to customer safety in difficult times.
Instances of How a Restaurant Business Can Utilize QR Codes to its Advantage
It’salso worth remembering that QR codes aren’t only about making the switch to virtual menus. The benefits of potential applications of QR codes are extremely diverse – including but not limited to the following:
1 Enhanced Health and Hygiene
Research suggests that Coronaviruses like COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for anything from three to 10 days. This subsequently makes every physical menu in a restaurant a potential health hazard, when passed from person to person. With a contactless menu, the risk of surface transmission is reduced to zero. A QR code menu is exponentially safer and more hygienic than any physical menu. They’re also free to create and use – head over to https://createqrmenu.io/for more information.
2 Cashless Payment
QR codes can also be used to collect cashless payments for dine-in and takeout orders alike. Even if you do not accept credit or debit cards, you can set up an online wallet to accept cashless payments using QR codes. Increasingly, customers are showing a preference for cashless forms of payment that are more convenient and hygienic than cash. Again, setting up cashless payments using an online wallet and QR codes couldn’t be easier.
3 Online Food Ordering
Research suggests that takeout joints using QR code menus and payment systems are thriving. At least, when compared to similar businesses that follow more traditional protocols. Mobile ordering and payments can simplify the entire takeout/delivery process for the customer and business alike. It’s also a great way of freeing up important resources to be allocated elsewhere.
4 Promoting Via Your Social Media Pages
The visual nature of a QR code means it can be published and shared on almost any social network. This makes social media the perfect promotional platform for today’s innovative restaurant business. Each time you change your menu, add a new menu item or have a promotion to advertise, why not simply publish a QR code on your social media pages? A fast, easy and effective way to spread the word to a potentially huge audience.
As touched upon above, QR codes will eventually become the new norm for the restaurant industry worldwide. However, the potential benefits of no-touch menus are of particular importance right now.
With no immediate end to the COVID-19 crisis on the horizon, all proprietors must play their part. Simply by replacing physical menus with QR code menus, you create a significantly more sanitary environment.