How To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant: Menus, Ordering, & Payments

Optimize your restaurant operations with QR code menus, ordering & payments.

Optimizing Your Bar & Restaurant Point of Sale
QR code on a patio table filled with food while guests laugh and talk.

QR codes were essential to keep restaurants open and serving at safe distances during the pandemic. But their savvy functionality and ease of use has cemented them as a must-have technology in every food and beverage spot going forward. 

Below we break down how to best use QR codes in your own restaurant:

What Are QR Codes?

QR is short for “quick response” and these matrix barcodes live up to their speed-focused namesake. QR codes store a robust amount of information and make it easy to scan and retrieve that information using another device, such as a smartphone. They were originally developed in the 90s in order to provide more information than a standard barcode. 

Nowadays, they’re used with POS systems to provide advanced menu, ordering, and payment technology to restaurants!

QR Code Menus For Restaurants

Digital menus are the primary use for QR codes in restaurants. Instead of guests having to wait for a server to bring them a physical menu, they can simply scan the QR code on their table and see the menu on their own smartphone. 

There are many benefits to digital menus versus traditional paper menus. Here’s a taste:

  • Reduce waste by saving paper
  • Save money on paper and ink
  • Easily update menus instantly

Read on to see more business benefits from digital menus and QR codes in general!

QR Code Ordering For Restaurants

Now comes the ultra-savvy part: QR code ordering in restaurants allows guests to start tabs from their own smartphones. Supported by the best POS systems, contactless ordering via QR codes sync all staff and guest devices, so any tab a guest starts is accessible by any staff. 

That means a guest can add appetizers and drinks to their tab to start. Then a server can swing by the table, collect entree orders, and add those to the same tab themselves!

QR Code Payments For Restaurants

Since guests’ tabs are already on their phones, they can close themselves out too! QR code payments through your POS system are as easy as entering credit card information, tipping, and signing right from the comfort of the guest’s seat. 

Of course, just as the best POS systems allow both guests and staff to add to tabs when using contactless ordering, both parties can close out tabs started from QR codes. 

This dynamic efficiency is part of what makes QR codes for restaurants so useful. But, trust us, it gets even better!

Business Benefits Of QR Codes For Restaurants

Get this: QR codes in restaurants are proven to enhance guest experiences, optimize staff workloads, and increase bottom lines. Let’s see how!

QR Codes In Restaurants Improve Guest Experiences

When it comes to your guests, you look for any tools that will make their restaurant experience better. With widely adopted, easy-to-use technology like QR codes, guests know exactly what to do when they see the black and white matrix on their table. Once scanned, they’re dazzled by the following:

Ordering is easier: When the stomach is growling and lunch break ends in 30, sometimes guests just want their food ASAP. QR code menus, ordering, and payments streamline the entire process—orders get to the kitchen faster and therefore the plate can be devoured faster. 

It’s family-friendly: Whether it’s ordering another juice box as soon as the first is gone, or skedaddling immediately for naptime, QR codes in restaurants are convenient for families

Enhanced staff interactions: QR codes aren’t at all intended to replace human interaction in restaurants. Instead, they make room for more personalized conversations: May I recommend our signature Stout with that dessert? Your kids would love our upcoming event this weekend!

QR Codes In Restaurants Alleviate Busy Staff Workloads

The other people you aim to please are your beloved staff members, and they benefit from QR codes as well:

Save time on administrative tasks: By empowering guests to take control of their tabs, staff workloads are freed for more pressing tasks. Instead of running cards and receipts to every table, QR codes allow staff more time to ensure guests are enjoying themselves, upsell, and provide brand education. 

Tips are higher: QR codes have proven to boost tip size by 27%. That stat alone should sell any tipped employee on this technology!

QR Codes In Restaurants Boost Profitability

We said it gets better, didn’t we? QR codes in restaurants have also proven to boost bottom lines by saving businesses money and helping make more of it!

Save on labor costs: Staffing your restaurant with great people is well-worth every penny, but it’s no doubt one of your largest expenses. Because QR codes take admin work off servers’ plates, you can service more guests with less staff. That means big savings on your labor costs!

Increase tab sizes: When ordering another round is as easy as pressing a few buttons on your phone, you’re far more likely to do it! QR codes have also proven to boost tab size by nearly 37% thanks to ease of ordering and the increased opportunities for staff to upsell. 

How To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant

Now that you’re sold on all the ways QR codes support a growing restaurant, let’s talk implementation. 

How To Print & Display QR Codes

Are we running out of QR codes? No, and these barcodes are simple to customize and print with the right POS system! 

Arryved POS’ QR code ordering system, OpenTab, allows businesses to generate, download, and print branded QR codes right from their own computer. Simply choose a url you’d like the QR code to navigate to and get your printer running!

If you use Arryved already, ask a member from our award-winning support team for a link to get started. 

Best Practices For QR Code Displays

Now that you have your QR codes printed, these are best practices to ensure they’re seen and used correctly!

We recommend some sort of display for the QR codes themselves to maximize visibility and prevent them from getting lost. Here are some ideas: 

  • Use a plastic paper holder
  • Put it on the side of a napkin dispenser
  • Laminate and tape it to the bar or table surface

It’s also helpful to have instructions on display for how to use the QR codes. This may alleviate your staff from having to answer those questions, so this is an important piece of the puzzle!

Arryved POS provides eye-catching printable displays like the following: 

Flex Between Service Models Using QR Codes

QR codes are meant to make your job easier, so implementation doesn’t need to be all-or-nothing. If your business just needs digital menu capability for now, then that’s a great place to start!

If you’d like to give QR code ordering and payments a go, ease into it. You’ll find that trying them out on a smaller scale will identify what works best for your guests and your staff, and eventually you’ll land on the right service model for your restaurant. 

  • Location-specific QR code ordering: Try QR code ordering on your patio first, and run business as usual everywhere else. Having a physical boundary in place sets clear expectations with both guests and staff and limits ordering confusion. 
  • Drink-only QR code ordering: This is a great way to ensure your kitchen doesn’t get overwhelmed with an influx of orders due to the convenience of QR codes. Plus, both staff and guests can practice the ordering process at low stakes since drinks are faster to pour and no one needs to worry about a plate getting cold. 

Once everyone is comfortable and has QR codes mastered, your restaurant can try a floating service model where the best components of both table service and QR codes shine!

Can’t get enough of QR codes? Click to get a free download of The Ultimate Guide To QR Codes!

If you’re interested in the ease of use and implementation Arryved POS offers for QR codes, reach out about a free, customized demo of the entire system today!

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