Why The Best POS System for Restaurants and Bars Uses QR Codes

QR codes will be a staple technology in your restaurant and bar for many years to come. Here’s why the best POS systems have them.

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QR codes transformed the dining experience in 2020 for restaurants and bars everywhere. But the positive impact they’ve had on guest experiences, staff workloads, and business owners’ bottom lines have made a lasting impression, and established QR codes as a staple technology in hospitality for many years to come.

Here’s why the best POS system for restaurants and bars use QR code menus, ordering, and payments!

QR Codes Enhance The Guest Experience

As guests, we’ve become accustomed to whipping out our smartphones in our favorite restaurants and bars to scan a QR code and view the menu. This learned behavior has made us accustomed to a better dining experience, too, thanks to the best POS system for restaurants and bars. 

Ordering Is Faster

Think of how much waiting guests do during traditional table service:

  • Guests arrive and wait for a table
  • Once seated, guests wait for a menu
  • A server comes, takes drinks order, and guests wait again
  • Guests order food, and wait
  • If they forget to order a side, guests wait longer
  • Once they finish eating, guests wait for a check
  • Then guests wait for the card to be picked up and brought back, so they can sign and tip

This is a lot of unnecessary ordering friction, and it actually makes guests not want to order another round of drinks because they’re tired of toe tapping! That said, prior to 2020, guests didn’t know any better because that’s how table service had always been.

Now that QR codes have expedited this entire process, guests revel in the convenience and speed of the revamped ordering experience, and don’t want to look back. Being able to start tabs and add menu items all from your own smartphone has guests adding dessert and another round without a second thought—it’s too easy not to!

Enhanced Staff-Guest Interactions

And just because guests love the ease of ordering with QR codes doesn’t mean they don’t want to interact with a dazzling staff member. The best POS system for restaurants and bars provides this technology to do just the opposite: QR codes make those interactions even better!

QR code ordering eliminates the need for filler conversations (How would you like that burger cooked? Both mayo and mustard OK?) and makes space and time for more genuine, engaging conversations (Did you know those microgreens were grown in our very own garden in the back? You should come to Bingo Night tomorrow!

This technology is not at all replacing the human side of service. It’s instead increasing the time staff spend with guests, and delighting them with fast service that isn’t compromised by an overwhelmed server. 

Family-Friendly Technology

Unless your core customer base is chicken wing lovers that prefer scantily clad service staff, you likely want to tout your business as a family friendly environment. The best POS system for restaurants and bars ensures this with the use of QR code technology.

For starters, QR codes can be easily understood and used by the masses: People ages 6-90 can scan a code and add items to a tab! This ease of use welcomes all kinds of patrons to your restaurant and bar. 

Parents also love the flexibility that QR codes provide. Say a father needs to move his fussing child to an outdoor table so they can run around a little. The best POS system for restaurants and bars enables their QR code technology to follow guests wherever they go. That means once the family has moved outside, the dad can simply scan the new code on the picnic table. His tab is automatically transferred to that location, and any future orders will make their way out to the new spot seamlessly. 

If the fussing turns into a full-on fit? QR codes make it easy to close out at the drop of a hat. Guests just enter their credit card information (most smartphones have this memorized anyway) and get going!

A Green Solution

QR codes are also an environmentally friendly alternative to frivolous menu and receipt printing. And according to an Ohio State University study, 8 in 10 customers are willing to pay more for a “green” dining experience.

Doing your part to save the planet AND tapping into what customers care about? That’s a win, win for the best POS system for restaurants and bars. 

Limits Exposure To Germs

While the world moves beyond the pandemic—knock on wood!—we can all admit we’ve become more conscious of our personal hygiene and therefore do our best to limit contact with strangers’ germs. A paper menu in a setting like a restaurant or bar is susceptible to spills, sneezes, and everything in between. 

This one’s a no-brainer, but worth mentioning: The best POS system for restaurants and bars use QR code menus because it’s a germ-free way to view the menu. 

QR Codes Optimize Staff Members’ Workloads

Guests aren’t the only ones singing QR code’s praises. Staff of restaurants and bars also recognize how much they benefit from this contactless ordering system from the best POS system for restaurants and bars!

Working Smarter, Not Harder

The past couple of years saw restaurants and bars struggling to find the necessary staff during a nationwide labor shortage. A huge reason staff members love QR codes is because they take tedious tasks off their plates! 

QR code ordering eliminates the need for a server to bring menus over, print receipts, and run tickets back and forth to the kitchen and bar with every single guest request. This saves your team a ton of time and manpower.

And as mentioned earlier, this technology from the best POS system for restaurants and bars isn’t meant to replace the beloved human touch at your business. By leaning on a floating service model—that is, a service model that combines efficient QR code technology with personable table service standards—staff see the best of both worlds. Guests in a hurry can get in, order, and get out, and guests that would like to take their time perusing the menu can add snacks and drinks via their own smartphones OR via a staff member at their leisure. 

With all guest tabs syncing across all staffs’ POS devices, servers have the status of every table right in their back pockets. This keeps servers organized, efficient, and on-top of all of their various hospitable duties. 

Ordering Accuracy

Another reason the best POS system for restaurants and bars offer QR code ordering is to avoid ordering errors by ensuring utmost accuracy in menus and tabs. 

QR code menus are digital, which means it’s easy to add or nix items fast. This not only gives your chefs and bartenders creative freedom to add their latest delicious concoction to the menu, but it also comes in handy when you run out of a critical ingredient and need to remove something from the menu. Is there any worse feeling than having to tell a drooling guest that you’re out of what they ordered? Dynamically changing QR code menus make sure this never happens. 

Another layer of efficiency is added when customers submit their own orders. There’s no chance a server mistakenly puts in an order for a steak cooked to the wrong preference, because the guest is entering it themselves! Since those guest tabs automatically sync to all staff tabs, the chef receives the correct order instantly and can get started on personalizing a delicious meal for them. Not only does this delight guests, it saves wasted food and the time it takes to make up for the mistake. 

Upsell, Educate, & Make Friends

Guests aren’t the only beneficiaries of staff having more time for genuine conversations! The time staff save on printing receipts and running tickets is instead focused on meeting all guests’ needs:

  • Upselling: Since servers no longer have to hustle between tables ensuring all orders are in, they have time to make suggestions and curate an exceptional experience for guests. Maybe the Wisconsinites in town would like to try some California cheese curds, or the group that can’t get enough of your saison would like to bring a 6-pack home. Thoughtful recommendations like this are possible and encouraged with QR code ordering capabilities from the best POS system for restaurants and bars. 
  • Education: Storytime isn’t a nuisance when servers know they can lean on QR code ordering. Guests love to hear how a restaurant or bar got started out, or learn about how everything on the menu is made from farm-to-table ingredients. 
  • Camaraderie: A great way to make a guest feel special, and therefore generate repeat business, is by inviting them to an upcoming event. They’ll likely spread the word about the speedy service and phenomenal staff, and bring their friends to the concert you’re hosting next week!

Did you know that guests order 10.3% more when staff offer recommendations? That checks off multiple boxes on any business owner’s wishlist! 

Proven Higher Tips 

Are your ears perked? The best POS system for restaurants and bars use QR codes to help servers collect their bigger, well-earned tips.

Self-serve ordering via QR codes has proven to increase tip size by 24%! And when you consider all the benefits to guests outlined above, this isn’t hard to believe. 

QR Codes Increase Your Bottom Line

Now your entire restaurant and bar crew is dreaming in dollar signs. Yet another reason the best POS system for restaurants and bars offer QR codes is because they’re proven to generously feed owners’ bottom lines. 

Save Money

You may already be working with a smaller staff. And while we all hope and pray the labor shortage doesn’t last, the bright side is you can save 30-50% on labor costs by using QR codes supported by the best POS system for restaurants and bars. 

Another area of potential savings with QR codes is on paper and ink. Printing physical menus isn’t cheap, especially if your menu is always rotating. Now you can stop paying for so much ink and sell your printer on Facebook Marketplace! 

Promotional Tools

A digital menu also allows you to curate timely promotional content! If you know the upcoming weekend is going to be snowy and cold, you can easily add a banner at the top of your digital menu promoting an event at your restaurant and bar in order to drive traffic. You can also incentivize seasonal specials or best sellers to move inventory you have a lot of.

Many businesses take the opportunity with digital menus to market their loyalty programs. Guests can be prompted to sign up right then and there from their own smartphone, making it easy to enter an email address and continue ordering in the same breath. As you know, loyalty programs build your brand and set you up for long-term success with a band of loyal customers supporting you!

Higher Tab Sizes

Your staff’s noble efforts come to fruition in an increased tab size. The best POS system for restaurants and bars have seen on average a 24% larger tab size when guests use QR code ordering. This makes a lot of sense when you consider everything else we’ve covered here:

  • Ease of ordering results in guests ordering more
  • Staff spends more time curating suggestions for guests, leading to successful upselling
  • Family friendliness makes your business an option for large parties of varying ages

And here’s a money-making benefit we haven’t yet covered: Contactless ordering makes homebodies or those still cautious about the pandemic more comfortable dining out in your restaurant or bar. When you bring online ordering on-premise, people are much more likely to have higher tabs than they would on an order for takeout or delivery. 

Advanced Reporting Capabilities

With QR codes, the best POS system for restaurants and bars also sets you up for business growth and a fattened wallet with the plethora of data available. This information at the tip of your fingers helps you make informed decisions about staffing, menus, and best business practices overall. 

Because QR codes are natively integrated with the best POS system for restaurants and bars, all of your reporting data lives in one place. That means all sales channels, both on-premise and online, plus all tabs created by either guests or staff, funnel to one central, web-based dashboard. Having access to your real-time sales numbers at any point in time empowers you to make smart business decisions whenever you see fit.

Are there items on your menu that are usually best sellers, but sales slowed down when you implemented QR code ordering? Perhaps that menu item requires some extra love, like a more detailed description or even a picture on the digital menu. Reports can give you game-changing insights like this! Clearly, staff and guests alike benefit from QR code ordering, and so will your bottom line! If you’re interested in diving deeper into the benefits, learning how to slowly implement QR code ordering in your own business, or discovering the best POS system for restaurants and bars that support this technology, check out The Ultimate Guide to QR Codes!

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