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Article published September 18, 2020 in Restaurants

Make the Most of QR Codes

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Holly Worthington
AUTHOR
Editorial board
Holly Worthington
Modern Hospitality
Content Editor
About the author

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing and is very passionate about the hospitality industry.

Previously, QR codes have been dismissed as more of a gimmick in the world of marketing, however the spread of COVID-19 has seen the QR code revolutionise the way the hospitality industry operates.

This touch-free medium has proven itself incredibly useful as those throughout the industry have found innovative and important ways to use QR codes. Combining legal requirements, experience and convenience, it looks as though the QR code is here to stay.

What is a QR code?

QR stands for ‘quick response’. This fitting acronym works to connect people with online platforms, with the need to only touch their smartphone. Using the camera on a smartphone, users are able to scan a QR code, being taken directly to specified digital platforms and websites.

The link that a QR code is associated with can be updated and amended, meaning changes can be made to the digital platform while keeping the QR code the same on physical branding.

How can QR codes help?

As the hospitality industry has reopened, there has been the need for contactless service. QR codes have enabled touch-free service, creating a frictionless experience for users while streamlining business operations. 

Essentially, a business can use a QR code to connect customers with the digital world, taking them to specific pages of their choice. All of this can be done without the need for customers to come into contact with other people or materials, only requiring a smartphone.

Some of the best uses of QR codes include:

Contact tracing

It is a legal requirement for businesses to store records of their customers, visitors and staff for 21 days, sharing this information with NHS Track and Trace if requested. QR codes have simplified this process, taking visitors to portals where they can enter their details with ease.

Menus and information

To reduce the risk of transmission, restaurants have been opting for disposable, wipeable or digital menus. QR codes are enabling customers to quickly access menus from their phones, saving businesses time and money without the need to dispose of, or clean menus after every use. It is recommended that restaurants still offer single-use or wipeable menus to facilitate those that do not have access to a smartphone.

Table or room service

QR codes can allow customers to place orders remotely and even pay without the need to leave their location. This means hotels can provide room service and restaurants can provide table service with minimal contact and a simplified process that takes the stress away from staff.

Customer engagement

Some businesses are using QR codes to add a little more excitement to customers’ experiences. This could include anything from taking customers to ‘hidden’ drinks menus, sharing brands’ stories or even running competitions. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use it to get people talking.

QR code

Top tips

  • Many platforms enable you to create QR codes on a budget

  • Include clear messaging and benefits, making the purpose of the QR code clear and obvious

  • QR code links can be updated, meaning branding will not need reprinting, even if you wish to make changes

  • Ask your customers for feedback on their experiences and use this to shape your use of QR codes

SHARE THIS POST
Holly Worthington
AUTHOR
Editorial board
Holly Worthington
Modern Hospitality
Content Editor
About the author

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing and is very passionate about the hospitality industry.

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