We’ve all seen the little square barcodes popping up everywhere recently… but did you know they can drastically improve your restaurant’s marketing and customer experience?
Today I’ll be introducing you to QR codes, a super easy tool to make your restaurant experience safe, convenient and ready for the future.
Let’s dive right in.
What is a QR Code?
QR code stands for Quick Response code.
With most phones, you can simply take a picture of this barcode and it will automatically open a link to the desired content.
When generating a QR code you can set it up to link to anything that you wish to show your customers. In a restaurant this could be your menu, a coupon, your website, etc.
QR codes are a great contactless way for customers to engage with your business and have access to any content or information you want to show them.
Using QR Codes For Contactless Menus
The most popular and obvious use for QR codes in restaurants today is for menus.
Menus are one of the highest touch points in a restaurant environment, oftentimes getting passed hundreds of times a day. This is why we’re seeing this huge trend of converting menus into a digital version with QR codes.
The QR code is usually stuck on the table, or on a flyer in the window so customers can browse before they decide to be seated. They can simply scan the barcode, and the menu pops up on their phone.
There are many benefits to using QR codes in your restaurant in addition to the issue of hygiene. One example is the ability to update your menu depending on the time of day.
Let’s say your restaurant offers brunch, happy hour, and a dinner menu. You can configure your QR code to link to your mimosa menu during brunch, and switch to happy hour appetizers depending on the time!
Having a digital menu is much more sustainable and saves lots of money on printing costs. In addition to showing different menus depending on the time of day, imagine having the ability to simply take off a menu item if you run out of an ingredient.
According to Beaconstac, more than 52% of restaurants in the United States have already transitioned from traditional menus into QR codes to help stop the spread of the virus.
Even after the pandemic, digital menus are likely here to stay. Set yours up ASAP to keep your edge in the market.
How To Market Using QR Codes
According to a study conducted by UC Berkeley, just a half-star higher rating for your restaurant on Yelp, Google, or Facebook Reviews produces a 30-40% uplift in your 7pm bookings.
What does that mean? That translates into thousands of dollars a month that either goes into your pocket, or out the door.
Get More Customer Reviews
One great way is to include a QR code on or with their receipt. Advise your wait staff to encourage customers to leave a review by scanning the barcode if they enjoyed their experience.
If you run a Grab & Go joint, put it by the cashier for convenience. They can quickly scan the QR code and go on their way to leave a review later.
Linking customers straight to your business on the review site makes it much easier for them to provide feedback, so you can have more reviews where you need them.
Bonus Tip: Print your QR codes on stickers to put on your delivery boxes!
Gain More Social Media Followers
A lot of restaurants now are marketing via social media, whether it’s a Facebook Page or Instagram account.
QR codes are a great way to drive traffic to these sites, especially since there’s no way to tell where they link to without scanning. It’s a great opportunity to boost your marketing campaign exposure regardless of the platform.
A lot of times people won’t take action just because it’s inconvenient or they forget. How many times have you thought, “Oh, I love this account, I love this restaurant, I’m going to add them on Instagram, I want to see what they’re up to.” But then you have to go to the washroom or your friend starts telling you a crazy story, and you completely forget.
Using a QR code makes it a seamless transaction for your customers. Just pick up the phone, scan, and click follow!
If you’re wondering why restaurants are investing so much money into Instagram marketing, the answer is User Generated Content. What does that mean?
In this case, the user generated content is anything that anyone posts on social media about your restaurant. When your customer takes out their phone and shares the beautiful food, environment, and experience they had – that’s free marketing!
It’s actually even better than free marketing, because people will always trust other consumers more than your advertisements or campaigns. Share these testimonials to show that people love your restaurant and the experience you provide.
It’s super important as a restaurant owner, to understand how to use technology like QR codes and social media to your advantage. This is essentially is how you build trust with your customers in today’s market!
Share Coupons With Customers
Another great way to market with QR codes is using coupons! You can include little cards with customer’s bill or take-out orders to encourage them to dine again soon.
Another option is running promotions throughout the day.
Let’s say that you want to run these deals: 20% off pancakes for breakfast, 10% off your pizzas at lunch, and then 5% off your pasta for dinner.
How are you going to be able to distribute all these crazy coupons and keep track of all the deals?
With QR codes, it’s simple.
One great tool I’ve found to help manage QR codes is the QRestaurant Solution by beaconstac.
They give you the ability change the barcode content depending on the time of day! You don’t need to change the QR code after breakfast when lunchtime comes around.
This is called a dynamic QR code. It allows you to run multiple different creative campaigns at different times. You can actually test out different strategies without having to print out multiple different offers or barcodes.
They provide even more great features like the option to offer your menu in multiple languages and age restrict your alcohol menu! It’s a very powerful tool for such an affordable price!
I know we’ve all wasted thousands of dollars on marketing with radio or Facebook ads, where you can’t even see your return on investment.
Thankfully, QRestaurant actually shows you all this data and lets you manage everything easily on the back end, so there’s never any confusion about your menu, promotions, or social media stats.
They’ve actually reached out to offer you guys a 30-day free trial! You can sign up with my link here. It’s completely free for month so that you can see whether or not it’s suitable for your business’s needs.
I really highly recommend that you guys check them out. You can learn more about all of QRestaurant’s services here!
Whether or not you choose to sign up, now you know how useful QR codes can be for restaurant marketing and their importance for the future of the industry!
If you’re in the beginning stages of starting your dream restaurant, cafe or food business and want to do your best to avoid costly mistakes or waste a ton of money…my free masterclass will give you an in-depth look at my ACE formula – the same formula that I used to build my 7 store ice cream chain and how my students were able to get more clarity in their food business. Sign up for the masterclass here.