5 Ways Restaurants are Using QR Codes to Drive Sales

By Tricia Hoy

QR (Quick Response) codes are showing up everywhere. But what are these barcode-like boxes? A QR code can be scanned with a smart phone, pulling up a block of text or immediately bringing up a web page. Consumers want immediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes give them that.

Traditional bar codes can only hold up to 20 numerical digits; QR codes can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ease of use, ability to hold more information, and capability to connect people with each other and link your print ads and signage with your website makes them a practical tool for small businesses.

Today, people who use them appreciate the instant gratification. And those who don’t will be curious about how they work—which can open the door for conversation. You can use QR codes in a multitude of ways. Use them on your website for product information. Add QR codes to your print advertising to connect guests instantly with your online ordering site, and on your business cards to make it easy for people to add you to their contacts. QR codes can deliver offers, product details, event information, coupons, Twitter, Facebook, and blog IDs, and more.

So, what can YOU do? Here are a few ways restaurants are already using QR codes:

Daily Specials. Creating a mobile friendly website displaying your specials for the day can drive traffic—and take a load off from your staff having to explain them repeatedly. It’s a unique way to display photos of your delicious menu items and bring back repeat customers with upcoming specials. Meet the Staff. Why not create a YouTube video introducing your staff to customers? It’s a great way to establish a family atmosphere with current and new customers.

Take-Out and Delivery. A QR code on your print ads and menus makes ordering on-the-fly easy and convenient. With a click of a button on their phone, a customer can add your contact information to their phone or place a call. Add a mobile friendly link to your take out menu or web ordering site too. Point-and-order!

Reservations. A new Smart Phone App, WalkIN, lets guests to scan a code before entering the restaurant with their name and party size and then be notified by their phone when they’re next on the list, and when their table is ready.

Menu Nutrition Information. I am often looking for nutrition information when I eat out, and very rarely find it. By providing these codes on your menu, diners can easily review each item and decide whether they want to splurge a little on calories, or play it safe. Simply set up the code that directs them to a mobile-friendly site displaying all the nutrition information for your menu.

While QR codes have been slow to take-off in the restaurant industry, they are gaining momentum in 2011. Jump in and test the waters. Be one of the first to try these unique ideas, and watch your business grow!

Are you already using QR codes? Tell us how they’re working for you…


Posted on Fri, Jul 08, 2011 @ 14:07 PM.
Updated on April 15, 2019 @ 10:50 PM PST.

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Tags: Restaurant Marketing, social media

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