Why QR Menus Are Becoming So Popular

Posted by Brandon Tucker

Brandon was the Marketing Content Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions from 2019 to 2022. He ensured the content we provided was the top-notch quality we are known for by staying up to date on industry trends, tips, tricks, and best practices to help our customers' businesses grow.

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When is the last time you went to a restaurant and were handed a physical menu? If you live in the U.S. or Canada, it’s likely been a while. These days it’s much more common that you’re simply pointed toward a QR code on the table and told that this weird little symbol contains their entire menu. 

This trend primarily arose due to the pandemic but will only continue to grow year after year. In fact, the number of Americans who have scanned a QR code with their phone has grown by 45% since 2019 and is expected to reach over 90 million people within the next two years. So the popularity of QR code menus isn’t really up for debate. Instead, let’s take a look at why these digital menus have become so popular lately.


1. No Need for Sanitization

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of QR menus, especially from the customer’s perspective, is that they don’t require any physical contact. It’s quite common for menus to have food crumbs or drink stains covering menu pages. And even if you make a point of keeping your menus immaculate, it’s impossible to get around the fact that physical menus are transmitting germs from one customer to another all day long. 

To combat this transmission of germs, most restaurants sanitize their menus between each use. But this takes employee time and cleaning resources, both of which aren’t free. Once you switch to QR menus, you’ll no longer need to go through this frequent sanitization process since the only thing the customers will be touching is their cellphones.


2. Ability to Make Changes Without Reprinting

There are many different reasons why a restaurant may need to adjust its menu. Either they add a new item, take away low-selling dishes, change to a seasonal menu, or adjust their menu-based pricing. This last reason is particularly likely, with restaurant prices rising 3.1% within just the last couple of years. Traditional menus force you to order a reprint any time you make even the smallest change. Or else you’re forced to write over something with sharpy, use whiteout on certain parts, or use some other method that significantly decreases the visual appeal of your menu. 

With digital menus, go online, make the appropriate changes, and save them. Just like that, customers will be able to scan the QR code and see the latest version of your menu with the same visual appeal that it’s always had. Not to mention the fact that you can maintain several different versions of your menu online and appropriately swap them out from season to season. Only now, you’re able to do so much faster, cheaper, and without having to find room to store dozens of different menus. 


3. Reduce Customer Wait Times

Ideally, customers are handed menus as soon as they sit down. However, this isn’t always what happens. When staff is swamped during rushes, it’s not uncommon for customers to wait a couple of minutes or even longer to be given menus, which makes unreasonable wait times one of the most common examples of customer complaints in restaurants. This might not sound like much, but this is causing a delay in customer turnover, which will only build up even further as the day goes on. And if you ever have a packed house and don’t have enough menus to go around, then this delay will become even worse. 

QR codes allow customers to access the menu as soon as they sit, eliminating any wait time that they might experience. Any opportunity to reduce table turnover times should be taken, as it means more sales and more money in your pocket. 


4. Unlimited Space for Food Images

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is this more true than with menus. Having great pizza images in a high resolution will improve the visual appeal of your menu and make customers far more likely to order items off of it. The problem is that a physical menu has very limited space, meaning you can only fit a few pictures if you’re lucky. Once making the switch to an online version, you can make the menu as long or wide as you want. So if you want to add images for every single dish, you’re able to do so freely. 

With all of these various benefits, it’s obvious why QR menus are the new preference for more and more restaurants. Whether or not you plan to make the transition, here are other ways that you can improve your restaurant menu.


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Posted on Tue, Apr 26, 2022 @ 09:04 AM.
Updated on June 27, 2022 @ 8:44 PM PST.

Tags: Menu Management, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Technology

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