What’s a digital QR code menu?

a year ago   •   6 min read

By Laine Redpath

So many names for it: digital menu, QR menu, contactless menu… just pick your favorite and go with it!

Navigating the choppy waters of the pandemic has required workplaces and businesses to make several quantum leaps in their everyday runnings in order to stay afloat. As we emerge from the restrictions the pandemic imposed, it becomes clear that many of these advancements are here to stay. One of them is the digital QR menu, now used in restaurants, bars, cafes and food stalls and vans (trucks) all round the world.

What is a Digital QR Menu?

QR (Quick Response) technology - invented by Denso Wave, the Japanese automotive company in 1994 - is a type of two-dimensional barcode that was quickly adapted to uses outside the automative industry. Instantly recognisable, with black squares in a square grid on a white background, it has been used for product tracking, time tracking, item identification and most noticeably, in marketing.

Most recently though, spurred on by the necessity of surviving the pandemic, digital QR menus have replaced physical menus in hospitality industry establishments everywhere.

How we ended up making the world’s best* digital menu
Do you need a digital menu with ordering and payment solutions? Here is wamo QR menu. To learn our story, visit our blog post!

When customers scan a QR code, they are transported to a website or app, where the code is decoded into readable menu information. They can then view the menu, make their choices and even pay from their mobile phones, making the entire ordering process not only contactless, but also relaxed, customer-focussed and efficient.

How can QR code menus benefit your business?

Beyond the social distancing that this tech was brought in to facilitate, QR code menus have a host of other advantages over their printed predecessors. Here are 7 advantages of contactless menus to sink your teeth into.

1. You shall not pass

We’ll start with the obvious: one of the main benefits for restaurants using a digital QR code menu at the moment is that it reduces how many things customers have to put their hands on while in your restaurant. The pandemic has made us a lot more aware of hand-related hygiene. Physical menus (and their microscopic passengers) are handed to customers by waiters and then traditionally passed around the table until everyone has made their food and drink selections. This is entirely eliminated by the QR code menu. You could openly display the QR codes, making it easy for customers to locate and scan them before they’ve even sat down. The advantage that QR menus have over e-menus is also around touching. e-menu screens also get handled by multiple people. With a QR menu the only thing your customer has to touch to order and to pay, is their own phone.

2. Keep your menu ticking over

Let’s face it- your menu is seldom set in stone. Sometimes it might be the chef who initiates change as they introduce new items; sometimes an ingredient or menu item can suddenly become unavailable. Whatever the reason, editing existing printed menus can be labour-intensive and expensive, and if you’re simply crossing things out or using stickers to cover items that are no longer available, it can get pretty ugly. Your QR code menu can be effortlessly tinkered with or entirely changed, in minutes and without any extra expense.

3.  Customers in and out

To be popular and profitable, you have to strike a delicate balance between making customers feel at home, while at the same time trying to serve as many of them as your opening hours will permit. QR code menus can significantly speed up the process by bypassing the ordeal of customers trying to flag down a waiter, narrate each person’s order to them and then chase them down again as one or more of the party changes their minds as to what they would like to eat or drink. Instead, customers can immediately scan your QR code as soon as they take their seats (or even before); then add to or edit their order without any fuss at all. And of course, there is no disruption or room for human error in the space between table and chef’s view. Orders go straight through to the kitchen digitally.

4. Bigger orders

QR menus take the awkwardness out of the upsell; gone are the clunky, embarrassing and time-consuming interactions between your waiters, who want to sell more, and the customers, who perhaps don’t like a sales pitch at mealtime. A digital menu relieves the waiter from this duty and takes pressure off the customer of having to make an on-the-spot decision as to what extras they will order, while also alleviating the embarrassment of asking for yet another portion of chips, onion rings or dessert.

5.  Data is power

To use your restaurant’s QR code menu for the first time, customers are requested to enter their email addresses or mobile phone numbers. With their permission, this information can be stored and then used to keep them up to date with your brand, kept in the loop regarding promotions or indeed, changes to the menu. The ordering system also allows for effortless tracking of what customers order, what they reorder and conversely, what they don’t. All of this data can be very useful when planning menus and with keeping track of who likes what - for a small business especially this can help to become a meaningful part of the community and ultimately to grow your business.

6.  A better experience

Aside from complaints about the food in a restaurant, your customers are most likely to express dissatisfaction at mistakes or misunderstandings, made either in the ordering or billing process. A digital QR code menu pretty much does away with this anguish. Customers can select precisely what they want and then seamlessly pay for it; miscommunication and awkward billing conversations on your busy restaurant floor are things of the past. In addition, your staff, freed from scurrying and scribbling between tables, can focus almost all of their attention on being hospitable to customers and make your restaurant a place where customers feel welcomed and looked after.

7. Payments are a breeze

Taking payments can be a pain, especially if your business has a single POS machine shared amongst multiple staff members or any payment devices that need to be kept charged. In places like bars where multiple small payments are made throughout the day and night fees can add up, especially with the minimum amount on card payments being more or less a thing of the past. Another more practical and common frustration around payments sits with customers who have to wait at tables clutching their bank cards and hoping to be seen by the waiter. Splitting the bill can be tricky too and can take up valuable time. Digital menus that have an integrated payment system solve all these problems! Customers pay from their phone in the same environment they placed their order. They can split the bill as they choose and leave a tip. Nothing else needed.

wamo contactless menu

QR code menus are a fine example of innovation being born of necessity, where something as traditional as a printed menu in a restaurant or a waiter jotting down orders on a pad can give way to genuine improvement for both your business and your customers. QR code menus, it would seem, are here to stay.

wamo’s QR menu is the perfect marriage of digital menu with payment solution. Add your own images, tweak or completely update your menu whenever you like and enjoy all the benefits of the wamo business account that comes as part of the package - and it’s super easy to set up. For any business that offers customers a menu, this really is absolutely every aspect of business managed efficiently and effortlessly from one place. Well, everything except the human relationship aspect and, happily, an efficient system gives you and your staff time to focus all your valuable efforts on taking care of that!

To learn more about wamo menu go here or chat to us.


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