A lot has changed about the food service industry in the past two years. From periods of limited in-person dining to supply chain catastrophes, food service establishments the world over are in the midst of a profoundly transformative period. With all of the larger structural changes coming down the pike, it's easy to miss some of the smaller, more beneficial advancements. Take QR code restaurant payments and menus, for example.
Blink and you might miss them, but QR codes are everywhere these days. With more than 1.5 billion users spread across all corners of the globe, they've become ingrained in an ever-increasing variety of industries, especially food service. Today, we're going to take a look at the sudden prevalence of QR code restaurant payments with a focus on the incredible benefits they provide to pubs, cafes, eateries, and customers.
QR code payments: a restaurant mainstay
QR codes are everywhere you look. Across the entirety of Europe, 67% of people feel that QR code usage simplifies life. According to the same source, a combined study of the US and UK conducted by Scanova showed that eateries and restaurants saw QR code engagement increase by 46.75% during the pandemic.
No matter where you go in the world, be it Asia, North America, or even sections of Africa, the level of QR code utilisation has seen a similar boost over the past two years, which speaks to one thing: QR codes have become THE way to pay in the foodservice arena.
First, let's address some basic definitions for business owners, franchisees, and other food service professionals interested in implementing QR code restaurant payments into their day-to-day operations. What is a QR code exactly?
In simple terms, QR codes are a specialised type of square-shaped barcode containing pixelated arrays. The QR in their moniker stands for "Quick Response" code. Those pixels are capable of storing a large and diverse amount of data, including contact information, event information, discounts, social media links, links to website addresses and web-based apps that can instantly display visually rich menus and initiate payment.
The next time you are out in a public setting, take a minute to look around and notice the prevalence of QR codes in your everyday life. You find them everywhere: flyers, stickers, apparel and merchandise, official marketing materials, and on your favourite restaurant’s tabletops.
In fact, they've become so integral to so many industries that they experienced a staggering 96% increase BEFORE the pandemic began. Therefore, it's only logical that QR code restaurant payments have become the dominant modality industrywide. But why the sudden dominance? QR codes and their recent ubiquity rest on three pillars: convenience, efficiency, and safety. We'll discuss the benefits of implementing QR restaurant payments into your establishment through the lens of these three attributes.
Related: Why you should offer contactless ordering and payment to your customers
The top five reasons to implement QR code payments in your establishment
Industries the world over have begun embracing the true utility of the QR code, and no industry has done a more thorough job nor reaped as much benefit as the food service industry. Even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 52% of restaurants located in the United States had integrated QR codes into their regular operations.
The benefits of QR code restaurant payment implementation in particular are multifaceted. Below is a cross-section of the top reasons your eatery, establishment, or brand should look to integrate QR codes with your existing tech stack.
1. QR code restaurant payments allow the customer to control the flow of the meal
Why do people go to pubs, cafes, and other types of eateries? There are multiple answers, but none are terribly complex: to get a break from the stress of daily life, to have someone else cook for you and serve you, or to be social. Even though these reasons may be fairly straightforward, they add up to something very important: the customers' expectations.
Customers come to your establishment planning to see a very specific process in place. That means that the flow of their meal is of the utmost importance. Customers expect things like prompt service with their drink and food orders being taken relatively quickly, time to socialise with one another as they wait for their meal, attentiveness from the waitstaff during the meal itself, and a timely check-out procedure once their meal is finished.
QR code menus help to streamline the front-end process by allowing patrons to order whenever they are ready. QR code restaurant payments, in the same manner, help them control things on the back end. Through QR code payment processing, customers are in the driver seat.
For example, think of your own restaurant experience. Once the meal is done, there are times when nothing is worse than waiting around for the wait staff to bring your bill. What if you have an appointment to get to after the meal? What if you have screaming children in tow? QR code initiated restaurant payments help restaurant owners preserve the customer experience even when they have extenuating circumstances.
2. They give the customer a more robust array of payment options
The more freedom of choice you provide to your patrons, the more your enterprise will flourish. And when it comes to the checkout process, freedom of choice can be a dealbreaker.
QR code restaurant payments can link directly to your systems and allow your customers to control payment options as well as the checkout timeline. If the customer has a large party, QR payment options and the right platform allow them to seamlessly split the bill as they see fit, without taking valuable time away from the waitstaff.
If you are the owner of a bigger venue, such as a stadium that houses multiple vendors, QR codes can link directly to a platform that allows customers to consolidate orders from those different vendors and pay them using one transaction.
3. They can help streamline your establishment's operational efficiency
No matter the size and shape of your establishment, from gargantuan sports venue to intimate cafe, it's your waitstaff that bears the greatest responsibility. From greeting patrons, to ensuring order accuracy, to expediting the checkout process, your waiters and waitresses drive the customer experience.
Not only are they responsible to the customer, they are also responsible for protecting your bottom line by carrying out each of these functions under the auspices of efficiency. Fortunately, QR codes provide the perfect tool to help streamline workflows.
Through the use of QR codes and the platforms they can be integrated with, your staff can help ensure 100% order accuracy, while moving customers through the dining experience at a bespoke pace.
4. QR code restaurant payments allow staff to focus on customer satisfaction
Along the same lines as operational efficiency, QR code payment options help to facilitate a high degree of customer satisfaction. It's the customer experience, after all, that keeps patrons loyal to your brand and coming back to your location.
By allowing your customers to control the pace of the meal, as well as the checkout process, you set the stage for vastly better customer outcomes. More than that, the use of QR technology frees your waitstaff from cumbersome tasks like processing bills and frees them up to engage in authentic communication with patrons.
5. They help create a safe, hygienic atmosphere at your cafe, pub, or restaurant
If the COVID-19 pandemic did anything, it cast a light on the hygiene practices in eateries worldwide. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing measures put into place. These restrictions made patronising an establishment face-to-face nearly impossible. As restrictions began to ease, however, venues were forced to take a long, hard look at their sanitisation procedures. In many instances, employee hygiene needed to be enforced. In other instances, the physical building itself needed to be modified to install special filtration systems. Safety and cleanliness were on everybody's minds.
Contactless ordering and payment methods, made possible through QR code menus, help promote both employee and patron safety. Through QR code payments, less cash and germs exchange hands.
Related: The benefits of implementing a mobile web app for restaurant ordering
The additional benefits of QR code menu functionality
QR code payments are more than just a novelty They have become an industry mainstay that's used the world over. In a post-COVID world, contactless payment methods represent a revolution in thought, and their benefits can’t quite be paired down to only five. Indeed, there's more to QR codes than just payment methods.
QR code menus bring a whole suite of functionality to your enterprise. Through the use of QR code menus, you can create dynamic, visually stunning digital menus that allow customers to order directly from a web-based platform. These menus are easily updateable as the needs of your business change. Run out of a favourite dish? Have extra of some specific ingredients? Thanks to QR codes and linked menus, you can tailor the menu to changing item availability without the need for costly print runs.
In addition, with the right platform your QR code menu can integrate with your existing tech stack, like your CRM. Every time customers scan your company's QR codes and engage in an interaction, you and your team can capture valuable demographic information that helps drive loyalty programs and increase repeat business.
You need QR codes today
QR code restaurant payments serve as a valuable tool in an increasingly tech-centred industry landscape. Not only do they improve the customer experience, they also streamline your establishment's workflows, contributing to your operational efficiency.
Interested in learning how to integrate QR codes into your day-to-day operations? Contact the experts at Mr Yum today and see what you can do.