We have seen an influx of contactless services throughout almost every industry over the past year. Businesses have done a great job in making the necessary adjustments to keep their customers and employees safe during the chaos of COVID-19. Restaurants have had a particularly rough time, as the very nature of the restaurant business model promotes close contact between servers and diners. This has been a perfect opportunity to leverage QR code technology in building a safer dining environment.
Using QR codes in a restaurant setting will assist with creating a safer and more comfortable dining experience. When coupled with recommended social distancing measures, contact between other diners and waitstaff can be drastically reduced. This allows diners to focus on their meal, the surrounding atmosphere, and the conversation at the table. Using QR codes will also help your staff to remain healthy while reducing their overall workload and stress levels.
Determine the Ability of Your POS System to Work with QR Codes
The first and most obvious step is to determine the viability of your current POS solution to work with QR codes. Legacy POS systems, primarily those that rely on manual tills or sales receipt balancing, will very likely not be supportive of adding QR codes to your restaurant traffic or process flows. These systems just do not have the modern, cloud-based supportive architecture required to make QR codes do as they are intended.
In addition to utilizing the cloud, a QR-supportive POS system will be mobile-friendly and provide a variety of business tools that are both web-friendly and easy to utilize on mobile POS terminals. This opens up the options available to you for using QR codes, including the use of online menus and payment options. Also, adding a POS solution with fully integrated web tools ensures that the data obtained from QR code interactions can yield powerful reporting and data analytics.
Here is a listing of features that the perfect POS system for QR codes must-have.
- Vendor-provided menu website that can quickly be changed.
- Cloud-based data storage and tools for maximum accessibility.
- Easy to understand online ordering and payment processes that customers can initiate without help from staff.
- End-to-end order tracking to give staff the tools needed to elevate the level of service provided.
Determining the Best Use of QR Codes
With the ideal POS solution in place to support QR codes, you will now determine the best use of QR codes within your restaurant. QR codes work best by directing customers to a POS vendor-provided online ordering website, as this ensures highly accurate ordering and keeps all of your data consistent. There are three primary options for customer-facing QR codes that have been proven to boost sales and service while limiting contact. These options are:
- Placing a scannable QR code at the hostess stand for self-directed check-in and seating.
- Using a QR code for customer check-in for curbside pickup or click and collect orders.
- Replacing menus with a table-mounted QR code that when scanned, opens an online menu for ordering or payment.
It is not uncommon to see a mixture of two or all of these in a restaurant. In fact, utilizing all three of these QR code options will yield a maximum benefit through the covering of almost every meal delivery scenario you may see. With the exception of delivery, there are no other restaurant scenarios that cannot be accomplished by using all three of these QR code options at the same time to optimize operations while limiting contact.
What Does the Customer Process Flow Look Like With QR Codes?
Here is an example in which a restaurant implemented QR codes to limit contact between customers and its staff:
With tables being limited, staggering customer arrivals and limiting the amount of time spent waiting for a table were critical. This restaurant placed a QR code on the outside entrance and asked customers to scan the QR code to check-in. The customer received a text indicating that their table was ready, or directed them to wait in their car until notified to enter the restaurant.
Once a customer is seated, they again scan a QR code that has been conveniently located at their table. Scanning the code launches the restaurant’s POS vendor-provided ordering website, and allows customers to place an order using their mobile device. A button is placed on the ordering website in the event customers have questions, but outside of this, the customer completes and submits the order, which is then sent to the kitchen for processing.
Once the order is complete, a server delivers the meal and fulfills any other requests the customer has. Once the customer is ready to leave, they can again scan the QR code at the table to pay for the meal, and then depart with their e-receipt safely stored in their inbox.
As you can see, contact was very limited throughout the entire dining experience. Also, presenting the customer with a menu and the ability to pay when convenient gave the diner more control over their restaurant experience.
Where Does a QR Code Fit in Your Restaurant?
Contactless dining is not going away any time soon, which makes it imperative for you to adapt as quickly as possible. Integrating a powerful POS solution that fully supports modern capabilities or QR codes can serve as an easy, cost-effective way to create a safer dining environment. Utilizing QR codes will also give you new ways to gain productivity while giving customers a highly customizable dining experience.
Want to learn more about QR code basics?