Why Every Restaurant Needs A QR Code Menu For Dine-In Guests In 2020
One mistake—that’s all it takes for a customer to decide they won’t return to your restaurant.
The coronavirus pandemic has altered customer expectations for years to come, particularly around safety and ordering convenience, and these new expectations are high.
In one study, 41% of guests responded that physical restaurant menus were a dine-in deal-breaker they wouldn’t return for. Another 17% said wait staff stopping by throughout the meal would mean they don’t come back again.
The classic ways of serving dine-in guests won’t do in 2020 and beyond. Expectations are too high, and the cost of not meeting them is too great.
Ironically, a technology that has been around for 10+ years—and hardly taken advantage of—poses the perfect solution to these new challenges: QR code menus and digital ordering systems.
We’ll share why this under-appreciated technology can save dine-in restaurants, including…
- How digital ordering builds customer trust (and keeps them coming back)
- The simple reason a QR code menu can boost profit by 25% or more
- Our #1 tip for setting up a QR code menu in one day
By the end, you’ll know exactly how to keep your customers coming back to dine-in over and over again—and you’ll be equipped to thrive in this challenging season and beyond.
Customers Are Clear: It’s All-or-Nothing on Safety
COVID-19 has scared customers away, driving off-premise sales to their highest levels in human history. However, an NPD Group study revealed 67% of consumers want to re-engage with restaurants physically.
People are eager to dine in your restaurant again—but you’re going to have to play by their rules. And their rules are very strict.
- No physical restaurant menus—contactless menus only
- Fewer visits from waiters
- Protective equipment worn by staff
- Absolutely no sign of illness by servers
- Contactless payment preferred
Servers checking in frequently on guests. Shared physical menus. A rogue cough from the wait staff. These once-commonplace rituals of dine-in eating are no longer acceptable as health and safety become the top concerns when enjoying restaurants.
Time for good news: there are practical steps you can take to rebuild trust with customers and create a safe place to enjoy dining in.
Outward signs of cleaning and sanitation are a top priority, according to a Technomic survey. Visibly wiping down tables, printed signs that outline cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer on tables, and safety-improving technology are the best ways to establish trust with customers.
QR Code Menus Are a Safety-First Ordering Experience
QR code restaurant menus have been around for nearly a decade, but they’re taking on a whole new meaning in 2020.
Here’s how it works:
- Your customer scans a QR code with their phone
- They browse the complete menu from their own device
- They add items to their cart and can order on-demand
- If they want a waiter’s help, they can call for someone
Note: We’re not talking about a static PDF version of your menu that customers have to zoom in and out of to see. That’s just frustrating. We’re talking about a robust mobile menu experience that’s easy to use, has images and allergen info for every product, and even tableside ordering capabilities.
It’s more than an e-menu, it’s an E-Waiter.
And it’s immediately clear to customers how this experience matches their new expectations:
- Contactless menus and ordering. Customers don’t have to share menus, everyone can order from their own device, and nobody has to touch a shared pen to sign receipts.
- Minimal wait staff engagement. Waiters only come to the table when necessary, minimizing contact and safety risk for both guests and staff.
For most people (and the official CDC guidelines), this is the minimum level of safety precautions—on top of social distancing and personal protection equipment—that will build enough confidence for them to dine-in again.
And it can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
4 Restaurant-Side Benefits of Digital Menus and Ordering
Beyond the immediate health and safety concerns, QR code menus—or E-Waiters—provide new opportunities for restaurants.
- E-Waiters help lower labor costs. Now that customers can engage with your full menu from their own devices, you don’t need as many waiters hanging around. In fact, we’ve found each waiter can save 70% of their time.
- E-Waiters can change your menu in a flash. No more menu re-prints when you notice typos or update prices. Digital ordering menus can be adjusted on the fly and published immediately to eliminate all printing costs and slow turnaround times.
- E-Waiters know how to upsell. It is well-documented that customers spend more on digital ordering platforms than they do in person—as much as 23% more! This is largely due to upselling and enticing images, both of which are possible with digital menus that an E-Waiter can enable for dine-in customers.
- E-Waiters unlock growth potential. With safe dine-in, you’ll be able to re-capture and retain customers—and retention is the hidden gem of business growth. According to a Bain & Company study, a humble 5% retention boost generates over 25% higher profits for restaurants.
These are substantial advantages for any restaurant feeling the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, but they won’t disappear as soon as a vaccine is released.
The E-Waiter Is Here To Stay Post-Coronavirus
There’s no doubt that delivery and takeout have achieved a new level of adoption, but there’s still nothing like being served in a restaurant. The dine-in experience will always be in-demand, and with delivery platforms eating up as much as 30% of delivery order value as commision, most restaurants are eager to get people back in-house.
Dine-in will return in force, but when it does, customers will still have high expectations for safety and ordering experiences.
Expectations for user-friendly and personalized technology will continue to rise, like they have been for years, and QR code-enabled E-Waiters are just getting started.
That’s Why We Built Jaac the E-Waiter
We began building Jaac the E-Waiter in early 2019, long before the coronavirus crisis, to help restaurants create better customer experiences. We had no idea how essential Jaac would become just a year later.
Jaac is the most intuitive and user-friendly E-Waiter app for restaurants and customers.
We take QR code menus to the next level, with full-menu exploration, upsells and cross-sells, happy hour specials, contactless payments, and more.
It’s the best way to…
- Build trust and get guests back for dine-in
- Save on labor expenses and endure staffing inconsistency
- Update your menu in seconds (goodbye, re-prints!)
- Increase average order values for more revenue per table
📢 We’re currently offering 60% OFF of Jaac the E-Waiter to help restaurants get back on their feet.
Sign up and get started today—we’ll upload your complete menu for you and send you designed QR codes, print them, and you are 100% ready to go.. Or schedule a quick 15-minute demo to see how Jaac can work in your restaurant.