The Ultimate Guide To QR Code Restaurant Menus In 2020 (+ 3 Steps to Get Started)

The COVID-19 pandemic forced restaurants and customers alike to redefine what it means to dine in a restaurant—with a strong emphasis on safety, convenience, and cleanliness. 

The first two things to go: reusable menus and long conversations with the waiter.

Restaurants have always relied on reusable menus to keep costs low and guests informed. Yet, one study found that 73% of guests have concerns over touching a physical, reusable menu when returning to restaurants post-coronavirus.

And, the friendly waiter experience we know and love won’t be coming back anytime soon, because the same study reported that 60% of guests are worried about contact with waitstaff.

Dine-in customer behavior and needs have changed for good and continuing traditional methods of restaurant operation won’t cut it.

So, how do we communicate the menu to customers and reduce potential waiter contact while also providing a pleasant dining experience? QR code restaurant menus.

QR code menus are the perfect solution for meeting the guests’ safety needs and sustaining business during this difficult season—but there are three kinds (we’ll explain the differences).

In our guide, you’ll learn:

  • What a QR code menu is (and why an E-Waiter is the best kind)
  • 7 benefits of QR code menus for restaurants and customers
  • How easy it is to set up a QR code menu for your restaurant

What’s a QR Code Menu?

(Answer: The Technology that’s Going to Save Your Restaurant)

There are three Basic types of QR Code Menus.

  • PDF menus
  • Basic mobile-friendly menus 
  • Full-service E-Waiters 👈 This type is the future

Basic mobile-friendly QR codes let customers view and interact with your menu right on their smartphone. They’re straightforward and simple to use:

  • Scan – Customers scan your unique QR code with their phone’s camera app
  • Browse – They browse through and interact with the menu

At Jaac, we take QR code menus to the next level by adding extra functionality. It’s more than a QR code menu—it’s an E-Waiter.

  • Call – If necessary, customers can call a waiter over with the push of a button.
  • Order – Once they’re ready to order, guests can add menu items to their cart and place an order. Jaac the E-Waiter also enables cross-sells and upsells to encourage higher average order values.
  • Pay – Optionally, restaurants can enable guest payments via credit card, apple pay, google pay, paypal, or venmo.

Now, it’s important to not confuse this with a PDF menu. Sure, you can use a QR code to direct users to a PDF menu hosted online where customers are forced to pinch, zoom, and scroll to read the menu—but who wants to deal with that? 

PDF-based QR code menus are a huge pain for customers, so it’s no wonder they’re quickly losing popularity.

E-Waiter QR code menus offer a full-service mobile ordering menu experience with minimal contact with waiters, other guests, and reusable menus. Using the QR code, guests can:

  • Browse the menu
  • Call a waiter with the click of a button
  • Place an order
  • Notify staff of allergens/dietary requirements

You can’t do that with a PDF menu or basic QR code menu!

Of course, we know what you’re thinking. 

Aren’t QR Codes Dead?

Nope! They’re alive and fully thriving. 

From 2018 to 2019, QR codes experienced a 26% growth in interactions. And, studies have shown that the global usage of mobile payments via QR codes and other apps is estimated to grow from USD $348 billion to just under USD $1.3 trillion by 2022.

And that was from a 2019 study. Due to COVID-19, we expect we’ll hit 1.3 trillion much faster because everyone is being forced to adopt QR technology.

QR code menus are the future of the restaurant industry. Are you prepared to embrace it?

(You will be by the end of this guide!)

7 Benefits of QR Code Menus for Restaurants and Customers

QR code restaurant menus benefit far more than the business. The technology provides advantages for customers, too.

1. A Guest Experience Customers Will Come Running Back For

Returning to dining inside a restaurant—or even outdoor dining—will be nerve-wracking for customers. We go to restaurants to escape the worries of the real world, not worry about them even more.

Jaac the E-Waiter enhances the guest’s dining experience by:

  • Eliminating reusable menus
  • Providing a seamless, simple ordering process
  • Offering contactless payments
  • Limiting the number of waiter interactions required

A recent study reported that 41% of consumers are looking forward to feelings of relaxation when they return to restaurants. This provides restaurants with the opportunity to focus on enhancing the overall experience through the use of technology, superior hospitality, and of course, great food. 

2. Improved Server Efficiency to Keep Costs Low and Guests Happy

Servers balance far more than plates and cups during a typical shift. They’re running back and forth from the POS system, remembering which guest wanted the side of Ranch dressing, working a double because a coworker called out sick—all with a smile.

Although servers are modern-day superheroes, they’re also human. Slowdowns are bound to happen, between order mistakes, kitchen mishaps, and general miscommunication.

QR code menus help to improve server efficiency by requiring them to approach the guests only when asked to. This means they can spend their time productively entering in orders and tackling other tasks throughout the restaurant. 

We’ve found that an E-Waiter can improve efficiency by up to 70% per waiter!

3. An Ongoing Commitment to Customer & Team Safety

The safety and security of your employees and customers are paramount and the pandemic only amplified that concern.

Yet, even with the ongoing health crisis, 67% of customers still want to physically re-engage with restaurants—but with major restrictions such as:

  • No reusable menus
  • Limited contact with waitstaff and hosts
  • Personal protective equipment worn by all staff members
  • Contactless payment options

Adding an E-Waiter QR code menu provides a contactless method of ordering and payment which reduces the chances of contact between customers, staff, and menus all together. 

4. Higher Order Values and Greater Profits

Given the current state of the industry, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of higher order values? 

The average online ordering check size is 23% larger than in-store checks. And, 34% of consumers spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online. 

As you increase your revenue through larger order prices, you’ll also enjoy reduced labor costs thanks to improved serve efficiency. Both situations actively lead to greater profit margins for restaurants.

Plus, a Bain & Company, Inc. study discovered that a 5% increase in customer retention generates more than a 25% increase in profits. 

And, how do you retain more customers during a pandemic? By providing safe, efficient, and convenient ordering options like QR code menus!

5. Upselling & Cross-Selling Possibilities

When you open your doors to guests, you won’t be able to have your top server wooing a table and suggesting dessert or a hefty cocktail to drive up the price of the check. Instead, you can rely on your mobile menu to do the upselling and cross-selling for you.

Using your E-Waiter, you can generate upselling and cross-selling possibilities by including appetizing images and “Frequently Ordered Together” options for each menu item—a revenue-increasing feature you don’t get on basic QR code menus.

6. Easily Update Your Mobile Menu 

Say “Goodbye!” to expensive or time-consuming menu reprints and “Hello!” to a menu that updates on-demand. 

QR code restaurant menus can be updated on the fly to accommodate inventory changes, special promotions, and last-minute changes. All it takes is a few clicks and you’re done!

7. Accurate Menu Information Provides Peace of Mind for All

Since you have full control over your QR code menu, you can ensure that every item includes enticing photos, allergen info, and the correct ingredients.

Having accurate menu info helps to build trust with customers and continue improving server efficiency, leading to a better dine-in experience for all.

How to Set Up a QR Code Menu in 3 Easy Steps

There’s never been a better time to embrace online ordering and QR code menus. And, setting up a QR ordering menu for your restaurant couldn’t be easier.

Remember: skip the PDF menus! Opt for a robust mobile ordering experience—your guests will thank you.

1. Send Your Menu to Jaac

Jaac is an E-Waiter and menu right on your customer’s phone. Jaac enables your restaurant to take orders, process payments, and improve the overall guest experience all through a QR code.

To get started, sign up and send us your menu

We’ll get your whole menu ready in 3-5 days—you just have to review it.

Or, if you’re the hands-on type, download the Jaac app and use the “Menu Editor” option to customize the appearance, function, menu items, and more.

2. We’ll Send You the QR Code

Once your menu is ready to rock, we’ll send you the QR codes. Each table will have its own QR code so you can easily keep track of order notifications and overall occupancy. 

3. Get Started!

We’ll teach you how to enter orders, update your menu, and accept payments, then you’re ready to go—the user-friendly design means training only takes a few minutes. 

Once your QR codes are live, any guest can safely scan the code, place an order, or call for a waiter all from their phone. 

Sign Up for Your QR Code Menu with Jaac!

Offer your guests and staff a safe, contactless ordering experience with a robust QR code menu and increase order value and profits in the process!

Get your QR code menu today and see how Jaac can enhance dine-in orders at your restaurant. 

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