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Using QR Codes to Drive to Digital Menus

The Contactless Solution

If you’ve dined out at a restaurant recently, you may have noticed there are fewer printed menus. Instead, there are square barcodes placed at the table telling you to scan to view the menu, and in some cases, order directly through that link. These are QR codes, and their usage has exploded.

Touchless menus help boost consumer confidence in bars and restaurants. The National Restaurant Association has even released guidelines advising businesses to leverage digital menus that customers can access on their smartphones. QR codes are the perfect solution for enabling guests to access these digital menus easily and safely.

Like Barcodes, But Better

QR codes are essentially the same as the barcodes you see on products in the grocery store. Instead of being scanned by a barcode reader, you can simply use the camera on your smartphone.

You Probably Already Use Them

If you use Snapchat or Messenger, you may have scanned a QR code to add one of your friends. They are also great for storing scannable digital tickets on your mobile phone and for seamlessly linking out to websites or other places online. Since early 2020, they have become instrumental in allowing guests to access menus directly from their smartphones and avoiding menus that are shared between guests. Recent data from Statista* revealed that tens of millions of Americans report having used a QR code recently.

The QR Customer Journey

QR code-enabled menus are easy to access. Simply open the camera app on your phone and place the QR code in view of the camera. Your phone will automatically recognize it and a link will pop up. Click the link and you are browsing the menu! Sometimes you can even order directly from your phone.

More Engaging. More Convenient. More Manageable.

There are many benefits to using QR codes. You can update your digital menu online without re-printing a QR code as long as the link itself doesn’t change. This eliminates the cost of printing endless single-use menus every time there is a new special or update. They are also a more informative and engaging customer experience than physical menus, because they give you the opportunity to include bonus information, such as nutritional content or even videos/photos. And, they let your guest access your menu from anywhere. You can even brand your QR code, turning it into a mini advertisement.

Where You Should Put Them

Obviously, you will want to have your QR code menu where your guests will be ordering. However, there are other touchpoints along a guest’s journey where QR codes belong. A QR code at your storefront with a delicious drink image can entice guests to come in. This also gives potential guests the ability to take your menu home and order later. Why not place a QR drink menu in the waiting area? It’s the perfect opportunity to educate and excite idle guests. How about at checkout? A QR code menu on a check can encourage future visits and online ordering.

The Diageo Bar Academy Can Help

There are tools and information on diageobaracademy.com that can start you on your way to QR greatness. For example, you can access our 1 Stop How-To Guide that lays out each step in the process, or learn how to ensure your menu is available where consumers are looking for it.


*Scanovia “QR Code Statistics 2021: Up-To-Date Numbers On Global QR Code Usage,” 2020