Updated: Feb 3
QR codes have taken over as the primary way for dine-in customers at restaurants and bars to view menus. Here’s why giving customers the ability to not just view the menu, but also order and pay from a QR code is probably a good idea for your venue!
The Emergence of QR Codes
If you own or manage a restaurant or bar, chances are that you have become extremely familiar with QR codes as a way to offer your customers a “contactless” digital menu. As Covid compliance swept the industry in 2020, technology played a key role in helping restaurants provide customers with a safe and easy way to view menus. As the industry looks ahead for 2021 with the hope of mass in-venue reopenings, it is likely that QR codes will be used for more than just digital menus. In fact, many restaurants have begun looking at ways for customers to order and pay for their in-venue service through QR codes. But does this technology make sense for your venue?
How can a QR code order and pay platform benefit your business?
Much like QR code digital menus, QR code order and pay platforms offer several benefits to business owners in a Covid compliant manner. Specifically, the 3 main benefits are:
Customer and Staff Safety
Decrease Labor Cost
Customer and Staff Safety
Limiting interaction between customers and staff is the best way to create the safest possible dine in experience at your venue. Allowing a customer to order and pay directly from a QR code reduces the amount of time your servers need to spend at the customer’s table, and completely eliminates customers exchanging credit cards and pens with staff members.
With customers in complete control of their ordering experience, they are never left waiting to put in another round with a server. That means more orders, more frequently. Additionally, the amount of information that can be presented to a customer through their phone is far more than any paper menu or description from a staff member. For example, let your customers see pictures of your awesome food instead of just making them read about it on a menu. Humans are visual creatures, and more often than not, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. How many times has one of your customers ask their server to choose between one of two appetizers? Maybe if they could see how delicious both appetizers are, they would order both!
Decrease Labor Cost
With limited seating capacities and restrictions on inside vs. outside seating, most restaurants have had to drastically reduce the number of servers per shift. The results can be lost revenue from potential sales as there are fewer servers able to take customers’ orders, and frustrated customers. Additionally, it has been difficult for venues to staff appropriately per shift with the constantly changing regulations and guidelines.
With customers placing their orders without the need of a server, you can drastically reduce the number of servers needed per shift. Additionally, the servers that are working spend less time at the point of sale system since there is nothing for them to punch in, giving them more time to spend with the customers on the floor.
Will QR code ordering work at your business?
There are a lot of question marks surrounding in-venue mobile ordering. This is understandable considering the service industry has been doing things the same way for literally thousands of years - a server or bartender asks the customer what they want, the customer answers, the order is brought to the customer, and when the customer is ready to leave, the server or bartender gives them their bill. QR code ordering reduces the number of steps it takes the customer to order and pay, but a constant uncertainty amongst venue owners is that mobile ordering will eliminate servers interacting with guests, which will negatively effect the customer experience.
However, contactless solutions company Barpay has some interesting data regarding customer perception of controlling their own ordering and payment. Barpay offers several services including a completely contactless Order + Pay platform, and QR code digital menus that are used by over 10,000 venues nationally. The company decided to add an "Order Now" button to their digital menus, to gauge customer interest in the ability to order and pay without needing a server and the results are overwhelming:
Over 200,000 total customer responses over a 3 month period
3 out of every 4 respondents prefer the ability to order and pay from their smartphone
The venues that received the most respondents who prefer the ability to order and pay from their smartphone show similar characteristics:
Fast casual environment
Outdoor dining area
Breweries/beer gardens, taverns, sports bars, hotels, food trucks
Owners that have implemented Barpay's Order + Pay platform also show similar characteristics:
Interest in new technology
Open to adjusting current venue operations (staffing less)
Not interested in Point of Sale integration
Use multiple 3rd party services for takeout/delivery (ie Grubhub, DoorDash, UberEats, etc)
Barpay is the leader in contactless Order + Pay
Since 2016, Barpay has been the leader in contactless order and pay technology in the service industry, specifically for in-venue dining. The company offers iOS, Android, and QR code based solutions that have been implemented in 10,000+ venues nationwide ranging from college bars, to fast casual restaurants, to hotels. The company's success stems from taking an extremely active approach to on-boarding and continued customer success.
Barpay makes implementing contactless ordering as simple as possible from a venue's standpoint. In order to get started, all a venue needs to do is:
Create an account and fill out appropriate venue information
Provide Barpay with all menu information
Provide Barpay with the venue's floorplan
Once Barpay has this information, the Barpay on-boarding team uploads all the menu information, embeds and provides QR codes based on the venue's floorplan, and configures the only hardware needed - thermal receipt printers. The venue is then shipped the printers and QR codes so that the system is "Plug and Play Ready", meaning the venue just needs to connect the printers to a power source and internet, and the system is ready to start accepting orders.
In addition to the on-boarding process, Barpay also assigns a customer success specialist to each Order + Pay account. The customer success specialist is responsible for training the venue management on how to use Barpay and interact with the Barpay dashboard (ie make menu edits, issue refunds, run sales reports, etc). In addition to assisting with the Barpay platform, venue's can also utilize their customer success specialist as a resource to what other venues are doing to increase revenue and decrease costs.
The overall goal is to give venues the most streamlined implementation of a contactless ordering platform as possible. Implementing new technology is an adjustment for venue ownership, management, staff, and customers, and because of this, Barpay continually adjusts and improves the venue on-boarding and customer success experience to meet the growing demand for contactless order and payment solutions. If you'd like to learn more, you can schedule a demo here!