As bars and restaurants are re-opening for dine-in customers with new health and safety regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, customers are quickly becoming familiar with QR code digital menus.
Briefly, a QR code is a digital code that can be scanned by just about any smartphone camera without any app download necessary. Codes can be linked to websites, images, social media pages, and more, so when someone scans a code, it takes the person to the linked item. For the bar and restaurant industry, they are a cost efficient and eco-friendly alternative to disposable menus, while offering customers a 100% contactless way to view a digital menu from the safety of their own personal device.
Creating a QR Code Digital Menu
It might sound complicated, but QR codes have been around for a while. They were first invented in Japan in the 90s to track vehicle parts in the automotive industry. These days they are used for everything. Restaurant and bar owners can use a QR code that is linked to their venue’s menu.
Owners can create a free account at www.barpay.com/menus, upload a PDF of their menu, and a QR code linked to that PDF is automatically generated. Additionally, the website provides a formatted template for window displays, and 4×6 or 5×7 table tents, giving owners a fully functioning contactless digital menu ready for display in less than 5 minutes.
Getting Your Customers Involved With a Contest
There’s nothing wrong with a clean, templated window or table tent display for a QR code digital menu. But why not get customers involved in the process? Here’s an idea –
Start a contest on your social media that encourages your customers/followers to design ways to display your QR code digital menu (let them create their own window or table tent display template).
Step 1 – Announce the contest by posting your QR code digital menu on your social media and offer a significant credit to your venue for the winning design ($250+ if you really want to attract people)
Benefit – Posting your QR code digital menu will undoubtedly get some scans which are free menu views for you
Benefit – Simply by posting your QR code digital menu, you are subliminally showing that your venue is socially responsible and offering contactless solutions, instead of blatantly saying it
Benefit – Offering a credit is a great way to incentivize customers to dine at your venue immediately once you re-open for dine in
Benefit – Your most loyal and excited customers get to interact with your venue in a fun way
Step 2 – Have your customers post their submissions on social media tagging your venue
Benefit – Your venue gets fantastic free exposure and marketing
Benefit – Your customers’ posts will most likely reach a wider range of followers than your venue’s social media account, so people that might not have heard about the contest (or your venue) will be exposed to your QR code (more potential menu views), and might even submit a display of their own
Step 3 – Set a timeline for submitting displays, and then either announce a winning display of your choice, or post several of your favorite displays on your social media and let your followers vote by “Likes” to decide a winner
Benefit – Letting your followers vote encourages engagement on your social media
Step 4 – Announce the winner on your social media
Benefit – You can use this post to remind your followers that your venue is open for business or when your venue will be open
Joe De Pinto is the co-founder of Barpay, a contactless order and payment app specifically built for in-venue service at restaurants and bars. The app was launched in 2016 by former professional baseball players with the help of several prominent Los Angeles bar owners, and has since expanded to venues nationwide as the premier app for in-venue service.