Five Ways To Use a QR Code In Your Food Business
Somewhere between “life was very normal” and “what is COVID and how will I ever eat out again” QR codes started to seep into our everyday lives. What was once a mysterious-looking digital square that we regulated to something only “the young people” used has now become eponymous with dining in, takeaway, and delivery of our food.
Maximizing The QR Code In Your Food Business
Since their surge of use in 2020, when contactless food ordering became a real thing, we now use QR codes regularly as consumers and food business owners.
How Does A QR Code Work
As a consumer you are likely pulling out your phone to look at a digital menu, check a restaurant’s website for information, or get directly linked to social media account to follow a business that you have become a fan of.
As a food business owner, you encounter QR codes for administrative tasks like reordering supplies or even accessing a time clock system for your employees. However, QR codes can be instrumental in gathering information to determine your target audience and their habits and to foster engagement with the community. More on that below.
First, how does a QR code work? A QR code (short for Quick Response Code) is a type of matrix barcode that was the product of a Japanese automotive company in 1994. It is a machine-readable pattern that contains information attached to an item, website, or application.
Why Use QR Codes
Although it started with the automobile industry, QR codes are now part of everyday convenience that anybody with a smartphone can access.
They are also easy and often free to generate on the business’s end. Every restaurant, food truck, and food delivery service should begin to utilize QR codes for the vast potential they offer to both the business owner and consumer. Below we pitch our case to generate your first QR code.
1. Positive ROI
Using QR codes in your business can provide a high return on investment (ROI). Of course, using a free generator is going to give you a great return (although without an added layer of security) while those with small monthly fees are well worth the return of analytical insight they provide.
Perhaps the most important thing a QR Code can do for your food business is providing you with organic information about your audience; who they are, when they shop, and what they buy. Every scan whether it’s to find your store hours, your location, or to view a promotion, has the potential for you to absorb and utilize information for business.
Using QR codes can enhance both your social media and search engine optimization (SEO). When you increase traffic to searchable objects, you can optimize them by encouraging even more sharing which will ultimately create a snowball effect with the algorithm for people who search for services like yours.
4. Customer Efficiency
Print media, such as flyers, and brochures, may have a direct link to your contact and social media but can also get lost. Tying your physical marketing materials with a QR Code means that you won’t have to worry about your potential customer remembering or writing down information incorrectly. When it’s scanned, prospective customers can be taken straight to your landing page.
Five Ways To Use a QR Code For Your Food Business
Knowing how to integrate QR codes into the daily functions of your food business can help streamline both front and back-of-house operations. Here are five easy ways to integrate QR Codes to elevate your food business game.
1. Connect To Your Website
Every opportunity to route a potential customer back to the hub of your business should be taken. A QR code on a menu, marketing materials, business card, or even a sticker that makes it easier for customers to find you will be a win for exposure and organically convert to more business.
2. Connect To Your Menu
The simplest way to do this for a dine-in restaurant or a food truck with long lines is to put a QR Code in a strategically visible place to allow people to browse your offerings from their phones. This cuts down on printed menus and time when people have the opportunity to look at the menu before ordering. In addition, placing a menu QR Code on marketing for your home delivery service or catering will make it easier for customers to find you if you are not serving from a brick-and-mortar establishment.
QR Codes can also help provide additional information about ingredients or special processes on the packaging. If you are a delivery service, this is a great opportunity for customers to find out more about special health benefits or seasonal specialties with a scan that will lead them to an information page.
3. Make Payment Easier
We are quickly on the road to being a cash-free society, and QR Codes are making spending easier than ever. It is estimated that by 2025 more than 30% of all transactions will use QR Codes to complete payment. This a great way to facilitate APP-to-APP payment (from customer bank to your payment platform) and reduces the time and resources needed to manage in-person cash payments. Having a bespoke payment QR Code is especially handy if your food business is cloud kitchen or delivery based.
4. Promotion or Contest
A QR Code is a great place to create buzz and connect promotional deals, sales, and other special offers that activate when a customer scans the QR code. In addition, your food business can receive valuable analytics about your consumers.
5. Call To Action
You want visitors to your website or those who view your marketing materials to convert to loyal customers, so why not use QR codes as a call to action? This is the perfect opportunity to link them to a ‘call us’ or ‘email us message so that people can instantly get in touch. This is also a great opportunity to link people to ‘how it’s made’ videos or direct them to social media.
QR Code Resources
There are many free QR code generators online that are easy to use and customize. The fee-free versions sometimes come with a watermark, but they are often discreet.
There are also paid versions that will allow bespoke customizations such as shape, color, and look. These versions can have a yearly fee but will provide the option for you to add your own logo and have access to analytics. Finally, a paid QR code will get you an added layer of contactual security. There is some risk associated with not having total control over where your QR code is directed and a paid version insures against this risk.
Here are a few great resources to generate a QR Code.
Sprout QR is a paid service (starting at $10/month) that will protect your data and your links. They also offer customer service and professional design.
BeaconStac offers both free and paid versions of QR code generation services. They offer a deep dive into analytics that will tell you who is scanning and when. Paid versions start at $5/month.
QR Code Monkey
Qr Code Monkey is one of the most popular free QR Code generators. For a free version, it is highly customizable with areas to change the look, color, and logo placement of your unique QR code. With the paid version, you can add folders and a customizable analytics dashboard.
Scanova is one of the most comprehensive QR code services available. You can generate QR codes that can link to websites, PDFs, or even geolocations to optimize their use in your business. In addition, Scanova will allow you to create a basic mobile landing page.