QR Code for Restaurant Menu: Top 5 Benefits of QR Codes

Nicole Georgiev
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    The world has started adjusting to a post-pandemic future. The hospitality industry has been leaning towards restaurant tech, such as contactless ordering options, in order to get back on its feet. More food establishments than ever are offering a restaurant QR code menu to help dine-in customers with table ordering. 

    Key Takeaway: QR codes are ideal solutions for hospitality businesses including restaurants, bars, cinemas, hotels, and stadiums. They’re quick and simple to use, and one of the restaurant industry trends you should be aware of. 

    There are several benefits of using QR codes in your restaurant. Some include hygiene and social distancing, but that’s not all. Before we dive in, let’s get a full understanding of what is a QR code and answer the question, "How do QR codes work?"

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    The Basics of a QR Code

    QR codes have become widely popular and useful tools, especially when it comes to restaurant technology. Restaurants use them to be more efficient and in a moment you’ll understand why.

    What Is a QR Code?

    A QR code is an alternative to the barcode, and it was originally invented to track auto parts during manufacturing. The QR code history goes back to Denso Wave, a Japanese Company, that developed these codes. “QR” stands for “quick response.” With the growth of technology and the innovation of smartphones, the QR code uses have expanded.

    Barcodes, like a UPC barcode, are used to track shipments and scan items at stores. However, they can only be read vertically, which limits the information that can be transferred. You can read more about QR code vs barcode to understand the difference.

    QR codes, on the other hand, can be read vertically and horizontally. This increases the amount of information that can be transmitted. 

    What Is a Restaurant QR Code Menu?

    A restaurant QR code menu is a digital menu that customers can open by scanning the code on their smartphone. This kind of code eliminates the need for a physical single use menu which improves customer service because it creates a COVID-friendly customer experience. 

    In a restaurant environment, customers value the “quick response” kind of service, which is what QR codes provide. The square code is similar to a regular UPC or SKU number barcode. Once customers scan it using their smartphone, they’re taken to a website landing page and the code is translated into readable pdf menus or digital menus. 

    Some restaurant QR codes allow customers to see the menu, select their desired items, order, and pay all through their smartphones. This is an entirely contactless ordering experience. 

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    How to Set Up a QR Code for a Restaurant

    There are different ways to create QR code for website purposes or for your restaurant menu. The first step is to create a virtual menu if you don’t already have one.

    Your virtual menu can be simple, like a picture of your current menu that is linked to the QR code. Another option is for you to create a custom menu complete with a customized user interface and data tracking. 

    In most cases, you’ll want to have a code that doesn’t require customers to download an app. This can be an annoying process and creates extra steps that inconvenience customers. Before you begin to set up a QR code for your restaurant, you’ll have to choose between a dynamic or static QR code

    Choose a Dynamic or Static QR Code

    QR codes are either dynamic or static. This is something you’ll have to choose between when you create your restaurant QR code. 

    Static QR Code

    Static QR codes convert information directly into their data modules. One of the effects that this has is that if the converted information is more complicated, you’ll end up with a larger and more complex QR code. This makes scanning time slower. 

    The second effect is that information updates to the QR code will require you to change the arrangement of the data modules. This will result in a brand new QR code which can be problematic if you’ve already printed or distributed them. 

    Dynamic QR Code

    Dynamic QR codes convert only a short direction URL within its data modules. Information that you want to share is published on a URL. The URL is where your QR code will redirect to.

    When you want to change published information or the URL you’re publishing on, your QR code’s redirection URL won’t have to change. This also means that the data modules won’t have to change. 

    This way, you can edit and update anything without having to generate a new QR code. In most cases, this will also result in faster scanning, QR code tracking, and reporting. A dynamic QR code is an ideal type to have for convenience and flexibility. 

    Find a QR Code Generator

    Few people choose to create their own QR codes from scratch. Most codes require design and programming skills to generate. This is why many rely on QR code generators. Take a look at our recommendation for the best QR code generator

    A QR code generator online is a type of software that creates custom QR code with just the click of a button. All that is required from you is to upload the information you want to convert. 

    This information can be a document or URL. The generator will then generate the QR code. 

    When choosing a QR code generator, you’ll want to focus on security, reliability, and support. This is how you ensure that the code you generate suits your needs.

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    Choose a File Format

    The QR code generator will require you to upload a file. You can upload a PDF, Microsoft Word document with text, or an image. The key here is to focus on the format of your information and QR code types so that it’s not affected by the steps that follow.

    Common file formats for QR codes include: 

    • Google Doc
    • Microsoft Word documents
    • QR Code PDF
    • URL
    • JPG or PNG image formats
    • Plain text file (TXT file)


    SproutQR makes it simple for you to create a QR code for your restaurant menu. There is no app that has to be downloaded and no hardware that requires installation.

    Everything is taken care of including the set-up process of your QR code menu and the generation of QR code templates. This way, you won’t have to deal with creating virtual menus and choosing file formats. 

    To learn more about SproutQR and what we have to offer for your restaurant, book a demo today! 

    Benefits of QR Codes In Restaurants

    Many restaurants were quick to adapt to the new technology. However, not every restaurant is willing to change the way they do things. It can be tricky to decide what’s best for your establishment. 

    Here are some benefits of QR codes in restaurant environments: 

    No Menu Sharing

    Having a QR code menu will eliminate a common point of contact. There will be no menu sharing between customers which can limit the spread of communicable diseases. With a properly displayed QR code on each table, customers can individually scan the code and access the menu on their own. 

    Possibility Order Value Increases

    Consumers tend to spend more when they order virtually. QR code menus provide an opportunity for restaurants to increase their average order value by offering online ordering options. 

    This is ideal for upselling since performing this marketing tactic face-to-face can often result in an awkward experience. You can learn more about the upselling meaning here. When ordering virtually, customers won’t feel pressured to order quickly or be hesitant when considering extra items. 

    Easily Update Menus

    Some restaurants change menus on a more frequent basis. They might also offer seasonal menu items. This can create a hassle when it’s time to change each and every physical menu. 

    A virtual menu allows you to update it as often as you want without much hassle. This gives you the freedom to customize menus, add and remove unpopular items, and feature items that are more profitable. 

    Add Food Images

    Most physical menus have limited space. This means that not every menu item will have a picture if any at all. However, with a virtual menu, you can add food images associated with the menu item. 

    The images will catch customers’ attention and entice them to order the item, even if it’s not something they would typically order. This is also an ideal upselling technique. 

    Reduce Printing Costs

    One of the other benefits of QR codes is reducing your printing costs by switching to virtual menus. With regular menu changes,  printing costs can be quite high. Plus, there will be no need for plastic menu covers, which means that your restaurant can be more environmentally friendly. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant QR Codes

    What Is a Restaurant QR Code Menu?

    A restaurant QR code menu is a virtual menu in the form of a code that customers scan using  smartphone applications. A QR code eliminates the need for paper menus and creates a more hygienic and friendly customer experience. 

    What Are the Benefits of a QR Code Menu?

    The benefits of QR codes for menus are: 

    • No menu sharing required
    • Possibility of order value increasing
    • Opportunity to easily update menus
    • Ability to add food images
    • Reduced printing costs
    • Contactless menu

    How Do You Scan a Restaurant QR Code Menu?

    To scan a restaurant QR code menu, open the camera app on your smartphone and point it at the QR code menu, as if you were taking a picture. Your smartphone will recognize the QR code and provide you with a notification to proceed to the website link to view the menu. The QR code food menu is considered to be a more convenient option for people to browse through compared to single use menu types.

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