By Mark Plumlee

Over the past eight months, QR codes have exploded onto the restaurant scene. These square barcodes, a once forgotten and widely derided piece of technology, can now be found in dining rooms across the country. They make it easy to facilitate contactless operations during COVID-19. All customers have to do is give the barcode a quick scan with their phone camera and they’ll be redirected to a specific URL.

Since QR codes can work with any URL, the possible usages are practically endless. Now that both customers and restaurants have grown used to integrating QR codes into daily operations, we’re just scratching the surface for how we’ll see restaurants use them. Here are six ways QR codes can help your pizzeria:

1. Easy online menu access. This is the most common way restaurants have used QR codes: instant menu access from the safety of a mobile device. Particularly during COVID-19, restaurants have needed a way to promote simple touchless ordering, and that starts with the menu. Rather than requiring the customer to mess around with typing in your URL and searching your site, QR codes make finding your menu as simple as a scan and a click.

Related: How contactless delivery is changing the pizza industry

2. Ordering directly from your pizzeria. Make it as easy as possible for customers to order your food and merch by using QR codes to direct them straight to your online ordering system. This is especially important for restaurants dealing with indoor dining capacity limits due to COVID-19. When customers order directly from your site, you can save up to 30% on each order by avoiding third-party delivery apps that charge high commissions. Additionally, online orders produce higher check averages, meaning even more money in your pocket.

3. Solicit customer feedback. Get customer feedback when the meal is fresh in their minds with a QR code that leads to an online comment card. Even better, you can instantly redirect customers to Google and Yelp reviews, an important way for restaurants to shine when potential customers search online for them.

4. Highlight discounts or deals. One quick scan of a QR code and customers can access your latest offer or promo. This is a great place to encourage customers to order directly from you, thereby skipping the third-party delivery commission, by offering discounts on takeout or delivery orders through your website.

Related: 7 ways to promote your restaurant’s QR codes for contactless ordering

5. Promote your website. Send customers to your website to learn more about your restaurant and quickly save your contact information in their phone. Nowadays, with QR codes, restaurants are discovering that they don’t even need a big multipage website. Oftentimes a simple landing page with a few links works better for customers navigating through it on their phones.

6. Get social. Increase your following on your social media platforms by taking them right to your accounts. And this is a great way for them to tag your restaurant when they take photos of your food! Removing boundaries to following your Instagram or Facebook page is a great way to grow your social-media fan base.

If you need to quickly create an online menu to link to, MustHaveMenus makes it easy with thousands of menu templates you can customize, publish, and sync with a QR code.

Mark Plumlee is a freelance writer whose articles have been published in Full Service Restaurant, Modern Restaurant Management, Quick Service Restaurant, Hospitality Tech, That Oregon Life, The San Francisco Examiner, Blazersedge and other blogs. As a copywriter, he has helped restaurants and small businesses grow and define their brand for more than five years.

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