- QR codes elevate your printed materials, while printed materials get your QR codes in front of customers, a restaurant marketing expert says.
- Not everyone will be able to or want to access a digital menu, so print remains an important marketing tool.
By Elizabeth Riggio
QR codes and digital tools have become essential to restaurant operations. These tools streamline processes, add levels of safety and allow for easier and more efficient ordering. They have helped usher restaurants into a new age of digital marketing, and now there’s no turning back.
This pivot to digital does not mean the end of traditional print marketing, however. Looking forward over the next couple years, a successful marketing strategy will rely on a combination of the two.
“QR codes elevate your printed materials, and your printed materials get your QR codes in front of your customers,” says Senior Copywriter Mark Plumlee of MustHaveMenus, an online menu template and digital marketing service for restaurants. “They work in tandem.”
So before completely ditching your print materials, let’s dive into some of the key digital and print tools, the benefits of these tools, and how they lead to greater marketing success.
Menus That Can Be Accessed from Anywhere
Your food is what brings people to your pizzeria, so making sure your menu is accessible from anywhere will mean people are more familiar with what you offer and will get your pizzeria out in the world faster and more effectively.
Online menus have proven to be hugely important in this aspect of the customer experience. Making your menu available via a quick Google search or QR code on a flyer means that whether a customer is at home or out and about, they can look up your business.
But while online menus are huge, print is still important. Not everyone will be able to or want to access a digital menu, due to lack of internet access or format (for example, online menus can be smaller and more difficult to read).
Ultimately, being able to offer both means more potential for customers to interact with your restaurant in their own way. Customers will have more touch points to your business, eliminating questions they might otherwise have. This flexibility allows for a better experience for both you and the customer.
“Smartphones have opened up a whole new way for customers to interact with restaurants,” Plumlee says. “But some customers will always prefer a traditional print menu experience. Combining your print and digital marketing allows you to appeal to both.”
Marketing Tools That Work in the Restaurant and On-the-Go
Adding QR codes to any of your printed marketing materials means instant potential for further engagement. Flyers, table tents and business cards are just a few of the key places a QR code could be placed. This makes it easy for a physical tool, such as a business card with your restaurant’s information on it, to double as an online tool when it links to something like your restaurant’s social media page or online ordering.
With summer upon us, more people will be out and about. People will be passing by your storefront more frequently and notice a flyer in the window, your menu on a sandwich board or a table tent set up at an outdoor event. An easily visible QR code makes it that much easier for customers to learn about your business and engage with you.
This also allows you to preemptively answer questions and keep customers informed of fast-changing information. Social media is a key platform in this respect, as you can make real-time updates with ease on your pages. Make sure your bio has your hours and a link to your website or a landing page with the most up-to-date menus and announcements. And of course, posting photos or videos of your cheesy pizzas are sure to get stomachs rumbling!
Ultimately, having both print and digital marketing tools in your marketing arsenal will be crucial in bringing together the best of both worlds. The more you can increase the accessibility and availability of information, the easier it is for customers to learn about your business and get their questions answered. This means your pizzas will be top of mind when they’re wondering where to grab dinner