Businesses come up with unique strategies to spruce up their business activity. Ranging from social media marketing to brand collaborations, there are countless ways to jumpstart your business. Undoubtedly, the most effective business techniques today are taking advantage of what’s popular and relevant. Case in point, the use of smartphones is very prevalent today, so why not lead your potential customers to your business using their phones?
Digital marketing, if utilized efficiently, can bring steadfast results. This marketing method involves digital processes and approaches to promote products and services to a large audience. Recently, a category of digital marketing rose back into popularity: QR code marketing.
What are QR Codes? Why are They Relevant Today?
Around the world, QR codes have become an important part of daily life. Particularly, the COVID-19 pandemic increased demands for public safety against contracting the virus. The public requires touch-free powered solutions that will help people perform their tasks safely and efficiently. Fortunately, QR codes are remarkably helpful in these challenging times.
A QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a two-dimensional barcode containing extensive, machine-readable information that can be accessed by a smartphone almost instantly. QR codes can be incorporated to different types of content and they’re easily readable without downloading an app on your phone— these are just few reasons why this method stands out from others.
One of the most prominent QR code applications today occurs in food service. From small to large businesses, every restaurant can benefit from using QR codes because of the following reasons:
- Easy, Paperless Access to Food Menus
As the virus outbreak subsided in several regions of the globe, food chains and restaurants slowly reopened provided, while of course still observing health guidelines and protocols. Upon entering a restaurant, the usual scenario involves a waiter serving the menu or customers lining up to see it at the counter, which are both risky at this time.
With the help of the QR Code menu, food customers can easily access your offerings through their smartphones, contactless and paperless. Shifting to a digital menu lessens the risk of cross-contaminating the menus printed on paper and promotes physical distancing as customers might not need to line up.
Additionally, this paperless solution saves up material and printing costs. You won’t need to reprint them after extended use, or if you have to add, remove, and modify food information printed. Instead, you can edit them on your file and have it linked to the code.
- Versatility and Customizability
If you’re new to QR codes, you’ll be surprised to discover that QR codes exist in different applications. Not only restaurants and food businesses will find this helpful, but anyone who would like to promote their content through QR codes. Aside from linking your food menu to QR codes, you can connect the codes into the following:
- PDF files
- Dynamic website URL
- Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Image and video gallery
- Event invitations
- Redeem promo codes and coupon
- Online reviews and feedback page
- Download your app from the app store
Furthermore, you can customize your QR code by choosing ready-made frames suitable to the color or theme of your restaurant, and adding your corporate logo at the center. Black and white QR codes no more!
- New Ways for Payment and Checkout
Aside from handing out food menus, payment methods involving contact and close distance increase the risk of spreading the virus. Since online banking methods like credit and debit card processing are popular today, incorporating the use of QR codes for customer payment and checkout options make the processes even faster and more convenient.
Using the client’s online banking platform, they can instantly scan your QR code where their payments will be sent. In this way, there’s no need to receive their payment and hand out their change physically.
Moreover, QR code payments eliminates the need for purchasing a POS machine that typically facilitates payments. You can also save on additional infrastructure and overhead costs when setting up this payment system. QR codes can be printed on paper and they’re ready for scanning.
Having new payment technologies highlights that your business values what’s best for your customers. In this evolving world, adapting to these new payment technologies can put you at an advantage in the long run.
- Increase Brand Awareness and Recognition
As mentioned earlier, the versatility of QR codes makes them stand out from other types of digital marketing. You can attach your unique QR code to a myriad of content types, such as your business’s social media accounts and website, which is an excellent way to boost social media engagement with prospects.
Many food businesses today utilize QR codes with different strategies to increase brand awareness. For example, scanning the QR code and following their Instagram accounts can guarantee a customer with redeemable coupons upon ordering, which is a win-win situation.
Since food deliveries are more common today, restaurants also take advantage of free deliveries through referral programs using QR codes.
- Support Causes Through Donations and Purchase
According to these findings, only 26% of consumers use cash for payments and transactions. In the perspective of charities and related organizations, it’s harder to collect donations inside food establishments. Restaurants can continue supporting good causes by encouraging customers to scan QR codes directed to charitable organizations, in exchange of a small incentive such as a free drink for every specified donation amount.
- Promote Eco-Friendly Packaging Approach
Some food products don’t match their packaging size because manufacturers ensure that all product information is listed and readable in the packaging. While this practices responsibility, unnecessary packaging materials are wasted. Restaurants selling take-out products with this type of packaging can do better thanks to QR codes.
Instead of enumerating every ingredient and nutritional value of food products in their packaging, shifting to QR codes is better for the environment as it minimizes the amount of non-compostable wastes from food packaging. Through scanning the QR code, customers can learn the complete product information without compromising the packaging.
As the eCommerce market drives most transactions and operations today, it’s crucial for food businesses to step up their game with the utilization of various technologies like QR codes. Because of these reasons discussed, QR codes will remain as a competitive, versatile, and effective technology in bringing promising results not just for restaurants, chains, and other food businesses, but the entire consumer market.