Quick Response (QR) codes became popular in the US in the past few years in consumer advertising. Consumers are able to quickly scan a QR code with their phone’s camera to visit a website, which is faster than manually entering a URL. QR codes have also grown popular as a convenient method of quickly accessing information. While they have not yet reached widespread use as a method of accepting payments, this contactless method of payment now has growing importance in the restaurant industry given impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
QR Code Usage Is Commonplace in Restaurants in China
Since Chinese technology company Tencent introduced a QR code payment system on its messaging app Wechat (used by more than 1 billion people) in 2014, QR code payments have rapidly replaced the use of cash and physical credit cards. Users first link their bank account to the WeChat app. Each restaurant displays their unique QR code on placards or stickers on tables. The guest simply scans the QR code with the app and payment is deducted from their balance. QR code payments are available at grocery stores, department stores, fine dining restaurants, and even hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Digital ordering via QR code is also commonplace. Guests can easily browse the menu and add items to their order.
Promote Social Distancing
Even as shelter-in-place orders are eased and dining rooms reopen, a majority of guests still want to continue to perform social distancing while dining out. 86 percent of consumers surveyed by Datassential in April want to maintain distance from other diners, suggesting that they would prefer to minimize interactions with servers.
QR codes allow guests to self-checkout while minimizing human interaction. They can pay for their check from their phone without handing their credit card to the server, promoting social distancing. The process is both safer and faster for guests and staff members.
Meet Changing Guest Demands
There has been a significant increase in demand for contactless payments in restaurants. According to Datassential’s latest April survey, 87 percent of restaurant guests like the idea of contactless payments and 44 percent require it. Meanwhile, 65 percent of guests will accept no physical menus as a new rule. Restaurants that pioneer self-payments at the table via QR code will meet new guest needs and win more trust in their COVID-19 response.
In order to accommodate diners who do not have smartphones, restaurants can also provide Pay At Table tablets on restaurant tables. These tablets enable guests to make payments, split bills, provide instant feedback, order food & drinks, and play games.
QR Codes Also Allow for Digital Ordering
QR codes displayed at the table can also give guests access to menus digitally on their phones. Digital menus are more easily maintained and edited by restaurant managers. They can be searchable based on a guest’s preferences and allergies. In addition, guests placing their own orders “tend to engage with the menu longer and spend 15 percent to 25 percent more,” according to restaurant analyst Peter Saleh.
Additionally, nearly ⅔ of guests would accept no physical menus as a new rule in restaurants. Staff members would no longer need to painstakingly disinfect traditional print-out menus.
How to Get Started On Contactless Payments
Looking to set up a contactless payment solution for your restaurant within days? The Presto Contactless Dining Kit enables your restaurant to provide an end-to-end contactless dining experience to your guests. Guests can view the complete menu, place orders, and pay at the table—without the need for any human contact. The kit is available completely free. Please visit this page for more information and reserve your spot to order the kit.