Why QR Code Menus May Be Here To Stay

Sitting down at a restaurant table looks a little different over the past year. In some cases, a paper menu is no longer resting on top of the place setting, but a QR code menu is waiting to be scanned. While some people appreciate the simplicity of using their device to view their dinner options, the use of this new electronic medium could be giving away more of your information than you intended. Still, it appears that the QR code menus might be the only option being served at some eateries. As reported by Fox, "fifty percent of full-service restaurants in America are using QR code menus since the pandemic." 

Between the reduced labor costs, appreciating higher menu sales, and even helping with up-selling, the increase of the QR code method seems to have helped a restaurant's bottom line. In addition, CNBC reports that these types of menus allow restaurants to fluctuate pricing depending on supply. Specifically stating, that menu offerings can be adjusted quickly to reflect "elements like inflation, fluctuations in food and commodities prices, and other variables." With a simple push of a button, that burger price can go up or down depending on the costs to purvey that beef. Unlike traditional printed menus, the flexibility is not an option. While there are many positives for restaurants to continue the use of QR code menus, consumers might have pause to keep on clicking.

Does a QR Code menu reveal too much about the consumer?

Although some people might recall that warning about accepting a cookie from a stranger, clicking that QR code menu may need to come with a similar warning. Beyond the convenience of ordering via a personal device, that browsing can tell more about a guest than just a love of a spicy chicken wing. According to Fox, "QR code systems can activate cookies to track your purchase history, capturing your name, phone number and credit cards to databases." While this information can be beneficial for restaurants to learn about their customers and their spending habits, it may lead people to wonder if that click comes with a higher cost beyond the food ordered.

While CNBC reports a variety of positive aspects of using a QR code menu, the reality is that consumers may not be presented with an option. As restaurants have seen the benefit for using this ordering option, it might be here to stay. Consumers might appreciate the ability to streamline payments, easy re-orders, and various other perks. Still, that offer to save a few dollars on the next order might not be just a restaurant trying to be nice. It might be its way of reminding you that you haven't stopped into the restaurant in a while. Sometimes that cookie might not be worth all those extras associated with it.