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How a New QR Feature is Helping Restaurants

A QR-code feature for restaurant queue management can help speed up guest turnover. Find out how your restaurant can speed up customer table demand with a comprehensive digital system.

From digital waitlists to online reservations, try out Carbonara App to enhance your restaurant’s guest turnover. Contact us for more.

What is a Restaurant QR Code?

It is a pattern of black-and-white squares that customers use smartphones to scan. QR codes represent websites in the two-dimensional world, and direct users to dedicated web pages, saving time on having to manually type in the restaurant’s URL online.

Enhancing the Digital Waitlist

For waitlist management, Carbonara offers a QR code feature to streamline customer entry into the waitlist. When there is no table available and customers have to wait, restaurant staff can ask customers to scan the code to input their information. This includes

  • party size
  • name
  • phone number

The customer’s request then appears in the Carbonara App, and the restaurant staff may accept the request and issue the customer a wait time. The customer receives an update on the mobile web page of the wait time issued by the restaurant along with a text message confirming their place on the waitlist. 

Placing the responsibility on customers to join the waitlist themselves, restaurants save time. The staff no longer have to input this information themselves; thus, they have more time to interact with customers. 

Furthermore, restaurants also avoid simple mistakes. For instance, when staff type in a guest phone number, they may type it incorrectly. This is a big issue. If the phone number is incorrect, then the customer will not receive a text message when the table is ready. In addition, if the customer has left to walk around, then there is no way to contact them again. 

So when customers add themselves, the benefit is that a mobile web page eases access to the waitlist, using a smartphone. Most smartphones autofill a phone number field. As such, this drastically reduces the possibility that a phone number is typed in incorrectly (whether by the restaurant staff or the customer).

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Adapt seating areas available to customers in the Carbonara App

The Advantages

Critically, a QR-code waitlist provides a more immediate opportunity going forward: less burden on staff. 

The QR-code feature is self-service at its best. Since customers scan with their smartphones, the restaurant neatly gives them the job to enter details. Plus, if customers feel the wait is too long, they simply remove themselves from the digital queue with no difficulty. 

In addition, this creates an opportunity for further guest engagement. For instance, customers can share more information via a data entry field, such as allergies or whether they have a pet with them. Normally, staff would have to ask for this key information.

How to Display the QR Code

For venues that have a lot of foot traffic, the main principle is to reduce the time spent on adding people manually to the digital queue. With the QR in place, busy restaurant staff can focus on other things, such as clearing tables, taking payments, and running food. 

Print and display the QR code in a highly visible spot at the entrance where everyone will see it — i.e., the front door or host stand. Some restaurants display the QR code in multiple places, both inside and outside, such as a sign on the sidewalk so that customers can easily access it. 

Accompany the code with a directive message. For example: “Scan to join the queue.” It’s that simple.

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Customers scan the QR code, hit ‘Join the Queue’, and input their details

Why QR?

According to Statista, restaurants and cafes in both the UK and North America have witnessed a near 40 per cent increase in QR code usage among customers. Notably in the same survey, both restaurants and cafes ranked number one for QR-code frequency (the second being retail).  

QR codes are popular in hospitality because they offer contactless interaction between customers and a venue. For important processes (online menus; mobile ordering), in the past two years QR codes have helped restaurants offer contactless options to customers during COVID-19 measures.

But the main value is much simpler: QR codes offer a quick way to load a webpage. Instead of having to type in a very long URL, consumers can simply scan the QR code from their smartphone and the web page loads. This is beneficial for restaurants. It pushes the work they must do onto the customer, such as joining a waitlist, ordering from a mobile menu, or other activities, such as completing an online feedback form.

What if Guests Don’t Use a Smartphone?

Although the vast majority of consumers today are using smartphones, this still leaves a slim minority who choose not to. Either that or maybe they simply can’t use it — for example, a smartphone could be out of battery.

However, today’s industries must remember that smartphone usage is growing. In Europe alone, tech analysts have estimated that almost half a billion people are using mobile services.

Rest assured in most parties, at least one person will have a smartphone to join the digital queue. Since the majority of restaurant customers will use smartphones to access the QR-code waitlist, this frees up plenty of time for restaurant teams to interact with other customers who are unable to use their smartphone. In these scenarios, we recommend business as usual — that is, process guest details manually.

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Change ‘Join the Queue’ settings via the Carbonara App

Employ a Digital Waitlist Today

Carbonara App’s free service provides restaurants with the tools they need to help customers enjoy the wait. Using specialist techniques such as standby seating, the app’s features allow restaurants to transform the long wait for a meal into a positive experience, an active time when customers can relax, go grab a drink, and enjoy their forty minutes.

Carbonara App’s restaurant QR code features have now made it easier for restaurants to do so, helping restaurants increase their levels of guest satisfaction and in turn, improving the quality of positive customer feedback and online reviews in the long run. 

No one likes to feel trapped in a lobby to endure an interminable wait. Go digital and find out how your venue can set up a free QR-based queue at no cost whatsoever.