Businesses from fast food to fine dining are using quick response codes, but are they doing it right?
This week, our investigators were interested in the use of the QR code to provide various types of experience to their guests, but discovered that not all experiences are created equal, as is the case in the mobile marketing of retailers.
Quick response codes are appearing on everything from signage to the actual restaurant menu.
Earlier this week, it was reported that McDonald’s has launched a new campaign as the official restaurant sponsor of the NFL, this season. That company has printed their QR code onto a number of different locations in their stores, such as the packages for the medium sized food and beverage products. This allows customers to scan and learn more about the campaign, including a sweepstakes into which they can choose to enter.
That said, the struggle in the use of the QR code appear to be the same in restaurants as in retailers.
The McDonald’s campaign is quite a powerful one as they make the QRcodes easy for the consumer to scan and provide them with the instruction to do so and an explanation as to why they would want to. Have a look at a couple of other restaurants that our investigators visited this week.
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Donaleigh’s – This upscale, trendy restaurant serves traditional pub food that has been elevated for a finer dining experience. The sleek black menu included a QR code that encouraged patrons to scan using a mobile phone – a vital step skipped by many mobile marketing campaigns. It also provided the URL for the standard. That said, it appeared as though scanning would bring the device user to the restaurant’s Facebook page. There was a Facebook banner beneath the barcode and it provided the instructions to “Befriend us!” and to “find us, follow us, ‘like us’, to stay in the know”.
Frustratingly, part of the instructions were tucked behind the black menu book, itself, so some of the words were covered up. Also, scanning the barcode didn’t bring the visitor to a mobile optimized page such as Facebook, but instead directed the mobile device user to the standard webpage, with its text and options that were far too small to comfortably view on a smartphone screen.
Tim Hortons – Displayed in various locations in the popular chain cafe was a small poster that asked visitors to scan the QR code in order to provide feedback about their experience. It was, in essence, a mobile friendly customer comment card. However, the cafe took the use of the barcode a step further by encouraging visitors to make the scan so that they could win free coffee for a year in exchange for their feedback. Scanning the QRcode directed the user to a fully optimized site that provided an easy to use, brief customer survey giving device owners the chance to provide their feedback in a very simple way while using a touchscreen, and to then enter themselves into the running for the prize.