Customers are done with QR code menus, so restaurants are getting rid of them

QR code menus - Ordering at a Restaurant

Though helpful throughout the pandemic, diners are no longer interested in scanning barcodes.

QR code menus may have been helpful and popular throughout the worst of the pandemic, but restaurant customers are no longer interested in scanning, and those businesses are taking notice.

Many restaurants are switching back to physical menus, because their customers prefer them.

A recent The New York Times report showed that restaurants are dumping the QR code menus they had been using throughout the worst of the pandemic, because their customers simply don’t want to use them anymore. They did serve their purpose throughout a time when contactless communication was most needed, but diners are ready to use physical menus again and to interact with restaurant staff for their needs.

QR code menus - restaurant
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“They are almost universally disliked,” said Kristen Hawly, Expedite restaurant technology newsletter founder, as quoted in the Times report.

Customers who found the barcodes to be helpful when contactless interaction was necessary, no longer wish to have to use their phones as a part of their overall eating-out experience.

QR code menus became a staple for restaurants and were predicted to be a long-term option for diners.

However, since activities have been returning to normal, customers are returning to their preference for physical printed menus and restaurants are seeing fewer scans on the barcodes they’d printed when they were needed.

According to the report, customers widely view the use of their phones during a dining experience as rude or distancing. Therefore, they aren’t inclined to use their devices while dining out and prefer to use a printed menu to one they’d need to use a phone to view.

A recent Insider report also drew attention to another drawback to using QR code menus, and that is regarding privacy concerns and customer data tracking. Customers don’t feel that dining out is worth the risk of being tracked by yet another company or to potentially have their privacy threatened by a dubious barcode scan. As a result, restaurant owners are choosing to leave the barcodes in place when they’re already printed but will drop them as their menus are updated and reprinted.

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