The 8 Best Ways to Display Your QR Codes (2023)
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in the early months of 2020 the most requested feature on the Untappd for Business platform was a way to allow customers to see food, wine, and cocktails by scanning a QR code.
According to an eMarketer report from Insider Intelligence, during the height of the pandemic (2020) smartphone users who scanned a QR code at least once during the calendar year surged to 65.7 million people. And while the rush to implement this technology has certainly slowed, businesses are continuing to turn to QR codes as a viable part of their business model.
Even three years later, touchless web and app-based menus remain extremely important, giving your customers quick and easy access to your menus.
These QR codes give a full contactless experience for your patrons. Whether through printed materials or digital menus, customers can safely scan a code and view any type of menu—beer, food, wine, or cocktail.
From a business perspective, QR codes and digital menus can help you save on printing and labor costs and even potentially drive your bottom line.
With the popularity of QR codes on the rise, it’s crucial to use this tactic to save money and better serve your customers.
Thanks to some creative thinking, there are a variety of ways to display QR codes throughout your establishment. From creative posters to simple table tents, here are the top nine ways to display your QR codes in your restaurant or bar.
What We’ll Cover in This Piece:
What Exactly Are QR Codes?
Essentially square barcodes, QR codes are graphics that customers can scan through their device of choice (usually a smartphone) to view your most up-to-date menu, though they can also direct to any digital page—social channel, merch store, etc.
With today’s smartphones, one needs only to point their camera at a QR code and a notification will pop up to take you to a restaurant or bar’s specified menu. Easy to use and touchless, QR codes give a distinct advantage to your business in today's post-pandemic climate.
The State of QR Codes in 2023
Without a doubt, the way breweries and brewpubs operate has changed dramatically from several years ago during the height of the pandemic.
“One hundred percent, things have changed without question as an operator… Even technology from the start of [the] pandemic to current has progressed at a rapid pace on all fronts,” says Stone Brewing V.P. of Hospitality Gregg Frazer in a recent piece on QR codes for Ollie. Frazer started implementing QR codes at the brewery’s bistro and taprooms right before the global pandemic.
He points to how Stone has adopted different types of service models to reflect changes in the industry. During the height of the pandemic he used what he called a “labor light model.” One heavy on QR codes without much human interaction. Now, Frazer implements a hybrid model that incorporates servers and table touches with an emphasis on ordering and completing payment through QR codes.
He sees this model as the future of the industry.
“With breweries it’s a perfect place and marriage where you can figure out a hybrid service,” says Frazer. “I believe there’s a world where that becomes the preferred style of dining versus strictly the only way to have the capability to order is through a server.”
Frazer’s model reflects what’s happening in the beer and restaurant industry across the globe, specifically with QR codes. Even as people and establishments return to a “new normal,” QR codes have continued to perform well. The National Restaurant Association reported that in 2022, two years after lockdowns, fifty-eight percent of adults surveyed are more likely to access a menu through a QR code or on their phone.
In TouchBistro’s report on “The State of Restaurants in 2022,” seven out of ten restaurants had introduced some form of contactless mobile payment or QR code system.
All signs point to QR codes continuing to experience healthy growth and help drive a number of industries, including beer.
“Breweries are in that right spot to capitalize on using technology and layering in elements of service to provide for a memorable, exceptional experience,” says Frazer.
It’s a dramatic turnaround from just several years ago when America seriously lagged behind other countries that had already adopted QR codes such as China and Australia.
“I think the U.S. has a long legacy, but we’re behind on this, quite frankly, compared to other places internationally,” says Frazer. But today, the United States has led a QR code renaissance, recording the highest level of scanning activity in the first quarter of 2022—over 2.8 million QR scans—based on QRTIGER’s database.
And across the entire world, the predicted global spend from QR codes over the next three years is expected to increase by twenty-five percent, reaching over $3 trillion by 2025, as reported in a study from Juniper Research.
Accordingly, QR code operators have continued to refine and retool their technology, providing businesses with more streamlined, all-in-one options.
Although the surge of QR code adoption isn’t happening at the same pace as the beginning of the pandemic, this form of contactless payment is still a very important tool for brewery and bar operators to implement for several reasons.
The Advantages of Using QR Codes
Taking the place of printed menus, QR codes offer a safe, streamlined experience for your guests. Operationally, leveraging QR codes makes all of your menus easier to update on the fly, allows you to display your brand messaging, reduces printing and labor costs, and even provides analysis and insights into what your customers are purchasing.
Depending on the software you use, your QR codes are generally housed a single online platform. Have you decided that your three locations want to put a seasonal beer on the menu? With QR codes, you can go into one backend system to make that change across all your menus. Run out of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? It’s easy and quick to pull items.
With all this in mind, it’s important to maximize where and how you present your QR code to your customer throughout your establishment. There are several standard and creative ways to display and market your QR code around your restaurant or bar.
The Eight Best Ways to Display Your QR Code
A classic option, posters can get a bit pricey, but they’re excellent vehicles for displaying a QR code. Your best bet here is if you’re already printing a poster to promote something else—an event, happy hour, etc. Just stick your QR code on there! As another bonus, posters allow you to get super creative. Create something colorful and eye-catching. Pro tip: Make sure you print your QR code big enough for people to actually notice.
#2: Table Tents
Where do your customers spend the most time in your establishment? Most likely, its either at the bar or at a table. And what do they do while they’re waiting for their food or drinks? Their eyes roam around looking for something to read before they whip out their phones to distract themselves. Table tents combine those two tendencies. Free-standing promotions on your tables with a QR code will tempt your consumers to distract themselves while waiting.
#3: Tabletop Inserts
Similar to the table tents, tabletop inserts meet your patrons where they’re at. Pro tip: Consider where you can place these inserts besides just the table. By the register? At the hostess stand? On a counter in the bathroom?
#4: Sandwich Boards
Here are the top advantages of a sandwich board: It’s big, loud, and reaches potential customers who aren't already inside your establishment. Set one up on the sidewalk outside your bar or restaurant to immediately draw eyes. Stick a large QR code in the corner or at the bottom and potential patrons can take a look at your menu before ever stepping foot inside.
#5: Stickers and Labels
This is a super inexpensive way to display your QR barcode. Stickers and labels are easy to place anywhere in your bar, from takeout packaging to the top of the bar to windows to bathroom mirrors (depending on the vibe in your establishment). No surface is off limits for a sticker with a QR code. Plus, people love stickers!
Just another touch point. Consider adding your QR code to any of your digital platforms. Post them on your website or add them to your social media platforms.
#7: Business Cards
Elevate your networking by adding a QR code to your personal business cards. Why not? It’s a double whammy—showing potential partners that you’re tech and consumer savvy while also giving them an extra place to go to learn more about your business.
#8: Loyalty Cards
From a consumer perspective, adding QR codes to a loyalty card (if it applies) helps build even more brand loyalty. And if you’re looking for new customers, promoting your loyalty card with a QR code gives them an incentive to check out your menu and visit.
Utilizing Untappd for Business QR Codes
Still in the dark about how to set up QR codes? Not sure you’re tech savvy enough to use them? With Untappd for Business, all it takes is a few clicks to create QR code menus for all of your items: beer, food, wine, cocktails, and more. QR codes can be downloaded for digital use or embedded on easily customized printable menus or posters, all within one simple interface. And QR codes can be downloaded for use in your custom marketing materials as well.
Here are some key features of Untappd for Business QR codes:
- The world's largest beer database
Build your QR code beer menus using our database of over two million beers.
- Just a few clicks
Automatically push menu updates to QR code menus.
- Provide the best customer experience
Create contactless, digital experiences your customers will appreciate.
Need help getting started? See step-by-step video instructions.