How to build QR code menus for your restaurant

By now, you’ve probably been to more than one restaurant that uses QR codes to let you access their menu. The popularity of these menus skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’re still going strong. After all, who wants to sit down at a restaurant and pick up a worn, sticky menu?

But QR code menus aren’t just cleaner and more convenient. They have several other benefits as well. First, they link to online menus, which are easier and less expensive to update than printed menus. You can also use them to easily highlight daily specials and seasonal specialties.

Let’s look at the nuts and bolts of how to create a QR code menu — and why you should.

Creating menus

Before you even think of creating a QR code menu, you’re going to need a website to link to. You can hire a web developer for $120 per hour to do that if you’ve got money to burn. You’ll almost definitely get a highly professional product for that.

But you may not. Luckily, there are many options available for the average, marginally tech-savvy Joe or Jan. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, you can probably knock out something pretty impressive in your spare time over a few days.

WordPress is the most established and popular website-building option. At the time of this writing, 40 percent of all websites are built on WordPress. Getting started is easy, and WordPress can grow with your needs.

Three other alternatives to consider are Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. Wix is easy to get started with and makes attractive website design available to anyone. Squarespace, on the other hand, is the most highly rated website builder according to G2. Weebly might be more appealing if you already use Square to process payments, since they are owned by the same company.

Once you have a place to post your menu, you can use any number of free online QR code generators to create a code that links to it.

Promoting daily specials and seasonal menus

Variety truly is the spice of life. Many of your customers may come in like clockwork and order the same thing every time, and your establishment may be an old standby for family outings, but this is the age of the foodie.

People are constantly seeking the most Instagram-worthy restaurant. They’re looking for novelty. And if you can keep your menu fresh and interesting, you’ll have a better chance of getting them to come back again and again.

A great way to keep things fresh is to offer specials. And you don’t have to write your daily specials on a chalkboard sign. You can include them in your online menu.

You can create multiple pages if you have a rotating selection of specials. Then you just need to create a new code with the new link when you’re ready to showcase a certain special.

The same thing goes for seasonal items or even whole seasonal menus. You just need to create a separate page for each of your planned menus and generate a QR code for each.

Offering online ordering and generating QR codes

Once you have an online menu, why not let people order online ahead of time as well? You can do that with a form that you can add to any page of your website.

With Jotform, you can create an online order form even if you don’t have any web development experience. Just use one of the many templates available or build your own from scratch with Jotform’s drag-and-drop form builder. And with 30-plus payment integrations, Jotform will probably connect to whichever payment provider you’re already using.

You can even use Jotform to generate a QR code for your order form. Once you have the image file, just print it out, display it on a screen, or add it to your website for customers to scan.

How to build QR code menus for your restaurant Image-1
Scan the QR code to open the form!

More fun ideas

Changing your menus isn’t the only way to take advantage of QR codes. There are many ways to play these codes to make them fun for your customers.

For example, you can hide a QR code with a secret menu in a place that’s not too obvious. Secret coupons and specials are also fun options.

You aren’t stuck with just a single QR code, either. You can have a menu of QR codes as well. You can have one just for salads, one for desserts, one for the kids’ menu, etc. You can use a digital display to show all your QR codes in one place. That means more room for mouth-watering photos.

You can even use QR codes to help collect reviews. Use a “leave us a review” QR code, and offer a free dessert or other perk as a reward for submitting a review. Regardless of what you want to do with QR codes, Jotform can help. Sign up for free to try it out.

Photo by Rodeo Project Management Software on Unsplash

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