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QR Codes finding a place in restaurant reopenings

QR codes, a printed digital symbol that was largely forgotten is becoming a sign of the coronavirus times, especially as restaurants around the country reopen for business.

A techy tool in other settings, QR codes are rapidly finding a new home in restaurants as part of reopening strategies and cost-cutting. They make menus and more facets of service contactless by drafting customers’ own smartphones into the process.

QR (quick response) technology offers a rapid way to connect customers to online information without typing in a web address. Most smartphones are configured to automatically scan these codes using the phone’s camera app. When a customer hovers a camera over the code, it pulls up a link to whatever web pages the restaurant selects.

The boxy scattered lines look like a mismatch with the design themes of upscale restaurants, and the casual old-fashioned joints are, well, old fashioned, and not typically early tech adopters. The convulsions of the past few months, however, have changed all that.

One company is even taking it a step further when it comes to how QR codes can play an integral role in restaurants and other service industries

weQless allows patrons to access a virtual menu via a unique QR-Code created for each venue and stuck on the tables. Customers place their orders via the app, then are redirected straight to the checkout page where they can pay in one click if they use Apple or Google Pay; otherwise, they can pay via debit or credit card. This system helps customers avoid handling grubby menus or standing in long queues next to strangers.

One of the best features of weQless is that it's a Progressive Web App; which means users don't need to go to the App store or Google Play to download the app. Instead; when visiting the web app for the first time, they get an option to add it as a mobile app on their phone's home screen, providing a totally seamless dining experience.

It takes less than an hour for a restaurant to get up and running on weQless and the platform has several other features including a staff management system, a chat system, a booking system, a coupon system to reward loyal dinners, a one-click re-ordering button, and the entire system costs less than the cheapest card readers some restaurants currently use to take orders.

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