When they first came out, many people in the Restaurant Industry wondered if QR Codes were a little too “Bleeding Edge” to be used in their marketing and promotional efforts. After all, we don’t all live in the Silicon Valley.
The first time we saw QR Codes, we immediately fell in love. The ease potential ease of use, and the enormous number of applications immediately flooded our minds. With that came a healthy fear as well. You see, the success of a technical solution is dependent on the ease with which that technology can be used by the general public. Would our “brilliant ideas” be seen as easy to use by the public? Would the restaurant owners understand what we were trying to do? Would the technology end up going the way of the Beta Tape? There were many questions that needed answered and being that we actually do live in the Silicon Valley, we had to do some research and testing.
Soon enough, a small group of our clients bravely stepped up to the plate and agreed to allow us to do a little bit of marketing work for them, utilizing this great new technology. The results we found were quite amazing. By and large, people instantly “got it”. They not only got it, they loved it. After all, why type something into your mobile device’s web browser, when you can just snap a QR code?
Amazingly, geography didn’t play into the equation at all. We found that the scanning and satisfaction rates of diners in our client’s restaurants in Boise, ID were the same as San Francisco, CA. In other words, this new technology was spreading like wildfire.
To those ends, we’d like to share a few great ways you can utilize QR Codes and increase the number of diners in your loyalty and reward programs:
1) Sign Up Table Tents (Pictured)
Obviously this is the most obvious use of your QR Code. It allows diners to quickly sign up for your reward/loyalty program. Upon signing up, the diner can instantly receive a special discount or offer, directly on their phone, that they can show to the server to immediately redeem.
2) Ditch the Frequent Diner Cards
Frequent Diner cards (i.e. buy 10 subs and get one free) are a pain in the neck. People forget them, try to combine them with other cards and your staff may incorrectly handle them (e.g. punching numerous visits on a single one for a customer, which affects your bottom line). That is a problem. So why not use QR Codes instead?
Diners can quickly and easily scan a code, type in their mobile phone number and instantly be given credit for visiting your restaurant. These codes can be put on a sticker that goes inside the check presenter (for sit down restaurants), or on a point of sale display at the cash register (for fast food restaurants), so they are able to be used easily, by all types of restaurants.
The system we set up for our diners has built in security features (i.e. patrons can scan the qr code multiple times in a row, BUT they will still only get credit for one visit), and puts you in control as you can pick the number of visits required to receive the reward, what the reward is and how you would like them to receive that reward (i.e via email, instantly on their mobile device, or by U.S. Mail).
3) Mall Kiosk Displays
Many of our restaurant clients have locations inside shopping malls. One way we have successfully marketed their restaurants is by changing up the ads they place in the large kiosks throughout the mall.
Most malls have at least 3-5 fast casual restaurants to choose from, and that isn’t even counting all the fast food at the food court, as well as pretzel stands, coffee shops and yogurt shops, spread throughout the mall. Needless to say, competition for diners is fierce.
We worked with our restaurant clients to change up their kiosk ads, incorporating a very large QR code that shoppers could scan to get an immediate offer (e.g. a free appetizer, free entree w/ purchase of another, etc.). The campaigns were not only smashing successes, but they grew the size of the restaurant’s diner loyalty/rewards program, giving our restaurant clients an unexpected extra benefit.
No matter what you think of them, it is evident that QR Codes are here to stay. No matter what you do with them, just remember the one key element that is critical to your campaign: Keep it simple. You do this, and you are sure to succeed.
If you would like to discuss QR codes with us, in a free, no obligation consultation, Contact Us today!