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6 Ways to Use QR Codes

Seven suggestions for adding contactless tech to your hospitality business.
a person holding a cell phone

QR codes may resemble little boxes of pixelated TV fuzz, but they’re actually high-tech tools that can help streamline your business practices and potentially increase sales.

Curious about how to put QR codes to work at your bakery or restaurant? You’re in the right place. Keep reading for seven great suggestions, ranging from basics like online menus and cashless pay to more advanced ways to help market your business and build your community. But first, a refresher…

In recent years, quick response code or QR codes have surged in popularity as a contactless method of transmitting information. Why not take advantage of the trend? Here are some ways to use QR codes:

1. Share Your Menu Online

While it doesn’t take a ton of time for a customer to Google your bakery and pull up your offerings on your website, it’s far easier for them to just scan a QR code that goes directly to your online menu. Depending on your bakery’s setup, you can display your QR code in a variety of ways. Here are three popular methods:

Table Display QR Code

If your bakery has tables, consider placing table tents featuring your QR code on them so that customers can easily scan your code at any point during the meal. For customers still wary of touching too many surfaces, table tents can be scanned without having to handled at all.

Bakery Case QR Code

A QR code linking to your bakery’s online menu displayed prominently on or near your bakery case allows customers to access more information about your menu items, including descriptions, flavor profiles, and ingredients. Not only can this help answer frequently asked questions, but it also makes it easy for customers to share the menu with others.

Outdoor QR Codes

A QR code printed on a sign facing outward or on a sandwich board outside of your bakery allows customers to check out your offerings before they even enter the door. The chance to browse your menu from outside could make the difference between someone walking by versus deciding to drop in for a cupcake or cookie!

2. Share Special Offers

QR codes can be a great way to share special offers with customers. The options are limitless, but here are a few ideas:

  • Scan for a free coffee with purchase
  • Offer customers a buy one get one free special for following you on social media
  • Offer a “baker’s dozen” deal where customers get an extra pastry for free when they purchase a certain amount
  • Print a QR code on receipts offering a discount on their next purchase

Sometimes, a small offer is all it takes to “sweeten the deal” and encourage customers to make a return visit sooner!

3. Offer Cashless Pay

Who carries cash anymore? Cashless pay applications are more popular than ever, and QR codes can help make the process seamless for your bakery customers.

To help customers pay conveniently and cash-free, place a QR code near your register or even on bills. A customer simply scans your code, then they’re directed to your chosen payment application. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it makes things easier on customers.

3. Maximize Your Business Cards

To help boost your marketing efforts, consider printing a QR code on your bakery’s business cards. The benefits are many. First, a QR code can definitely pique people’s curiosity and prompt them to take an extra step of engagement with your brand — that can help you stand out from the competition. Second, it saves customers the time and effort of looking you up online — all they have to do is scan your QR code and they’ll be directed to your web page. Not only does it make it easy to check out your menu and place an order, but it can also be an opportunity to direct customers to a loyalty program or to join your mailing list.

4. Build Your Social Network

QR codes displayed on menus, posters, or other signage can be a fantastic way to help customers find and follow you on social media. Not sure which channel to promote? No need to decide. Your QR code can be directed to a link with all of your social media channels so that they can follow you on the channel or channels you like best. Be sure to keep your channels up to date so that you’re worth a follow!

5. Direct Customers To An Online Cake Gallery

Custom cake orders are a key source of profits for many bakeries. Help customers peruse your offerings by creating a QR code that directs to a gallery of cakes you’ve created in the past. Be sure to include top-selling themes like weddings, anniversaries, and milestone birthdays. When customers can see your beautiful creations, they’re far more likely to place an order of their own.

6. Link To Online Reviews

A QR code can be an effective way to direct customers to your page on popular food review sites like Yelp. The benefits are twofold: first, customers can see what others are saying about you. Second, it makes it easier for customers to leave a review of their own. The more positive reviews you have, the more attractive your bakery will look to potential customers.

Build Your Business With QR Codes

QR codes can potentially help your bakery attract new customers, streamline business processes, and increase sales. They’re easy to implement — why not give them a try and see for yourself how QR codes can help your bakery business grow?

About the Author

Mark Plumlee is the senior copywriter at MustHaveMenus, which offers free social media templates and sharing tools. He enjoys writing about trends in the food industry.

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