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QR Code for Restaurant Menu & QR Code Payment Get The Attention as Owners Plan for Reopening

Reopening with stringent guidelines virtually reduces the size of the restaurant and limits the potentials. QR code for restaurant menu or QR code payment is not something new, but the problem they're trying to solve this time is different.

They help bridge the gap between COVID guidelines and your revenue targets.
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For nearly the last two years, we have been bombarded with an onslaught of negativity, as every news outlet telling us statistics on COVID-19 infections, deaths, or travel restrictions. 

They don’t bore us, but induce fear when we want to see the world, a better place. 
Then there is a silver lining, and we're hyped up to hear that the travel industry starts to plan its reopening; it helps several connected businesses reopen to recover. 

And we personally want to hang around, relax, enjoy, or have real dinner conversations (not digital) in warm, dim lighting with soft background music — just as anyone who missed the relaxing ambiance of great restaurants. 
The restaurant industry, one of those completely brought to a halt by Coronavirus. You may argue that some restaurants still did well with takeaways and delivery orders. But it is not so for fine dining or the restaurants that are heavily dependent on dining. 
Running these restaurants is a capital-intensive operation. When they have to fully depend on takeaways, it only helps their brand to survive and serve the customers with some layoffs. 

Some countries already started their reopening while others are preparing, it’s great news for the owners and workers. It’s cheerful news for anyone who missed them. 

However, you might not still have that same perfection you enjoyed pre-pandemic as the reopening will need to adhere to stringent COVID-safety guidelines. 
What makes running these restaurants with COVID-safety guidelines challenging is, meeting revenue targets and adhering to the stringent guidelines. Owners have two choices here: 
  1. Reopen with guidelines.
  2. Or, reopen utilizing technology in the regular operations to adapt to the guidelines, and to support new revenue streams.
The first option is easy and simple to get back into the business, but it virtually reduces the size and the potentials to make more revenue.

The second option also virtually reduces the size of the restaurant because of COVID guidelines but increases the potentials to make more revenue. It helps restaurants to reach the revenue, they were doing pre-pandemic.

However, for restauranteurs, reopening with an effective COVID-safety plan is going to be a hard row to hoe, an extremely anxious process for some. 

The restaurants will need to have control over their customers and staff, opening hours, a push from a perfectly crafted marketing strategy, and still meet the revenue targets. Then finally, pray their place doesn’t suddenly turn into a COVID hotspot. 
The confident owners with a focused strategy backed by the appropriate tools can turn this stressful process into a simple daily operation to achieve results.

Tools, whether the owners plan to reopen with their existing POS software, use a completely new app to handle tasks, or planning to go for an ultra-agile solution using an app builder, check out to see if these functionalities can benefit your restaurant: 

1. QR code restaurant ordering - Digital menus

Once considered, sophistication and luxury is now a part of COVID-safe guideline. With digital menus, guests can scan their table’s QR code, view menu items on their smartphones, and place their orders right at the table.

This self-service feature helps contactless dining strategies for restaurants and at the same time, enhances the diner experiences by not having to wait for restaurant staff to attend to them. And, the diners can choose their preferred menu item at their own pace. 

2. Contactless Payments 

Contactless cards: With contactless payment options, customers use their debit or credit cards with RFID-enabled chips by tapping or waving over the terminal that can pick up the signal from the card to process the transaction. No swiping, entering the PIN, or signing the transaction is needed. 
Before the pandemic, contactless card payment options were limited for the faster processing of low-value transactions. Some banks set daily usage limits, some intermittently ask to enter PINs, or some ask to enter PINs always higher value transactions to ensure security. There is no set standard on these limitations and it varies by bank and country. 

Because lost cards or, someone standing next to a cardholder with a malicious device can read card data and use it for making fraudulent transactions.

However, to help minimize COVID-19 spreading and encourage contactless, countries have increased contactless card limits recently: This Wikipedia page has updated floor limitations by countries: 
Digital wallets: The other option is to use smart devices like smartphones, smartwatches set up with a digital wallet app like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc., to tap or wave over the payment terminal to make the transaction. With this type of payment, users have to preset their wallets with card information and be ready to make their payments at the terminals the same way as contactless cards. 
Digital wallets have few advantages over using contactless cards; they are more secure using different layers of software security and use the hardware features of the devices for user identification. Apple Pay and Google Pay come preinstall in their phones while Samsung Pay comes installed on newer models. But there are many digital wallet options available today. 
QR codes: QR codes are everywhere these days, including contactless bill payments. Customers scan the QR code of the retailer with their smartphones to pay the bill, simple as that! Quick, easy, and secure option (with dynamic QR code) for small businesses with instant bank transfers. In some cases, sellers scan the personal QR codes of their customers to get the payments. 
QR Codes can be static or dynamic. The difference is, with a static QR code, you can’t change the information contained in it. But with a dynamic QR code, you can keep the same QR code, but only change the details it contains. And with Dynamic, you can also track how many times the code was scanned and the location too.

A static QR code is simple to work with from the retailer’s perspective, but ideal for small businesses that are not so busy. Obtain the printed QR code from the bank or just use the bank’s app to generate it, and then print and display it at the payment counters — all the shop is ready to accept QR code payments. 
But static QR codes have certain concerns too. What if someone replaces the QR code put to display at the counter? The seller wouldn’t realize it until the next reconciliation. Another drawback with static codes is, it’s the customers who fill the payable amounts after they scan since it’s always the same generic QR code that is not transaction-specific. There is a chance for input errors.

Dynamic QR codes are dynamically created for each transaction, so it has the payable amount in it when a user scans. Sellers might need to have a dedicated smartphone or payment terminal to display each QR code whenever it is generated. 

3. Outdoor Dining 

Restaurants can extend their dining areas to patios, poolside, or beaches to balance their capacity and maintain social distancing. Perhaps, for some restaurateurs, it’s an opportunity to realize their businesses’ untapped potentials. It helps restaurants to reopen with COVID-safe guidelines for now, but once the pandemic is behind us, it’s a new stream of revenue for restaurant owners.

As you can imagine, it’s going to be a busy place with staff running back and forth holding food plates. But how are you going to manage it with a skeleton staff to serve with COVID guidelines? QR codes to help again.

Restaurants generate QR codes and place them anywhere the customers can scan to view the menu items and place their orders. And, it notifies restaurant cashiers to open checks, or sophisticated POS systems can even register the customer and create checks for them. And additional orders from the customer go into the open check.

Orders are sent to appropriate kitchens for preparation (kitchen printers and KDS) and chefs update the displays when the food is ready. It significantly reduces the staff needed to serve or manage such scattered restaurant operations. 

4. Staggered Staff Planning 

Reducing the number of people gathering at any place is one of many COVID-safety guidelines to minimize the risk of transmission. So when the owners stagger their staff shifts, they have limited staff in the serving area, kitchen, and other areas of their restaurant. Plus, they contribute to reducing risks in public transportations, places, and the cities.

Splitting and reorganizing shift patterns can be challenging. Apart from a clever plan, software with the features to help restaurant managers adapt to the plan would make life much easier. Software that can manage flexible rotas and handle resource planning according to the new schedules would be a boon to simplify restaurant operations. 

5. Contact Tracing 

Contact tracing is the process of identifying if an individual has been in close contact with an infected person and stop onward transmissions. Some communities may require enforcing contact tracing methods while others feel a place is much safer with it. It’s all part of the “new normal.”

Different companies and authorities developed various apps during the peak of COVID spreading. Some work as exposure notification apps. These apps use a phone’s Bluetooth to scan and record other phones that come in closer contact. The other phones with the app also do the same, so all these phones have details of each other. When one of these phone users tests positive, he or she can choose to notify all users who have come to close contact with this user.

Others are merely to help businesses collect their customer data to help authorities find close contacts in case any of their customers test positive.

However, there is arguments surround the effectiveness of these apps. 

6. Order Fulfillment “Rules” 

These are checkout rules that a buyer should complete before completing the order. It helps restaurants heavily depend on delivery orders and takeaways to ensure they serve the customers within specific geo-targeted locations with various conditions such as IP, Zip codes, districts. And it also helps restaurants and other businesses to define data collection on buyers based on their current set standards — these standards could be changed dynamically to suit their COVID-safety strategies. 

Additionally, for restaurants with patio arrangements and self-ordering, it can be used to set restrictions on table levels. 

7. Marketing 

A successful reopening plan should be accompanied by an effective marketing strategy to convey to your customers and potential customers that your restaurant is open now and with new guidelines and policies for a safer dining atmosphere for everyone. Or, the customers have no idea how a restaurant responds to restrictions and still serves them during a difficult time.

Different channels will help achieve this, but the marketing strategy has to be effective, at the same time within tiny budgets affordable for the restaurants, still struggle with their come back.

POS systems and platforms with built-in features, integrations to popular marketing tools, and CRMs can assist restaurants in their marketing plans for faster recovery and stick to an affordable budget. 

Moving forward, keeping COVID behind us 

Reopening with COVID-safety guidelines and meeting revenue targets to keep the doors open, is like trying to fly with clipped wings for restaurants.

So to make both ends meet at this difficult time, restaurants must look for ways to enhance their existing operations and find new opportunities to bridge the gap created by COVID guidelines and their targets. The best way to achieve that would be to use the tools that help simplify running a profitable operation with COVID-safe guidelines.