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How QR codes can help your restaurant marketing

3 min read


This guest post is by Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami at Network Solutions, a company that helps small businesses establish an online presence  and conduct online marketing. Learn more about Bellamkonda and his love for curry and for small business.

Smartphones are now more popular than ever. According to eMarketer estimates, there are 73.3 million U.S. smartphone users in 2011, and 44% of them use their phone to research products. Quick Response codes, QR codes, read like bar codes when scanned by a smartphone and return information back to the phone (you may need a bar code scanning app, which is usually free). This could be a URL or Web address or business-card information or even an offer. I have seen them being used on business cards, brochures, magazine ads, trade show booths, contests, fliers and more.

As restaurant owners, you probably have a lot of customers who use smartphones. You might actually find them checking in to your establishment on Foursquare or Gowalla, which are location-based phone apps. You can capture this fascination for apps and smartphones through the use of QR code technology several ways:

  • Carry-out menus: Print a QR code on your carry-out menu along with your phone number. As QR code scanning apps get easier to use, the code can take the user directly to dialing your restaurant.
  • Business cards: Add a QR code on the back of a business card so that the address and complete contact information for the restaurant can be stored on the user’s phone contact list.
  • Linking photos to recipes: When restaurants have pictures as part of menus or brochures they can add a QR code to link to a recipe on the Web.
  • Coupons: On discount coupons, use QR codes to make it even easier to use them.
  • Link to your Facebook page: In order to continue to engage your customers, encourage them to join your Facebook page by a QR code that takes them to your Facebook page.

As this technology gets more adaptable you may discover other ways to use this code. Here are places where you can generate your own QR code:

Also, see this useful infographic on QR codes from Brian Asner. As your customers go mobile, the best reason for you to embrace a mobile technology is to make it more convenient for your customers to do business with you. We have touched the surface, but you might have other exciting ideas on the use of QR codes. Tell us in the comments.

DanDriedger via iStockphoto