Of all the pandemic-inspired business adoptions, perhaps none is as reviled as the QR-code menus. And yet, it persists.
Early in the pandemic, restaurants ditched physical menus and instead revived a long-sidelined technology, the quick response code. It seemed like a good idea at the time. As restaurants reopened from government-mandated Covid lockdowns, restaurant design experts advised them to clear their tables of high-touch items like salt, pepper and ketchup bottles. Even the physical menu had to go, and thus the QR code — which, when scanned, opens up a digital menu — came into vogue.As it became clear that Covid-19 was unlikely to be transmitted via surfaces, however, people revealed their true feelings about menu codes. They hated them.But for restaurants, QR codes are more than just a way to offer a contact-free menu. The tech solves problems that restaurants have had for years and are especially painful now, like menu printing costs and staff shortages.