Are QR code menus a must-have thing for your restaurant? Whether you’re taking social distancing measures or want a more fluid mobile ordering system, one of the ways of the future is the QR code menu.
In short, the customer comes to your restaurant, sits at a table, and scans a QR code with their phone. The menu pops up, then they either make an order online or use the mobile menu to state their order to the server.
In this article, we’ll cover how to make everything involved with that process: the QR code, getting a simple menu page on WordPress, and linking the QR code to the menu. And we’ll explore how to establish a scan and order system for online payments.
📚 Table of contents:
Best practices when making a QR code menu
Before designing and linking your QR codes, take a look at the best practices to ensure you complete the job right.
- Print out QR codes to place on every table in your restaurant.
- Laminate the QR codes so that you can simply clean them off between customers instead of throwing out the QR code documents each time they get dirty.
- Secure the QR code documents to easily accessible and noticeable spots on your tables. The goal is to prompt customers to reach for the QR code moments after they sit down.
- On the QR code document, include instructions on how to scan the code and what’s possible on the landing page. This is like a call to action; it may seem self-explanatory, but even tech-savvy customers require guidance, especially in a restaurant where other activities are occurring, like talking to friends, listening to music, and watching TV.
- Consider placing the QR code document on the outside window of your restaurant or at the welcome counter. This allows people to view your menu and potentially use self-serve ordering.
- Instruct servers to explain the QR code menu right when they greet new customers.
- Always have a few physical menus ready for those who don’t have a smartphone, don’t know how to use QR codes, or are having trouble with cell service or battery power.
- Consider listing the restaurant’s Wi-Fi credentials on the QR code document to assist those with limited service.
- Make sure the menu is mobile-ready. A link to a hosted PDF file usually isn’t the most user-friendly on smaller devices.
- Make sure the menu loads fast. Use small file sizes (especially with images) so your customers don’t have to wait around to read the menu.
- Add pictures to your menu items for a more visual experience. This also has the potential to speed up the order process and minimize the number of questions asked to servers.
- If you expect long wait times, add QR code menu documents at the entrance, bar, or wherever people wait for their table.
- Keep your menu simple. You shouldn’t direct people to your entire website. You shouldn’t have any pop-ups, ads, promotions, or anything that makes it less attractive than a good old-fashioned paper menu. People want to order food, nothing more.
- Think about customizing the QR code menu to fit your brand. There are plenty of QR code generators that place the square code inside your logo.
Types of QR code menu formats
Wondering how to format your QR code menu? Here are some options:
- A simple list of menu items on a static, one-page website.
- A multi-page menu with buttons. These are primarily for very large menus.
- A menu with checkout options for customers to send orders to the kitchen and eventually receive meals from servers.
- A menu with self-serve ordering, where the customer fills in their order, makes the payment, then goes and collects their food at a service window. This contactless form of ordering has become more popular since the pandemic.
How to make a QR code that links to your restaurant menu
The QR code configuration depends on the style of the menu you’re planning to be linked to that QR code. The previous section explains what you may want to achieve with a QR code at your restaurant, so it’s important to figure out your overall goal prior to making a QR code menu.
Step 1: build a menu that’s published somewhere online
Before making a QR code, it’s important to actually have a menu configured on your WordPress site.
If you haven’t yet configured a restaurant menu on your WordPress site, consider using one of the following plugins:
💡 As an alternative, you have the option to set up a restaurant menu using a WordPress theme. You can find several restaurant themes on ThemeForest or look into free options in the WordPress Theme Library.
Once you have a page with a WordPress menu, move onto the next steps based on the type of menu.
Step 2: find and copy your menu’s URL
With a menu on your website, it’s time to generate a QR code, then link that code to the URL of the menu’s webpage.
All you need is the menu page’s direct URL.
Therefore, start by going to your menu page.
Copy the menu URL to your clipboard.
Step 3: paste the URL into a QR code generator
After that, there are plenty of free QR code generators online that only require a URL to your menu.
We recommend using The-QRCode-Generator.com.
On that website, paste the menu’s URL into the Enter URL field. Stick to the default QR Code option to generate a static QR code.
Step 4: download the new QR code
After pasting the URL, the QR Code Generator automatically renders a QR code that’s linked to the menu. You should see the QR code image on the right side of the page. Click on the Download button to save the image to your computer.
Type in a name for the file and select one of the following image formats:
All of these formats have their benefits, including the fact that PNG, SVG, and EPS files offer transparent backgrounds for placing on documents and combining with other designs. You can open them all in most word processors, graphic design software, and photo editing tools. A PNG works well for smaller documents, but you might consider an SVG or EPS vector file if you plan on making a larger banner of some sort.
Click Save to download the file.
Step 5: put the QR code anywhere on restaurant marketing materials, tables, and signs
In this tutorial, we’ve downloaded the QR code as a PNG file. Once saved, you can open it like any other image, then insert the QR code into a document or graphic design.
Then, you can print out those designs to use on tables, place in restaurant windows, or in any other marketing materials that customers might use to scan and view your menu. And that’s how you link a restaurant QR code to a menu on your WordPress site!
An alternative method (if you don’t already have an online menu)
One tool, called QRMenuCreator.com, allows you to not only generate a QR code but also include your restaurant logo within the code. As a bonus, the website has a section for making a menu if you don’t already have one on your website.
Step 1: upload a logo and build your menu
The QRMenuCreator.com site asks you to upload your restaurant logo and type in the name. It then provides an HTML site builder (with a pre-built template) for filling in your own menu items. Insert images, type in pricing, and include details about each item. After that, you can view the results of the code on the right side.
It’s best to work with the preset template and only change particular elements, like the dish name, pricing, and description. Leave the code as-is to avoid messing with the styling.
Step 2: download the new QR code
We enjoy this tool because it creates a menu for you, without the need to install a separate plugin or call someone with design skills. To make it better, the website creates a far fancier QR code than the other free sites by placing your logo in the middle.
Not to mention, it already links the menu created on the same page to the QR code. All you have to do is right-click on the code and select Save Image As to put it on your computer for printing.
Scanning the QR code brings customers to a mobile-friendly version of the menu, and they host it on the QRMenuCreator.com website, meaning there’s no need to mess with your own site (unless you want to embed the menu on your domain).
Step 3: view the menu and print sheets of QR codes
We encourage you to click through the QR code after you design it to see what the menu looks like.
There’s also a link to Print Your QR Codes, which provides a printable page with multiple QR codes.
As you can see, this page makes it all much easier than downloading a PNG file, placing it into a Word document, and printing it out. Instead, you receive a full, printable page with several QR codes to print and cut out without the extra steps.
And just like the previous method, you’re now able to place these QR codes on restaurant tables or other materials! Just make sure you laminate the QR code documents so that you can reuse them over and over.
Create your QR code menu today
Making a QR code menu with WordPress, or any site builder, only requires a responsive menu published on a unique URL, a free QR code generator, and a printed, well-presented version of the QR code to place on tables.
Although it sounds quick and easy, we encourage you to read through the best practices at the beginning of this article to ensure you’re including essentials, like a mobile-friendly menu (not a PDF), images within the QR code, and call to action text on the QR code document.
If you have any further questions about generating a QR code menu for your restaurant, let us know in the comments section below!