Spoiler Alert: It’s the QR codes
For years, I’ve joined the restaurant technology industry in explaining the nuances of the tech. Diners don’t live in the nuance.
Here’s what I told the New York Times this week when they asked me about QR codes in restaurants: “They are almost universally disliked.”
I also said a bunch of other things, too, including the fact that there are some situations for which a QR code on the table makes a lot of sense: a beer garden where guests can sip and scan and reorder fast; an airport food court where you’re likely to be alone and need space to sit with luggage.
I’m not a hater, especially when they work well for some. I talked to one restaurant owner last week who still uses optional QR code ordering at his casual Mexican spot to supplement waitstaff, and he told me it’s great for getting a guest that second margarita. That’s a win for both sides — revenue plus convenience plus a bonus second delicious margarita. I’ve spoken to many business owners over the past few years who have found some utility in the tech. But overall, the average diner has turned against the codes with an eye-rolling, deep-sigh certainty.