Part way through 2020 & during the global pandemic, food and drink establishments began to open again with heightened restrictions to try to limit the spread of Covid-19. This included having a limited amount of people on each table; no condiment bottles left on tables; and more strenuous/regular cleaning activities, to name a few. However, some recognised that the biggest change was the loss of the physical menu from tables – this was replaced in the form of a printed label on each table, which included a printed QR code.

The QR code could be easily scanned by any modern smartphone and would provide a quick link to the menu, in electronic form. The user could then order and pay directly from their mobile phone and the kitchen would receive the order automatically. This avoided the need for the customer to go up to the till, or for the server to have to come over to the table on multiple occasions – both limit close contact and thus the spread of the disease.

So why is it that even 2 years down the line, most restaurants are continuing to use this method, instead of switching back to the traditional printed/physical menu? It screams out as the only & obvious restriction that has remained; obviously face coverings are no longer a necessity, along with restrictions on number per table, etc… Research even suggests that customers are mostly against the continued use of this and would prefer the return of a real physical menu. A study showed that 57% of people see this as a chore when going out to eat, while 55% agreed that the electronic menus were hard to read and browse through.

The answer is that for restaurants, this is not just seen as a contact-free menu for health benefits only – business owners are in fact benefitting from a multitude of factors here… Firstly, this saves a lot of money in printing costs, especially when they may require a change of menu every few months (seasonal, etc…). But also, it relieves some pressure in terms of labour requirements, as there are fewer members of staff required to take/hand over orders to customers. These savings are being seen as unavoidable by many, as they suffer rising costs from inflation. While some have listened to their customers and have gone back to the traditional method.

Custom Labels Ltd are not only one of the market leaders in QR code printing, we have also printed a high volume of this type of label for restaurants, containing their menus. We printed these on, and continue to stock a 7-year outdoor vinyl, which is cost-effective and durable enough to withstand a wide range of applications. If you would like further information on this or anything else from our wide product range, then please contact us via this form. We can produce high-quality Asset Labels, Cable Labels, Product Labels, Graphic Overlays, Electrical Test Labels, Non-Adhesive Tags as well as much more…