According to a 2018 study by Juniper Research, QR code redemption globally was projected to reach about 5.3 billion transactions by 2022— four times more than the 1.3 billion transactions in 2017. COVID-19 accelerated QR code use in a matter of months.
While other restaurants used QR codes to only display menus, Flame Broiler, a quick-service restaurant franchise with over 170 locations serving simple, healthy bowls and entrees, implemented drive-up virtual kiosks in which customers need to only scan a QR code on signs outside to order and pay for their food. The QR code loads a special site for customers to view the menu, place an order, and pay virtually.
Using QR codes to display menus and direct people to websites was the obvious and basic way for restaurants to employ the technology. Flame Broiler elevated QR codes to facilitate an entire transaction from start to finish and mitigate the risks tied to going inside of establishments during the pandemic at the same time.
“As a quick-service restaurant, we knew we needed to pivot as soon as COVID-19 happened and social distance restrictions were enacted. Our biggest priority is customer and employee safety, and we want our guests to feel safe while ordering and getting food from us. The QR codes facilitate an entire transaction from start to finish and alleviate the risks tied to going inside restaurants during the pandemic,” said Daniel Lee, head of brand and technology at Flame Broiler.