Restaurants Dropping QR Codes Amid ‘Tacky’ Concerns

June 3, 2024 12:18 pm in by

Some restaurants are moving away from QR codes due to fears of appearing ‘tacky,’ despite these digital menus becoming popular post-pandemic for limiting germ transfer. Teddie King, Director of Operations at the Japanese chain Zuma, told the Wall Street Journal that the restaurant industry views QR code menus as “a little bit tacky.”

Software trainer Oz du Soleil echoed this sentiment, sharing that he left a Las Vegas restaurant before ordering due to concerns over data privacy related to digital menus. Soleil likened QR codes to self-checkout systems or assembling IKEA furniture, implying they are impersonal and inconvenient.

Further, a Technomic survey revealed that QR codes do not boost restaurant visit frequency, with a staggering 88% of diners preferring traditional paper menus. This sentiment is particularly strong among older generations, who often struggle with the technology. Michele Baker Benesch, President of Menu Men, mentioned to PYMNTS that frustrations arise, especially for those over 40, when phones don’t cooperate with QR codes, disrupting the dining experience even before any orders are placed.

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While QR codes may appeal to younger diners, relying solely on them can alienate older customers, leading restaurants to reconsider their approach to digital menus.