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Make your QR Menus a top marketing channel

Last updated August 31, 2023 · By Dylan Blake

What started as a menu necessity during Covid has sneakily become one of the best marketing channels available to bars and restaurants. That's right: I'm talking about QR Menus, those little black-and-white squares you saw basically nowhere in the US prior to spring/summer 2020.

Here's how Rob Austin, a marketing expert who runs marketing for Leader Bar in Chicago, explains the marketing opportunity offered by a robust QR Code Menu system:

  • The basics: customers need to see your menu to order. If your menu is QR-based, then you basically have a captive digital audience. Take advantage of that.
  • Have your QR code point to a page on your website. This is the key—getting more people to your website, where you're in control of the experience. There are 2 related reasons this is so important.
  • First, you'll increase your website traffic in a meaningful way. Each month thousands of people will visit your website—and thus interact with you digitally—who otherwise wouldn't.
  • Second, you can show QR Menu visitors exactly what you want to show them. For Rob & Leader Bar, he of course provides the menu when someone scans the Leader Bar QR Code. But he shows them a bunch of stuff above the menu, stuff he wants them to see: upcoming events, the fact that they do online ordering, how to book a private party, the bar's story, introduce that they have brunch, show them their social media handles, etc.
  • How else are you going to get this much content in front of such an ideal audience? It's more effective, cheaper, and just plain better than doing social media advertising, and certainly more time-effective than typical social media posts.
  • And once you're ready, you can take this a step further too: install a newsletter signup, where folks can input their email addresses and you can send out a weekly/monthly newsletter straight to their inbox. Now you've turned the QR Menu into an outbound marketing channel.

Check out the interview clip for more from Rob on QR Code Menus:

And if you want to hear more great marketing advice from Rob, check out this playlist on the Brave New Bar Youtube channel.