qr code-based cycle menu for restaurant

As a customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending time looking at a menu and being told by the wait staff that the item you’re craving for is, unfortunately, not available at this time. This is a problem with printed menus that a digital and QR Code-based cycle menu can easily solve.

If your restaurant has a menu that changes throughout the day, or if you have items that are available only at, say, breakfast, this tutorial is for you.

If you’re ready to know more about making cycle menus with QR Codes, read on.

What are QR Codes?

Quick Response or QR Codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can contain a huge amount of information. First created in 1994 for inventory management, they have seen a spike in popularity in the pandemic, and more and more businesses are using it for their marketing campaigns. Because of flexibility in terms of the kind of information they can store, different, unique ways of using QR Codes are being discovered every day.

Today, updates in smartphones’ operating systems enable native cameras to scan QR Codes. You don’t really need a separate app to scan it, and scanning using native smartphone cameras remains the most preferred method of reading QR Codes.

What are Cycle Menus?

We have already touched on restaurant landing pages before, and this time, we will focus on creating cycle menus.

A menu is a list of products or items that are available to be served. There are different types of menus, and a cycle menu is a type of menu where the menu or part of the menu changes at a specific period of time. For example, if your restaurant has a breakfast menu that is available only at, well, breakfast, or a different menu for lunch and dinner, then you have a cycle menu.

Why You Need a QR Code-based Cycle Menu

Nowadays, QR Code menus are enjoying increasing popularity in restaurants. Not only are they economical in that you need to print less physical menus, but they are safer due to their contactless nature. Since people are always on their phones, providing the option of seeing the menu digitally is a great way to save your customers’ time, as well as improve your restaurant SEO.

In a previous blog, we have discussed the different ways to use these 2D barcodes for restaurants, and this time, we’ll focus specifically on QR Codes that show a different menu depending on the time of the day.

Of course, you can simply create a separate QR Code for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner digital menu, but your customers might get confused on which QR Code to scan. They also need to save three separate URLs on their phone.

How To Create a QR Code-based Cycle Menu

For us, the first thing you need when creating a QR Code for your restaurant is to have a mobile-optimized digital menu. Mobile-optimized simply means suitable for viewing on mobile devices. Remember that not all web pages are optimized for mobile viewing, so you need to make sure that your customers will not have to zoom in and out, or scroll left and right to see your menu.

One thing that we recommend is creating a QR Page. This service comes with a QR Cloud subscription. QR Pages are web pages that are specifically designed to be viewed on your phone. This means no more zooming in and out or scrolling left and right just to see the full menu, particularly in contrast with a PDF menu.

Here’s an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start your digital menu.

Plan how your digital menu will look like.

The first thing you need to do is design your mobile optimized menu. You may hire a specific service to do this, or if you’re confident, you can go the DIY route. The DIY route is also great if you and your team have a great eye for graphic design.

In this step, you collect all the materials you need on your menu. These include the image files for your logos and menu items (5 MB max and we recommend converting your images to SVG, which is best for online viewing), descriptions, and prices.

You can also collect the best positive reviews to post on your landing page. New customers rely on customer feedback when trying out a new restaurant.

Start creating your landing page.

On your QR Cloud dashboard, click the Create Link button and select “QR Pages” from the dropdown menu. Type in a custom URL or leave it blank for a system-generated one. (Don’t worry since you can change the URL before you make your QR Code.)

On the settings of your QR Page, you can now design the overall layout of your landing page. Remember to click the Create button to save, and the Update button to implement succeeding changes.

To add elements to your menu, use Blocks. Here, you can add your images and the accompanying descriptions for your menu items. You can rearrange the blocks by simply dragging them around.

Create your cycle menu.

Once you have all the elements of your menu in place, it’s time to make your rotating menu. All you have to do is choose a menu item and click edit from the dropdown. Now, click Display Settings and turn on Schedule. From here, you can set the time when that specific menu item will be available. (Note that the time zone is in DST, so make sure to check a reliable time calculator and adjust your settings accordingly.)

You can check if your page works as intended by clicking on the page URL.

Once you’re satisfied with how your page works, you can now create a QR Code for your menu.

Alternatively, you can create different QR Pages for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and use the URL block to add them on your landing page. From there, you can set the date and time when the menu button will show up on your restaurant’s page. Personally, I find this method easier, since I don’t have to set the schedules for individual items.

How To Create a QR Code for Your Cycle Menu

Creating a QR Code is easy. Simply go to your reliable QR Code generator, paste the URL of your page, do a test scan, and you’re done!

Now you have a QR Code-based cycle menu. That’s all you need to do to create a mobile-optimized menu that changes throughout the day.

Does my QR Cloud subscription come with both QR Pages AND QR Codes?

QR Cloud is a QR Code marketing suite. Your subscription comes with an easy-to-use QR Code generator where you can create fully customizable QR Codes to perfectly fit your brand.