Why Ordering & Paying Via A QR Code Isn’t Always Ideal For Customers
A server approached our table and before we could ask anything she instructed us to point our smartphone cameras at the QR code on the table.
My friends and I had the same “ugg, another waitress-less, contact-less encounter at a bar/restaurant. Myself and a couple of friends had just experienced this twice before the past couple of days and were not fans of the experience.
Then I noticed she also had a notepad ready to take our order.
“Oh, you mean we actually get to order with a person!,” I exclaimed.
“Yes,” she replied, then stated the QR code was just to view the menu. “Or,” she added,” you could just look at it there” as the pointed to a sign on a wall which had the menu.
Just a couple days earlier, we had the fully contactless experience at a brewery. And I immediately noticed the following pros and cons of this system.
• Ease Of Ordering. Once you fill out all the required forms of the contactless system (see below), then placing an order is easy. You simply tap it and hit another button to confirm it. A short time later it’s at your table.
• Swiftness Of Service. Our beers came out within about a minute – fast! Food only took a few more minutes. This is because he order goes straight to the bar or kitchen, bypassing the middle-man, so to speak. All the server has to do is hang out by the bar and deliver the order when it is ready.
• Closing The Tab. With contactless payment, you don’t have to sit around and wait for a server to come and give you a bill and then wait for them to bring it back when you’re paying with a credit card. How many times have you been waiting and waiting to the point you get up and track down your server? Plenty, I would think because it’s happened to me too many times to count.
• Filling Out The App. The first time visiting a place with contactless payment requires patience. It takes at least a couple of minutes to enter all your information into the required fields: name, e-mail, credit card info, your top 10 movies of all time, that kind of thing. Hopefully the system will remember the information on a return visit.
• Lack Of Service. With contactless systems you don’t have any contact with a server. If it’s a place you’ve been to several times and know what you want, that’s fine.
But a new place, I like to consult a server and ask questions like “2hat are you known for,” “what is the difference in this beer/dish and the other one?” This is especially true at breweries and wine places where customers need advice.
Which leads to the next point, which leads to the next point, which is really not so much a con but a dilemma: tipping.
• Tipping. “Why tip,” my friend said, noting the default setting on the app was set to a whopping 22%. “We didn’t talk to a server about any of the beers or food. We didn’t get any recommendations or advice on what to order.” Still, being good folks and realizing bar and restaurant staff have been suffering with shutdowns, re-openings and limited capacity we each left a 15% tip.
While I don’t mind contactless ordering and payments in bars and restaurants, I prefer to have contact with a server. If an establishment could combine the two elements, then it would be a very pleasurable experience.