How to Scan a Restaurant Business QR Code Using a Barcode App

Lauren Christiansen11/1/2021

What is a Barcode App?

A barcode app is a mobile app that you can use to scan barcodes and save products to your favorite shopping list. Barcode apps can be used for multiple purposes. This includes tracking inventory, saving prices to a centralized database, locating the best deals, tracking restaurant expenses, and scanning items to a wish list.

What is a Barcode Scanner App?

A barcode scanner app is an application that's designed to scan barcodes. It's also referred to as a QR code scanner or barcode reader. Barcode scanners are most often found on the app stores of iPhones and Android devices. There are also some third-party barcode scanners for those who utilize other types of smartphones. Even though barcode app usage has declined over the past few years, it is still a common way for restaurants to track inventory, showcase menus, and promote special offers.

Barcode scanner apps read a striped code that is typically found on the back of an item. The scanner then pulls data from that product so customers can find out more information about it. Barcode scanner apps may also be used for inventory management purposes. Owners can use the scanner to find the quantity of a product, note its expiration date, and see when the next shipment is due to arrive.

Most importantly, many in the restaurant industry are now utilizing QR codes for menus. This allows restaurants to convert their entire menu into a simple QR code so they don't have to offer print menus. The barcode is typically found on the edge of a table, or it may be in the front window of the restaurant.

Customers open up the camera or a scanner app on their mobile devices, place it over the QR code, and a link opens to the entire restaurant menu. QR codes for menus are popular due to an increased demand for contactless menus and a growing number of people who use smartphones. Restaurants like QR codes for menus because they can save money on printing expenses and it eliminates the need to sanitize physical menus.

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Why is a Barcode Scanner App Important?

Nowadays, we can find barcodes on everything from food to clothing to electronics. Some barcodes are just there for identification purposes, but some barcodes allow you to buy items quickly and cheaply. A barcode scanner app allows you to scan these barcodes and purchase items.

On the business end of the spectrum, barcode scanner apps are great for tracking inventory and asset management. The great thing about barcode scanner apps is their versatility. Restaurants now engage customers to use them so they can scan QR code apps for menus. All customers have to do is download one of many scanner apps on their phones and hover them over the QR code. This allows restaurants to save a lot of money in a time where profit margins are thin and the industry is highly saturated.

Customers also enjoy how safe and easy it is to see the menu. They don't even have to sit down at a table to do so! Restaurants can place the QR code on the window and customers can scan it, and then decide if the food interests them. Or, restaurants can use QR codes to display information, like social media profiles, brand stories, or customer surveys. There are so many unique ways to incorporate barcode scanner apps in the restaurant industry.

How to Scan QR Codes With Barcode Scanner App

Now that you know how great barcode scanner apps can be for business, you may wonder how they work. Barcode scanners are optical, which means they can read a printed bar of code. They then transfer that information to the customer's mobile or handheld device. The data can connect to a Pos System or Pos Solution so you can drill down into data and use it for reporting. There are many different scanners and apps to choose from, depending on the type of device a customer has. Here are how customers can use various devices to scan QR codes to learn about your brand.

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1. iPhone

The cool part about scanning a QR code with an iPhone is that you don't even need to download a new app. You already have it and use it most days to post on social media. Simply open the Camera app, which has been on your phone since you bought it in the store. If you are new to smartphone culture, the Camera app is found on the Home Screen, Control Screen, or Lock Screen.

After opening the Camera app, hover your phone over the QR code. It should appear in the viewfinder of the application, like when you are about to take a picture. A link with a message will appear at the top of your screen. Click on that link to open the content that aligns with that QR code. As iPhones are so common, most people have used this method at one time or another.

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2. Android

Not an iPhone user? No problem. You can still easily scan a QR code with an Android device. Android is a little bit different than iPhone, as some of the older models don't allow you to scan QR codes with the Camera app. If you aren't sure, simply open your camera app and try to scan the QR code to see if it works. If nothing happens, go to your settings and make sure it is set up to scan QR codes. If this option doesn't exist, then you will have to download a third-party app.

Don't worry; this isn't that big of a deal. You simply need to go to the App Store and find a scanner app that works on your particular device. Android 6 works well with Now on Tap. Android 8, 8, and 10 work well with Google Screen Search, Google Lens in the Assist, and the Google Lens App.

The instructions on each of these apps are very simple and will prompt you on what to do. For example, Google Screen Search tells you to point the camera at the Qr code, hold the Home button and view the options towards the bottom. Then you'll select What's on my Screen and be connected to the URL attached to the QR code.

With each scanner app, you eventually incorporate the camera app in the process. It's a great way to completely digitize your dining experience, considering Mobile Payments and online ordering. There are just more steps to take to arrive at that point.

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3. Google Chrome

First, you need to make sure the latest version of Chrome is on your mobile device. After doing so, you'll have two options to access the scanner. You can either use 3D Touch on the Chrome application's icon and choose to scan a QR code. Or, you can pull down on the Chrome app to find the Spotlight search box. You then search for the term QR and select Scan QR Code from the drop-down menu.

Very few individuals use this option to scan QR codes, but it is still good to know about it. You can also add a QR code generator extension for Chrome if need be. Simply open up the Chrome web browser, go to the Chrome store, search for Easy QR Code extension, and select Beaconstac's Easy QR code extension. Add this feature to Chrome and then click Add extension. You can then locate this at any time on the toolbar.

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Trending in the Right Direction- The Future of Barcode Scanner Apps

Some claimed barcode scanner apps were on the decline, but the restaurant industry appeared to have resurrected them. After COVID-19, a lot of restaurants needed to save money and facilitate a safe dining experience. QR codes for menus were a great solution. But what's in store for barcode apps in the future?

  • Image Recognition Technology- While still in development, image recognition technology is truly a fascinating concept. Imagine there's a Coke can and a scanner app can simply identify it without a code. It knows what Coke can look like and uses historical photos of Coke cans to identify the object. Restaurants may use this technology in the future to optimize Inventory Management. It will help save a lot of time, money, and resources.
  • 2D Barcodes- 2D barcodes save up to 7,000 characters, whereas current 1D barcodes only store up to 85 characters. A lot of restaurants already use 2D barcodes for this reason. It allows them to showcase information and menu data without worrying about having too much content.
  • Self-Scanning Tunnels- A lot of technologies will be utilized with self-scanning devices that can scan a barcode regardless of where it is. This will save a lot of time at the grocery store, where employees now have to place the barcode under the scanner to process it. In the restaurant industry, owners can use self-scanning tunnels in conjunction with QR codes so customers can read the menu from any location. Imagine you walking in, taking your phone out, and getting a link to the QR code without ever seeing the QR code. The scanner app simply finds the closest QR code and reads it, even if you don't know where it is.

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