The pandemic brought dramatic changes to the hospitality industry, and one of those changes involves the increased use of those little, scannable black-and-white patterned squares called “quick response” (QR) codes. QR code downloads soared 750 percent over the past 18 months, and experts believe this trend is here to stay.
QR codes can be printed on any surface or transmitted digitally via options such as in-room TVs, digital signage and elevator screens. They link to a website page or application that can include text, images and/or video. On the front end, your guests enjoy the convenience of being able to instantly access information and services with just a quick scan of their smartphone. And on the back end, hospitality professionals appreciate the cost-effective, eco-friendly and reliable ways QR codes help optimize operations and streamline workflows.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific ways QR codes can benefit your hotel business.
Improve engagement & loyalty
When you link a QR code to your hotel messaging system, you improve engagement by letting your guests chat directly in real time with front desk or concierge staff using their preferred mobile messaging app. The right platform will even auto-translate, letting guests conveniently communicate in their native language. Guests appreciate that their requests are instantly acknowledged and quickly satisfied. Another plus is that you can use QR codes to improve loyalty program participation and convenience. Guests can simply scan a QR code to join, or add and redeem points, reducing a point of friction because they’re no longer forced to keep track of a physical card.
During the pandemic, restaurants replaced physical menus with QR codes. And today, industry pundits believe that this change will become permanent. By scanning a QR code, your guests can view in-house or local restaurant menus – including allergen information – and book reservations at their convenience. They can also order room service without the hassle of making a phone call to the front desk. QR codes for F&B improve back-of-house operations in multiple ways as well. Offering digital menus saves your team time, reduces cost and eliminates waste. It’s also faster and easier to update menus because you simply upload a new PDF or edit the linked website page, while the QR code remains the same.
Showcase Amenities & Activities
You can also use QR codes to replace in-room paperwork such as lists of amenities and services, hotel maps, area directories and local event promotions. Dynamic QR codes can host multiple URLs at once, so after scanning it, your guests can select which service or information they want. Another big benefit of providing information digitally is that it helps drive additional revenue. For instance, instead of using a static, printed spa brochure, your code can link to a short, compelling video of a soothing spa experience, complete with a prompt to book an appointment. According to Inc.com, 85 percent of consumers are more likely to buy something after watching a video about it. You can even get creative by placing QR codes in strategic places. For example, perhaps you serve wines from a local vineyard. A QR code on the bottles can take guests to a webpage where they can book a tasting or tour.
QR codes make it easier to obtain valuable guest feedback. You can place codes that lead to a comment form in locations such as your guest room, spa, gym or restaurant. Your hotel frontline staff can get notified in real time, helping them resolve issues more quickly. Plus, you’re able to address any negative feedback before it turns into a negative online review that could impact your business.
Would you like to implement the power of QR codes at your hotel?
 Lucas, Amelia. “QR Codes Have Replaced Restaurant Menus. Industry Experts Say It Isn't a Fad.” CNBC, 21 Aug. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/21/qr-codes-have-replaced-restaurant-menus-industry-experts-say-it-isnt-a-fad.html.
 Woo, Erin. QR Codes Are Here to Stay. so Is the Tracking They Allow. The New York Times, 26 July 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/26/technology/qr-codes-tracking.html.  Clarke, Patrick. “10 Trends That Will Shape the Hospitality Industry in 2021.” TravelPulse, 24 Jan. 2021, https://www.travelpulse.com/gallery/hotels-and-resorts/10-trends-that-will-shape-the-hospitality-industry-in-2021.html?ubhide=true&utm_source=omeda_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eltr_Daily&oly_enc_id=4991F4375767A6Y.
 Kim, Larry. “16 Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know about Visual Content Marketing.” Inc.com, https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/visual-content-marketing-16-eye-popping-statistics-you-need-to-know.html.