QR code order & pay: UK guests have their say

April 8, 2024
min read

Working in hospitality means appreciating that change is a constant.

The demand for innovative solutions (technology or otherwise) that enhance guest experiences and streamline operations has never been more pressing. 

To gain deeper insights into consumer preferences in the post-COVID era, we partnered with KAM for a comprehensive study focusing on the usage of QR code order & pay technology across three key sectors: food halls, competitive socialising venues, and large pubs and bars.

KAM is a research agency and a supportive voice of UK hospitality, providing the industry with valuable and actionable insight that drive purposeful change.

The study, encompassing feedback from 250 respondents who frequent these venues at least once a month, has unearthed pivotal findings that underscore the shifting dynamics of consumer expectations and behaviours towards dining out. 

Insight #1: A growing appetite for QR code technology

One of the standout revelations from the study is the substantial increase in consumers' willingness to use QR order and pay technology. 

With a net increase across all age groups, the enthusiasm is particularly pronounced among individuals aged 18 to 44 and those who dine out twice or more a week. Remarkably, 70% of participants expressed positive sentiment towards using this tech, highlighting its potential to revolutionise how customers interact with venues. 

Specifically, competitive socialising venues, food halls, and large pubs or bars have seen an overwhelming desire for the adoption of QR code tech, with 88%, 91%, and 83% of guests respectively favouring its use.

Insight #2: Frustration with traditional service models

The study also sheds light on guests' frustrations with traditional service models. 

Waiting times, whether for a server to take an order (50%) or to make a payment (42%), along with queuing at the bar (51%), were identified as significant pain points. This dissatisfaction underscores the need for more efficient and customer-friendly service options, which QR code technology is well-positioned to address.

Insight #3: Enhancing experiences through technology

The data further indicates that when implemented effectively, technology resolves service issues and significantly enriches the guest experience. Many respondents, especially those aged 18-44, believe that order and pay tech allows for quicker ordering (66%) and enhances their overall experience (62%). 

Moreover, a seamless QR order and pay experience is a compelling factor for repeat visits, with 78% of participants affirming its influence on their decision to revisit a venue. Additionally, 44% of guests see loyalty and discounts facilitated through this technology as a notable benefit, hinting at the multifaceted advantages of integrating tech solutions into the dining experience.

This study, conducted in October 2023, paints a clear picture of the future direction for the hospitality industry. The findings underscore a critical transition towards digital solutions that cater to the modern consumer's expectations for convenience, speed, and personalised experiences. 

For restaurants and bars, embracing technologies like QR code order and pay systems is not just about keeping pace with industry trends; it's about seizing the opportunity to redefine service excellence, enhance operational efficiency, and build deeper connections with customers.

Download the report here (no forms to fill out!).

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