PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you have been to a restaurant lately, then you have probably noticed a small sticker with a barcode at your dinner table.
If you don’t already know what these are, they are called QR codes. Some restaurants say they are instrumental in helping slow the spread of coronavirus while using in-person dining.
Slyfox Tap House on Liberty Avenue has been using QR codes since the start of the pandemic. According to management staff, they have been a successful alternative to paper menus, which helps cut printing costs.
They have also limited personal interaction with staff.
“We wanted everyone to touch everything less. That’s the goal right now, don’t touch things,” said general manager Kyle Macauley.
The codes are simple to use. According to the Better Business Bureau, most smartphones have built-in QR code readers.
All the user has to do is open their camera app and hold the camera over the displayed QR code. A link will appear and if the link is formatted properly, the user should be directed to the desired website to browse and order online.
“If not, you can download the Google Lens app. However, there are many other free, easy to use QR code reader apps available,” said Caitlin Driscoll of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania.
Driscoll told KDKA, for business owners, QR codes have a simple set up and offer much more than menu displays.
“QR codes can even direct your customers to an online shop, an order form, an app where people can make purchases,” said Driscoll.
The BBB does warn against potential scams related to QR codes. According to the BBB, some scammers place fake QR code stickers over the original code.
These fraudulent codes can sometimes misdirect customers to fake or fraudulent websites, where the scammer may ask for personal or payment information.
The BBB urges anyone using a QR code while dining or shopping to make sure the website is legitimate. Also, be vigilant of QR code stickers placed over another.
To learn more about QR codes, click here.