E-commerce, storytelling and traceability: these are some areas of application of the QR Code in the Horeca and agri-food production and sales sectors.
After last month’s article , in which we looked at various “generic” ways of using the QR Code in the agri-food sector, let us now look together at specific areas of application for the restaurant and manufacturing sector.
Let’s start with some case studies in the area of production and sale, mainly retail but also wholesale, of branded agri-food products.
Your product is your ambassador in the customer’s home: it allows you to talk to him even after the purchase, and perhaps prompt him to visit your online shop. A QR code that leads back to your e-commerce can increase the likelihood that consumers will buy your product again. Did the customer try your bottle of wine in the restaurant? One scan can easily turn into the online purchase of an entire case! QR code allows you to leverage your packaging and maximize its yield from the beginning to the end of the shopping experience.
Recipes and instructions
You know those recipes written in microscopic letters on pasta packages? A QR code can be used to share well-read recipes filled with images, explanatory videos and even comments from other users. And this is true for any agri-food product, from pasta to liquor: you would be surprised at the number of people who daily google the recipe for spritz!
A product is much more than a label. Behind each package is a world of people, history, traditions and production methods that are not told to the consumer, and that today thanks to QR codes can instead be shared and fully appreciated.
How to do it? The most direct method is to find a graphic designer, a developer and create an ad hoc web page on your site. You fill it with whatever you can think of, connect it to the QR, and you’re done.
Don’t you have a developer and a graphic designer? Maybe you can get away with this: create a pdf with the same information, ask your webmaster to upload it to your site and link it to your QR code, an inelegant but totally functional solution.
You don’t even have a webmaster, or don’t want to settle for a rough solution? Here you will have to forgive me a bit of self-publicity as QualityChain, the company I co-founded, deals with this very issue.
QualityChain is a tool that allows manufacturers to easily and inexpensively create a fantastic product page linked to a QR, paying only a small subscription within the reach of any company, even the smallest.
The whole experience is designed to be as simple as possible for the producer, requiring only a few minutes and a lot of love for their product. We are currently offering a one-month free trial, so if you are interested please contact us as soon as possible on our website or on our social media and we will help you figure out if QualityChain is right for you.
That said, no matter which route you decide to take to tell people about your product, the important thing is to do so, informing the consumer about what makes it special and empowering them to make an informed choice in their next purchase.
The next topic we address is traceability, as QR code turns out to be a key technology in the Sharing information about the supply chain with the consumer. Using a QR code from the beginning to the end of the production process, it is in fact possible to record the entire history of the individual production batch (or even the individual product). In fact, recall that QRs originated to track parts of Toyota automobiles, so they are naturally perfect for this type of application.
In terms of industry standards, it is good to know that GS1, the non-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of standards worldwide, has developed a standard for the use of the QR code. Due to the technical nature of the standard I will not go into too much detail on this, and for those interested I will just offer some useful resources: at this link you will find a technical presentation of the standard, while here you can find a complete list of GS1 identifiers.
At this point it is worth mentioning blockchain technology, which is increasingly being used to make indelible the information recorded by producers, in effect holding them accountable to their consumers. Unlike a regular website that can change overnight, a blockchain record is “carved in stone,” any change leaves a trace, and this doubles the producer’s focus on what it says about its product.
This feature naturally makes it perfect for recording traceability data, which is why many software programs (including QualityChain) have sprung up. Who do just that. If you want to know more about blockchain traceability, I refer you to this blog post, which explains in more detail the various types of services available in this area.
Let’s now turn to the world of catering and Horeca more generally, and see some solutions that can help you make your customers’ experience better through the use of QR codes.
No doubt you have already had experience with this QR code application: because of the pandemic, many restaurateurs have replaced physical menus with digital menus, which can be accessed from tables via specially designed QR codes. This solution, despite lacking the appeal of the previous one, has proven to be very useful in preventing the spread of the virus, and is now a very common choice in the industry.
But we must be optimistic, and look forward to a tomorrow when our elaborate paper menus can return to restaurant tables. In that case, what can be done with QR codes? One idea might be to include a QR code for each dish, linking it to a page that describes its characteristics in depth, with professional photographs that will make your customer’s mouth water.
Sick of customers asking for the WiFi password every five minutes? You know when they say, “I typed it right but it doesn’t work,” and they didn’t actually get a letter right? A QR code can save your network login credentials-put one in each table and you’re done.
You can use a QR code to prompt your customers to give you a rating on a rating site, such as TripAdvisor or Google Business. A link to your page will significantly increase the chance of a review, and consequently your online visibility.
Your venue is famous for live music, but do your customers also like to order in? You could record an empty venue band concert, upload it to YouTube and link it to a QR code in your delivery packaging. This way your most loyal customers can enjoy some of your classic atmosphere right on their couch.
Information when the activity is closed
You could place a QR code on your storefront or shutter so that when the business is closed, passersby can find out information about hours, reopening dates, and how to contact you while your business is closed.
You will have realized that there is no shortage of ways to use this technology-it is now up to you to find the most original and effective idea to improve your company’s communication.
If this topic interests you and you want to learn more, follow QualityChain on our social channels.
See you anon!
QualityChain helps Italian agribusiness SMEs transform their products from simple exhibits to true digital experiences capable of enhancing their uniqueness. QualityChain is a transparent, smartphone-friendly space in which to share with consumers the history and values of small Italian producers, a showcase from which to observe the skilled hands that work the land, the wine, the bread, and everything good that our companies produce.
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