The vast majority of customers visiting hospitality and retail businesses have smartphones. Check out the smartphone and QR code statistics.
At this point, any consideration of marketing strategies necessarily requires considering the mobile experience. And there is literally nothing more optimized for mobile than the QR code. They’re accessible everywhere, visually unassuming, have the capacity to hold lots of data, and are durable—up to 30% (depending on QR code error correction level) of the QR code can be damaged without affecting readability.
One of the best ways to put these little miracles in front of people without being overly salesly or pestering them is table tents and tabletop displayettes.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is a Table Tent?
- Table Tent and Displayette Examples
- Benefits of QR Codes on Table Tents
- Free QR Code Table Tent Templates
- How to Use QR Codes on Tables
- QR Code on Table Tents Best Practices
Let’s get to it.
What Is a Table Tent?
A table tent is a self-standing promotional or marketing asset created from thick paper stock that’s been printed and folded. They’re designed to stand up on any flat surface and engage nearby customers. At a restaurant, that usually means promoting special items, menus, and deals. Near a cash register at a retail establishment, they may promote a rewards program or special event. Regardless, they’re convenient, cost-effective, and unobtrusive ways to cross-sell, upsell, and generally increase visibility of the things you want seen.
Examples of QR Codes on Tables
While this article is primarily about QR codes on table tents, many of the benefits and best practices apply to tabletop displayettes, too. Alternatively, some bars and restaurants put QR codes on tables. Here’s some examples to make sure we’re all on the same page.
QR Code on Table Tent
QR Code in Tabletop Displayette
QR Code on Table Directly
Benefits of Using QR Codes on Table Tents
If you pull off a QR code on table tents successfully, a bunch of benefits come your way. And we’ll be honest, it’s easy to pull off. The beauty of table tents is that they’re unobtrusive. Here’s what a QR code on table tents do for you.
With a QR code peacefully staring your guests in the face from across the table, they’ll be curious. What sort of treasure does it hold, they’ll wonder. We’re naturally curious. QR codes tend to create enough interest that, when people are near them for any sustained period of time, they scan them. It’s an effective way of getting the products and promotions you want seen out in front of people. Without all the stumbling and bumbling of a direct sales pitch.
This relatively captive audience also gives your business a chance to drive conversation around what your guests value. Often that’s sustainability, social responsibility, and nutrition. Anything your brand can do to engage with guests on these topics—ideally, singing your own praises as regards them—is a win. In practice, this could be QR code food information. A seafood restaurant, for example, that provides details about the fisheries, fleets, and techniques used to catch their dinner.
Your business likely has numerous customer touchpoints. Menus, rewards programs, promotions, brand storytelling, sourcing and provenance information, nutrition and ingredients, the list goes on. There are a lot of things you want customers to know about. And a QR code on a table tent is a great way to consolidate all of those into one central place. Again, unobtrusively.
This isn’t just a clean, easy way to consolidate all your customer-facing marketing materials. It also allows you much more freedom and flexibility in terms of the information you present. Unlimited freedom and flexibility, really. Physical documents have limited real estate. Digital documents don’t. What appears in the real world as a small black-and-white square appears in the digital world as robust, engaging content. Of any length and size you want. A sentence or two about your company’s mission on the back of a menu can become a far more detailed and humanized story through the length and format a QR code provides.
This is of a kind with boosting the visibility of special offers. But in this case we’re not talking about individual menu items or products. We’re talking about other aspects of your business, other marketing channels, or other initiatives entirely. By learning how to make a QR code for a website, you can direct folks anywhere.
One of the QR codes on your table tent can bring guests to your social media channel. This is an especially effective use of high-quality photographs of whatever you sell. If it’s food, good for you, because people are obsessed with pictures of food. And you’ll be able to use cross promotion to your social channels to great effect.
Another QR code on your table tent can promote a cause you’re passionate about. Or a private event at your business guests can sign up for. Or a rewards program. You can use the central marketing hub that your table tent becomes to cross promote literally anything you want.
By using dynamic QR codes, you can track the scan metrics for all your QR codes. You may have multiple QR codes at your table tent or tabletop displayette. And you may have your tents and displayettes at numerous locations across your business. Depending on the location, some QR codes may get more scans than others. Depending on where the QR codes are placed on the table tent itself, some may get more scans than others. There’s certainly an element of menu engineering to optimizing engagement of QR codes on table tents.
With QR code tracking, scan numbers roll in and you’ll be able to react to, tweak, and refine your QR code strategy.
Free QR Code Table Tent Template
Here’s a free, downloadable QR code table tent template. All you need to do is add your QR code to it. You can do this in most PDF viewers by navigating to Edit >> Add Image. You'll add your QR code image then drag it to "place QR code here" in the template. Then save, print, fold, and place.
How to Use QR Codes on Tables
To further drive home the potential of QR code table tents, let’s take a look at their common uses.
Imagine a business conference. In the event space, QR code table tents are strategically placed. Conference goers scan, see the conference activities, speakers, and other pertinent information.
Now imagine a wedding. Upon checking into your hotel, a QR code table tent informs you of the schedule and menu.
Now a trade show. Next to your precious wares is a QR code table tent, providing passersby with all the relevant information that makes your product(s) special.
Like many of us, table tents and displayettes got their start in hospitality. It’s there, in dining rooms and bars across the nation, that most encounter QR codes on table tents. That’s because the dining experience is perfectly suited to the use of QR codes—not just for convenience’s sake, but for safety’s as well.
Most restaurant and bar experiences require three interactions: viewing the menu, ordering, and paying. A QR code can do all of those, but a QR code on the table helps mostly with viewing the menu and ordering. By putting a QR code menu on the table, guests can immediately view their options. And by giving them access to a QR code to order, they can seamlessly move from menu viewing to item choosing.
This is an extra special big deal because of COVID-19. QR code table tents enhance the hygiene of an environment by introducing touchless solutions to (typically not-the-most hygienic) restaurant experiences. Using physical single use menus, for example. Simply by having a table tent with QR codes on it, you’re signaling to your guests that you take their safety seriously.
QR code table tents in retail are usually placed on product displays and at or near checkout areas. They often include information about sales, special offers, and rewards programs.
But the best ones also talk up their company’s mission and values—if that mission and those values will resonate with modern consumers. Remember that QR codes give you a chance to tell your brand’s story with little to no space or word count limitations. Take full advantage of that.
QR Code on Table: Best Practices
Getting a QR code on a table tent isn’t hard, as we went over. You click and drag your QR code onto the template file, print, and fold. But there are some best practices that will optimize the engagement with your table tent and it’s precious QR codes.
- Create a custom QR code with a logo in the middle. Many QR code generators have options to totally change the color and contrast of your QR code, but we don’t advise that. It can lead to QR code scanning problems. Not only do people expect QR codes to be black-and-white, but black and white are the optimal colors for QR code readability. A central image or logo, however, doesn’t affect that.
- Avoid free online QR code generators. They come with a lot of QR code security issues. Are you serious about using QR codes to reliably drive revenue and engagement? Then partner with a technology company that is contractually obligated to serve you. Here’s more on how to pick the best QR code generator.
- Make sure there are scanning instructions around your QR code. Instructions like “scan me,” or “scan here.” Whatever way you want to communicate that there is a thing to be scanned with a phone, do it. Often this type of text is on QR code templates. While people are familiar with QR codes and how to scan QR codes, some may not be. Accommodate them, re-emphasize the process to everyone else, and no one will have a technical issue scanning your QR codes.
- Observe QR code minimum size standards. The size of the QR codes on table tents is ultimately determined by how far guests will be sitting from them. But there is a minimum size to adhere to.
- Test every QR code on your table tent before printing en masse. If your QR code is the right size, has the right contrast, and is generally as readable as possible, there shouldn’t be any QR code scanning problems. A QR code test will verify that. But don’t get caught printing 50 copies on high-quality card stock and realizing your codes don’t scan optimally. Test your codes, print one copy, test that copy, then print ‘em all.
QR Codes on Tables Help People
Whenever a customer has a great experience it ripples throughout their entire social network. That means brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing.
When you place QR codes that drive convenience, brand loyalty, and hygiene on tables, in table tents, you create great experiences.
If you’re still on the fence about QR codes for your business, give us a call. We’ll walk you through what it takes to create, distribute, and maintain a reliable, engaging QR code.