Square launches QR codes that let you order from your table at a restaurant

Square is giving restaurants another way to operate through the pandemic: QR codes that customers can scan to pull up a menu, order, and pay. It’s not a unique feature by any means — other restaurant point-of-sale systems already offer this feature, and a lot of restaurants have been offering makeshift versions of this for months. However, it’s still a notable addition from one of the most popular and accessible checkout providers.

When using the feature, a restaurant can print a QR code out and leave it on a table. A customer would then scan the QR code, browse a menu, place their order, and pay from their phone. The restaurant would know what table placed the order, and then bring their food out when it’s ready. Square says the system is flexible, so a coffee shop, for example, could have a single QR code in its window that people would scan and then wait for their drink.

QR codes have become one of the more popular options for restaurants to limit physical contact during the pandemic. (A July headline from Restaurant Business read: “All of a sudden, QR codes are everywhere.”) The downside is that they can be complicated to use and set up. Square’s system allows any shop with a Square point-of-sale system, or the more advanced Square Restaurant service, to use the QR code feature. They’ll need to set up an online ordering workflow for customers to see, but the feature is available on Square’s free plans.