Death to QR Codes! (Restaurants and Menus)

I dont know why anybody would like the QR ordering…its such a shit time wasting way to get things done.

The reason why it is common here is the desperate shortsge of staff. There are hardly any immigrants permitted to work in catering so this is partly the result of it.

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Traditional breakfast shop near me takes about 50 orders a minute in rush hour. Love to see what would happen if they forced people to use some dumb ‘solution looking for a problem’ ordering UI there. (I’m joking by the way, before someone pops up and earnestly explains to me why that is an unfair comparison.)

I recently found out Taiwan is making at least some of the hardware for Toast, a big ordering system in US and Europe. Maybe others? As soon as I saw all that ordering tech at my local cafe, I immediately suspected it was manufactured locally. I think there might be some ‘manufactured demand’ for these systems going on locally. Honeymoon period where they get everyone hooked.


Sure, but there are several caveats.

One. Pretending the restaurant is self-hosting, could we trust the layman to have the acumen to verify that the URL is correct? Apple203 could be Apple2O3 or Apple_203. What is correct? Billions of US dollars are stolen annually in successful phishing attacks.

Two. If the restaurant is self-hosting, do you trust the restaurant did more than the bare minimum of security? Do you think they are paying for the maintenance of that machine, keeping it up to date with security patches to prevent exploits from taking control of the device? Even if the URL is correct, if the machine is compromised, then there’s nothing stopping them from attempting to exploit vulnerabilities on your device. If the restaurant runs their own software that they contracted someone on Fiverr to code, do you think the boss is going to put more than the bare minimum into securing the device? Do you think the employees even know what to do? There are kernel vulnerabilities, open source component vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities in the software itself.

Three. Perhaps it’s third party hosted and run. Well. Now I have no idea if that URL is correct. Maybe iChef hosts it, as an example. Let’s pretend iChef gets into QR Code digital menu services. They’ve said screw it, we don’t need to hand out iPads to restaurants anymore. Would you have guessed it’s Maybe it’s something like or any other number of plausible-looking URLs. Maybe the correct URL is hosted on a completely different domain name. Our own image hosting here is Would anyone here guess that THAT is the domain for our images? Numerous restaurants use iChef for their point of sale technology. On top of that, when you have multiple restaurants running the same software, now the attacks scale because they all have the same vulnerabilities. An attack on one is a payload from all.

This can trip up the best among us. For the layman, it’s a ticking time bomb. All it takes is one nationwide restaurant chain to be compromised in such a way that affects numerous people before the reputation of QR codes is stained permanently.

But I know what I am gonna do, use paper and pencil. Or pencil crayon rather.

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They can solve a lot of those problems just by providing their own devices to customers to put in orders, or have fixed kiosks. No need to use QR codes and possibly exposing users to cyberattacks.

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Based on some responses in this thread, it looks like a stormy honeymoon to me.



And that’s why we avoid QR Code menus.

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I finally get what people have been complaining about now. I hadn’t encountered it very often before, but I just entered a Vietnamese restaurant I’ve been coming to for some time to be told while looking for the order sheets that they were using QR codes now and I had to go scan that instead. :roll:

It didn’t make anything faster or more convenient for either of us because I had to go to the counter anyway to pay and tell the guy I wanted no onions in the pho and one to eat in and one to take away, and they’ve increased their prices for the second time in a year too (presumably the platform takes a cut).

I was quite tempted to walk out (but I wanted pho).


The point is you’re wasting your own time and not the waiter’s time. They have better things to do than stand there and write down everybody’s order one at a time.

But I don’t understand why you think it’s a waste of time. You’re literally doing the same thing as before.

  • Instead of taking time to flip open a menu, you take that same time to scan a code.

  • Instead of reading a book menu, you take the same time to read a digital menu.

  • Instead of pointing at the dish you want on the menu to the waiter, you take the exact same time to point (tap) at that dish on a phone.

If anything you save time, because you don’t need to call your waiter over when you’re ready to order.

No it doesn’t, you have to flick through lots of options and figure out the flow of the ordering for each different menu. Do for each person. Check it over yourself. Then you have to figure out how to pay.
I can tell you don’t order for families often , it’s a pain.

AI will make it easier eventually.


The payment process is where it invariably turns to ratshit. I hate typing in credit-card numbers and whatnot, and half the time it crashes or declines.

Errr, why would you need to do this? Are you not using the wallet app on your phone?

Same with traditional book menus, especially the places that have different books for different categories like drinks, desserts, and lunch specials.

Don’t you usually just take your check to the counter at the end of the meal? That’s unrelated to ordering.

What if your phone isn’t working? Or what if it has no internet and the restaurant isn’t providing wifi?

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What if you’re blind? A book menu would be useless too.

I’m sure the restaurant can accommodate phone-less customers the same way they accommodate blind customers.

Some of them won’t.
QR codes are an answer to a problem we the customer didn’t have.
As I said I expect generative AI to make it much easier as it remembers what you like and prepares your potential orders as you walk in the door. :open_mouth:


What problem does qr codes solve? It seems to create a bunch of new problems, not to mention security and phishing concerns.

It isn’t necessary.


Offering it as an option to people who want to use it, but still having a traditional menu on a tablet for the people who don’t want to use their own device would be better.

I feel paper menus are on the way out for mid range places, one of the companies I work with, started switching to digital screens to display the menus about 5 years ago. At that time they had 24 outlets with 3 large printed menus in each, now they are down to 11 outlets that are still printed and they are being updated around every to months due to price increases.

I didn’t say digital menus are a problem though, I said QR codes for menus are a bitch on your phone
Tablets with some decent photos are pretty useful and of course paper menus will eventually go extinct.

I agree, i would choose walk than use a QR menu, as I say I don’t mind them using it as an option for people who want it, but it should be just that, an option.

The thing I dislike here is that they act like its all or nothing, like the boss got a new system so we have to use it. Either that or they are collecting information from behind the interface that couldn’t be collected from a regular POS system.


Capex is much higher, but opex should be lower with reduced staffing. I could see where the math could work quite well, depending on all the various other factors. :thinking: