Payments company Square today launched a new feature for Square Online customers that will enable self-service ordering and payments features for guests inside the dining room.
Square’s feature is QR-based, meaning customers simply scan a QR code (usually on the tabletop or restaurant signage) with their own mobile phone to access a restaurant’s menu. Doing so takes them to the restaurant’s online order page where they can browse the menu and pay for their meal. The order goes directly to the kitchen.
In today’s press release, the company said the new feature will also allow restaurants to collect more sales data and in doing so own more of the customer relationship — a must in this age of the digital restaurant experience.
Square’s new feature is just the latest in a long line of “contactless” products that have emerged since dining rooms slowly started to reopen. It joins similar offerings from the likes of restaurant tech companies Presto, Bbot, Paytronix, and others. And at this point, even third-party delivery aggregators are trying to grab a piece of this very competitive space. Uber Eats recently unveiled its own contactless order and pay features for take-out and dine-in orders.
The promise of all these systems is that they minimize human-to-human contact in the restaurant dining room, so that the only real interfacing between customer and staff is when someone runs the food to the table, refills a drink, or addresses a problem. Those interactions, of course, mean the restaurant experience is not truly “contactless,” and Square’s been wise to brand its new feature “self-serve ordering” instead. The company says the feature can also improve order accuracy and speed up the entire customer meal journey inside the dining room. The latter is a definite plus, given recent CDC findings that those who eat inside restaurants may be at greater risk of catching COVID-19.
At the moment, Square’s new feature is available at no extra cost to Square Online merchants in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia.