September 08, 2021
By Juliana Hahn

You’ve seen them around at hotels and restaurants: Little scannable black and white-patterned squares. QR codes began popping up everywhere in the hospitality industry during the COVID-19 crisis, and experts suggest it's a trend that's here to stay

Along with the uptick in technology in hotels, hospitality professionals quickly identified QR codes as a cost-effective and reliable way to offer contact-free services and streamline workflows. But the opportunities QR codes offer your hotel go way beyond simply optimising your operations. If you’re new to the topic of QR codes for hotels or want some inspiration on how to make the most of them, keep reading.

What are QR codes and how can hotels benefit from them?

QR or “quick response” codes are two-dimensional bar codes that can be printed on any surface. They link to a website or application of your choice. Since they’re readable by most cameras, everyone who has a smartphone can use them to access information.

QR codes for hotels follow the same concept, and there are seemingly endless ways to take advantage of them. You can use them to promote offers, share information about the property, generate reviews, or provide contact-free services. The latter is important, especially with COVID-19 still present in everyone’s mind. But more on that in a moment.

Apart from their versatility, QR codes have another big advantage: They’re very cost-effective. Many QR code generators allow you to create simple linking codes for free. But even branded codes or ones that come with advanced options likely won’t break the bank.

Discover 6 ways QR codes for hotels can boost business and the guest experience

1. Digitalise menus

Disinfecting or discarding menus after every guest has become a must due to COVID-19. Offer your menus in a digital format to save time, cost, and reduce waste. It’s also a safe and convenient alternative for your guests since they can access your menu on their device. All you need for this is a scannable QR code that links to your restaurant, bar, room service, or spa menu.

This makes menu updates easier, too. Simply upload a new PDF or edit the linked webpage; the QR code stays the same. Take things a step further by enabling guests to order directly via your digital menu. It saves your team extra time and further reduces interactions.

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2. Implement contact-free check-in

The increased demand for contact-free check-in is another result of hygiene measures applied due to COVID-19. And this trend is likely here to stay.

QR codes can help you implement this service at your hotel. Simply include a code which links to the online check-in page in the reservation confirmation. Alternatively, you can link to a download page for your hotel app which travellers can use to check in. You could even display the code in your lobby for those who spontaneously decide to register online.

For a complete online check-in experience, send guests a digital key once they complete the formalities. That improves their experience by eliminating waiting time at reception. It also allows them to keep their distance from staff and other guests.

3. Promote events, activities, and services

Add a QR code to brochures and posters next time you promote an event, activity or, service. A quick scan with their device will give people immediate access to a landing page or digital flyer with all details.

This should include relevant information like:

  • Event, activity, or service description
  • Date and time
  • Location
  • Cost/admission fee
  • Contact details for enquiries

Increase your conversions by enabling bookings (and payments) directly via your landing page. As a bonus, let guests add the event to their calendar and create a reminder.

4. Encourage guests to share feedback

Guest feedback is valuable in many ways, including the fact that it shows where to improve your service and can help market your property automatically. QR codes can make it a little easier to get more valuable feedback and reviews.

Leave codes that lead to a comment form or review page (e.g. TripAdvisor) in your restaurants, spa, and guest rooms. This allows guests to submit feedback in their own time, making the whole process easier for them. It’s straightforward for you, too. Just print and distribute the QR code once. It can stay the same even if you change your review form later.

5. Make it easy for guests to stay in touch and access hotel information

Sometimes guests need to quickly check your hotel’s phone number, address, or venue timings. Having to do a web search for this every time can be frustrating. But, there’s a simple solution.

Add a QR code to key cards, the key card holder, or your business card. It can give easy access to your website, property details, and contact information without a search. For extra quick access, link to a hotel fact sheet full of key details instead of the full website. Finally, include a direct call, messaging, and directions option that lets users take action in a single click.

6. Promote your property

Posters and print ads are still a valid way to promote your hotel, even during the era of digital transformation. However, people who like your ads could forget them by the time they get a chance to research your hotel. That doesn’t need to happen!

Add a scannable QR code to your offline promotional materials to give immediate access to your website or landing page. This saves people the trouble of having to type a query into their phone and allows them to save your tab for later. Of course, it’s not guaranteed they’ll book, but you can use this strategy to increase the chances.

While print ads may seem low-tech, they offer the opportunity of targeted promotions when paired with QR codes. For example, you could offer a special deal via a QR code printed only on flyers you hand out at a specific fair. This lets you track, measure, and compare conversions, so you know where you get the most ROI for your marketing spend in the future.

QR codes for hotels made simple!

Now that you know of some more creative ways to use QR codes at your hotel, it’s time to implement them. Which approach will you test first?

Up next, take your safety efforts a step further with these 21 touchless hotel ideas from across the industry.

CTA for 2021 Digital Marketing Guide for Hotels Ebook


Headshot of Juliana Hahn

Juliana Hahn

Juliana Hahn is a content creator and copywriter specialised in the hospitality and tourism industry. Before diving into the world of copywriting, she studied hotel management and worked in hotels around the globe. Today she leverages her industry experience to craft engaging content for hospitality tech companies, hotels and online publications. She also offers tutorials and resources on copywriting to help hotels boost direct bookings.

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