Is this something all HORTers can agree on?

A-freaking-men:


The QR-code menu—which you access by scanning a black-and-white square with your smartphone—has taken off ever since. It may dominate going forward. But I hope not, because I detest those digital menus. Never mind dying peacefully in my sleep; I want to go out while sitting in a restaurant on my 100th birthday, an aperitif in my left hand and a paper menu in my right. And as eager as I’ll be for heaven if I’m lucky enough to stand on its threshold, I want one last downward glance at a paramedic prying the menu from my fist. In that better future, where old-school menus endure, I’ll go to my urn happy that coming generations will still begin meals meeting one another’s eyes across a table instead of staring at a screen.

QR-code menus are not really an advance. Even when everything goes just right––when everyone’s phone battery is charged, when the Wi-Fi is strong enough to connect, when the link works––they force a distraction that lingers through dessert and digestifs. “You may just be checking to see what you want your next drink to be,” Jaya Saxena observed in Eater late last year, “but from there it’s easy to start checking texts and emails.” And wasn’t it already too easy?
 
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Feb 9, 2013
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No, but maybe we can agree on this?


hot-sexy.gif
 
Feb 9, 2013
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To your point, Torbee…nice one-time use paper menus are one thing. Being handed a sticky, crud-covered plastic abomination that maybe got a cursory wipe with a dirty rag is unappetizing as hell. Give me the digital/QR menu anytime.
 

ThorneStockton

HR Legend
Oct 2, 2009
25,155
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I went to a restaurant the other day that took the digital menu a bit further to include ordering. Drinks? Just put an order through your phone on their web portal. Apps? Same thing. Once you're ready for entrees, send 'em through.

The table service was basically just food and drink runners. It was ok, some obvious plusses and minuses.

What seemed odd was that there was a mandatory 20% service fee, and then another default 20% tip that could be adjusted (or removed entirely).

I feel like if you're going to have the customer doing the ordering without the waitstaff interaction, a 20% mandatory service fee and default 40% is questionable.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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I went to a restaurant the other day that took the digital menu a bit further to include ordering. Drinks? Just put an order through your phone on their web portal. Apps? Same thing. Once you're ready for entrees, send 'em through.

The table service was basically just food and drink runners. It was ok, some obvious plusses and minuses.

What seemed odd was that there was a mandatory 20% service fee, and then another default 20% tip that could be adjusted (or removed entirely).

I feel like if you're going to have the customer doing the ordering without the waitstaff interaction, a 20% mandatory service fee and default 40% is questionable.
What the hell is the 20% service fee for?
 
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ThorneStockton

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What the hell is the 20% service fee for?

I went back to review the digital receipt. The mandatory 20% is labeled "Gratuity", there is another opportunity to add an additional "Tip" which was defaulted to an additional 20%, which I changed to 0%.

This mandatory "Gratuity" seems to be more common and comes with some explanation about charging this in order to be able to cover staff benefits like health insurance. Of course, on one hand it would be nice if they just priced that into the menu, on the other hand the menu would then appear more expensive versus restaurants where you are expected to tip.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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I went back to review the digital receipt. The mandatory 20% is labeled "Gratuity", there is another opportunity to add an additional "Tip" which was defaulted to an additional 20%, which I changed to 0%.

This mandatory "Gratuity" seems to be more common and comes with some explanation about charging this in order to be able to cover staff benefits like health insurance. Of course, on one hand it would be nice if they just priced that into the menu, on the other hand the menu would then appear more expensive versus restaurants where you are expected to tip.
Gotcha.
I would change to the additional to 0% as well. And probably never return to that restaurant.
 

TJ8869

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Dec 7, 2006
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The problem with printed menus is that restaurants are increasing prices so frequently that they would be almost constantly replacing their menus.
 

hawkeyez

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Oct 21, 2002
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To your point, Torbee…nice one-time use paper menus are one thing. Being handed a sticky, crud-covered plastic abomination that maybe got a cursory wipe with a dirty rag is unappetizing as hell. Give me the digital/QR menu anytime.

Do you think your phone is much cleaner than those menus?
 
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Hendy hawk

HR All-American
Aug 21, 2002
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The problem with printed menus is that restaurants are increasing prices so frequently that they would be almost constantly replacing their menus.
Most places I have went recently that are higher end don't have prices on the higher end food such as Crab legs and steaks
 

flyfishstout_CO

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Aug 28, 2018
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A-freaking-men:



The QR-code menu—which you access by scanning a black-and-white square with your smartphone—has taken off ever since. It may dominate going forward. But I hope not, because I detest those digital menus. Never mind dying peacefully in my sleep; I want to go out while sitting in a restaurant on my 100th birthday, an aperitif in my left hand and a paper menu in my right. And as eager as I’ll be for heaven if I’m lucky enough to stand on its threshold, I want one last downward glance at a paramedic prying the menu from my fist. In that better future, where old-school menus endure, I’ll go to my urn happy that coming generations will still begin meals meeting one another’s eyes across a table instead of staring at a screen.

QR-code menus are not really an advance. Even when everything goes just right––when everyone’s phone battery is charged, when the Wi-Fi is strong enough to connect, when the link works––they force a distraction that lingers through dessert and digestifs. “You may just be checking to see what you want your next drink to be,” Jaya Saxena observed in Eater late last year, “but from there it’s easy to start checking texts and emails.” And wasn’t it already too easy?
I tend to agree. I like QR codes at breweries and the idea that it's one less thing I have to touch but paper is much easier to process for me. Quick CSB time...

I was in the Savannah airport recently and went to the PGA restaurant to drink as many beers as I could have a beer. It was mid-afternoon and they were moderately busy. I waited 5 min to get a table before one of the servers finally said grab any open table. Sit down, the table has the QR code to pull up the menu.

I think, great this will be a little quicker than waiting for service which I had started questioning. Boy was I wrong.

To order a beer I had to give my card to the server to open a tab and then place the order via the QR-code menu. After 10+ min of waiting, I tried to a nicely as possible flag a server. When she noticed me, she said they would be with me as soon as they could. After another 10+ min of waiting I finally left. I'm a pretty patient guy and understanding when things get busy but a 25-30 min wait for a beer is pretty ridiculous.
 
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Nole Lou

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Apr 5, 2002
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I loath QR menus.

So far, I have never walked out of a restaurant for only having QR menus, but I probably would. I would seriously consider not going back to a restaurant because of it.

My wife doesn't carry her phone all the time, so it's a game of pulling it up, giving her my phone, having to scroll back through from where she left off, half the time its formatted for shit on mobile...the whole experience blows.

If you don't want to have a menu put your menu up on the wall like you're a goddam McDonalds you cheap bastards.

You're dinging me for $60 for a couple sandwiches and fries and drinks, you can print a 15 cent menu.
 
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I loath QR menus.

So far, I have never walked out of a restaurant for only having QR menus, but I probably would. I would seriously consider not going back to a restaurant because of it.

My wife doesn't carry her phone all the time, so it's a game of pulling it up, giving her my phone, having to scroll back through from where she left off, half the time its formatted for shit on mobile...the whole experience blows.

If you don't want to have a menu put your menu up on the wall like you're a goddam McDonalds you cheap bastards.

You're dinging me for $60 for a couple sandwiches and fries and drinks, you can print a 15 cent menu.
Under what circumstances does your wife elect to leave her phone at home? That seems crazy to me.
 

Nole Lou

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Under what circumstances does your wife elect to leave her phone at home? That seems crazy to me.

Way more than you could imagine. Pretty much any time she's with me she doesn't see the need to carry her phone, and is away from it most of the rest of the time too. She's way more disconnected from her phone than anyone I know. She uses her phone when she wants to text me or someone, and that's about it. If I am trying to reach her, it's only about a 20% chance that she'll even be around it to respond.

It is very weird.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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Way more than you could imagine. Pretty much any time she's with me she doesn't see the need to carry her phone, and is away from it most of the rest of the time too. She's way more disconnected from her phone than anyone I know. She uses her phone when she wants to text me or someone, and that's about it. If I am trying to reach her, it's only about a 20% chance that she'll even be around it to respond.

It is very weird.
I’m some ways that’s a good thing to disconnect, but these days you almost expect to reach someone immediately if needed, even if just to ask a question. I imagine that gets frustrating at times.
 

Jerome Silberman

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Oct 30, 2009
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Just came back from a week in San Diego and the upscale places we went to all had QR codes. Ironically, it was the pancake houses and taco places that still had paper/physical menus.

Noticed the same thing visiting my daughter in Chicago a few months ago.

I think your advice is bad.
That's about what I would expect.
 

Nole Lou

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I’m some ways that’s a good thing to disconnect, but these days you almost expect to reach someone immediately if needed, even if just to ask a question. I imagine that gets frustrating at times.

Exactly. It's nice to know that she can reach me if she needs to, but I pretty much count on not being able to reach her, and it can be annoying in 2022.

But a pretty good trade off not to have her with her face in the phone. And it keeps me from being with my face in my phone around her. When she's out of the room or doing something else, I'll be scrolling through my phone, but I put it down when we're together.
 

ZachJump

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May 28, 2022
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I have started discovering that you can find the latest deals and specials on the QR code menu that you cannot on the regular menu.

Either way everything is moving to your phone sooner or later - probably will not be long before paper menus are a thing of the past. When I am getting fast food or the equiv, it has been years since I have last not pre-ordered on an app. Sometimes I even order on the App...while sitting in there parking lot.
 

beanerhawk

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Dec 12, 2001
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Under what circumstances does your wife elect to leave her phone at home? That seems crazy to me.
Happens all the time with my wife and I, she'll forget hers at home every once in awhile, but I leave mine in the car when I go into most stores or restaurants. I don't need a phone in a store or restaurant for anything.
 

funksouljon

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Jan 26, 2004
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COS, CO
Way more than you could imagine. Pretty much any time she's with me she doesn't see the need to carry her phone, and is away from it most of the rest of the time too. She's way more disconnected from her phone than anyone I know. She uses her phone when she wants to text me or someone, and that's about it. If I am trying to reach her, it's only about a 20% chance that she'll even be around it to respond.

It is very weird.


Gonna disagree. Vast majority of the things we do with our phones are staying connected with work or just screwing around. Your wife is living right and the rest of us are doing it wrong.
 
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Exactly. It's nice to know that she can reach me if she needs to, but I pretty much count on not being able to reach her, and it can be annoying in 2022.

But a pretty good trade off not to have her with her face in the phone. And it keeps me from being with my face in my phone around her. When she's out of the room or doing something else, I'll be scrolling through my phone, but I put it down when we're together.
And she can troll for as much strange dong as possible without you ever knowing about it.

Win-win!
 

bagdropper

HR Legend
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Oct 17, 2002
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Torbee is having one of those get off my lawn moments. Embrace technology and change

I'm the same way as torbee. Yes, I'm old.

The reason I am resistant to things such as this is quite frankly I am sick and tired of every goddam thing I buy - and everything I do for that matter - being put out there for the world to see.

The less the world knows about me (such as say a phone number, etc), the better. I mean, I fully realize that there are things I will buy, until I die, that I have to use the internet in some fashion to acquire. But if I CAN limit that, I damn sure am going to. I want - make that demand - at the very least some "privacy" in my life and I damn well am going to resist as much as humanly and electronically possible to do so.
 

BrunoMars420

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Feb 14, 2016
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I'm the same way as torbee. Yes, I'm old.

The reason I am resistant to things such as this is quite frankly I am sick and tired of every goddam thing I buy - and everything I do for that matter - being put out there for the world to see.

The less the world knows about me (such as say a phone number, etc), the better. I mean, I fully realize that there are things I will buy, until I die, that I have to use the internet in some fashion to acquire. But if I CAN limit that, I damn sure am going to. I want - make that demand - at the very least some "privacy" in my life and I damn well am going to resist as much as humanly and electronically possible to do so.
If you take your phone everywhere with you or use a debit or credit card it doesn’t matter.