Features Magazine Volume 70, Issue 7

New Era of Menus

By Roxy Schneider 

While COVID-19 is starting to die down in the Bay Area, businesses are beginning to open up. With stores and restaurants beginning to re-open there are precautions that are in the process of being taken to keep all customers safe. Of course masks are mandatory, but restaurants have to take even more precautions as indoor dining becomes more of a possibility.

Restaurants have begun introducing precautions such as limited outdoor seating, keeping tables at least six feet apart at all times, only seating six people per table, not taking reservations, and a new idea of QR menus.

QR menus are a new way for restaurants to provide a menu without having to hand customers a physical copy. This is done by having a piece of paper with a QR code on it which customers can then hover a phone camera over. Once the camera is hovered over, a safari tab will appear which will allow customers to view the menu on their phone. These QR codes are typically placed onto restaurant tables but may also be presented by a host when checking for a table. Some QR codes even allow customers to pay at the end in order to help reduce paper and simultaneously reduce contact between waiters and dirty pens. By doing this, restaurants can avoid COVID-19 being transmitted through physical menus touched by many hands, or food touching them. If asked, physical menus can be provided for those who need them, such as younger kids or those who aren’t adapted with phones. Physical menus that are used, will be taken once the customer has decided what to eat and are hand cleaned by a worker. Rachel Keels, a host at Clementines in San Ramon, likes the new QR code menus and said, “It’s fewer menus to clean and less likely for a customer to become infected with not only Covid, but any illness.”