Scan to view video

QR (or Quick Response) Codes – These square bar codes are appearing virtually everywhere now – from coupons to labels to ads to billboards.  They can be scanned in by smart phones and can then take the user to a video, webpage or opt-in form.  We’ve just added a bar code to the Otto Pizzeria & Enoteca NYC menu that takes the user to a video greeting from owner Mario Batali that includes suggestions for his seasonal favorites, as well as links to promos for other media projects and restaurants.  (You can also access this video content from your phone by texting “Otto” to 75757 ) There is virtually no limit to the number of ways these codes can be implemented throughout restaurants.  You can link them to a short video of a sommelier describing a new quartino wine, a chef describing a new dish, or link to an article about your ongoing Green Restaurant efforts.

Worldwide, scans of barcodes (QR Code, Datamatrix and UPC/EAN scans), increased 20%from Q2 to Q3 2011. In the U.S., it grew 42%. In June 2011, 14 million people scanned one, while another study found that 1 in 4 U.S. smartphone owners have scanned a QR code. It continues to be an upward trend, one that is expected to increase exponentially over the next year.  While competing technologies, such as Near field communication (NFC) also offer promising results in the future there is one irrefutable truth about QR Codes – their basic cost is the ink and paper they are printed with.  Time to take advantage of this very accessible tool and see what it can do for you.