Thursday, June 27, 2013

QR Codes on Sushi

The QR code was invented back in 1994 by the automobile company Toyota's subsidiary, Denso Wave in Japan. The original idea of this code was to help track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process at high speeds. Although not popular outside this industry for many years, it seems to have finally taken off. In fact, with the advancement of smart phones booming in the last 5+ years, you're bound to come across these odd looking bar codes many times throughout your day. I recently read an article that shows how QR codes are now being implemented into the food we eat.

The QR code is an abbreviation for quick response matrix barcode that is used by machines to record information about a particular product. In our industry, up until now, it has been used to help customers gain information about their restaurants. By using an app on your phone, it allows you to find information about such things as menu, featured items, directions, reservations, website, etc. There are so many things that can be linked to provide information about a particular place. For our carryout customers, we offer a refrigerator magnet that has our phone number and a QR code that links to our featured specials and menu for the day. Simply throw on the fridge and you have our number and menu available in your hand with the click of a button when time to choose what's for dinner. 

What is interesting is that a sushi chef in San Diego has found another creative way to use this code. Not only to inform his customers about his restaurant, he has found a way using edible ink to print these QR codes on the food he serves.  Customers then are able to use their smart phones to link to a website that describes the origins of the food they are eating.

No more worrying about where things came from or waiting while your server has to check with a manager and then check with the chef. All of this is done while sitting at your table. He says "It’s proven in the food world in general that when your customers know about the products you’re giving them, they will pay more for them and come back more often. The technology and the information’s here, so why don’t we do the right thing and make money while we’re doing it?”

I agree the world is ever changing and we can use these advancements to our advantage. Now do I agree we need to be putting these little codes on everything, including the food we eat? No, not quite that far yet. The smart phone, although having its advantages, has already brought society to the point where face to face interaction is becoming less and less. Imagine looking up from your table and looking around and watching everyone using their phones while they eat. What would we have come of it at the dinner table?

No comments:

Post a Comment