QR Codes: Their Comeback & Best Uses

Before the year 2020, how often did you find yourself using a QR code? A QR Code is essentially just another variation of a barcode, but its functions offer more user-friendly experiences for all consumers. Up until just this past year, QR codes evidently had been taken for granted and put on the backburner. However, in the age of contactless transactions, QR codes are proving to be one of the main contenders in helping businesses shift to safer and more effective methods during a pandemic.

The QR code system was invented in 1994 in Japan, but the use of QR codes was first introduced for consumer use in the US fairly recently, around 2010. However, excitement and awe around it didn’t last long. Fast forward to the present day, and not only are QR codes an effective marketing tool, but they also serve as a tool to help stop the spread of germs in public spaces. We’ve come up with a list of different ways and on what print products QR codes are used to make retail and restaurant businesses run smoothly. 

Table Tents

Table tents are perfect for restaurants and places that have menus. Customers can scan a QR code on the table tent to access the menu from the comfort of their phones. This way, you avoid the spread of germs that come with reusable menus and save money on printing disposable menus.


Flyers are an alternative option to table tents when it comes to restaurants or cafes with smaller tables. You can attach flyers directly to your tables or simply place a new one on the table every time a new patron is seated. Flyers can also be displayed on walls or other standing surfaces.


Offering customers a discount code as a thank you for ordering from your store is a kind gesture, but with an added QR code that sends them directly to your site and applies the discount for them, it’s more likely that they’ll return to your online shop sooner than later… just to see if they missed anything the first time!

Business Cards

Want to link directly to your website or portfolio? Having a QR code on your business card can really up your networking game. Recipients of your card will appreciate the extra step you took for them and they’ll be more inclined to look into your work.


Printing QR codes on receipts can be used for a number of different things. The most common option we’ve seen lately is an alternative to customers handing waiters their credit cards or cash. This lessens the contact interaction between patrons and employees, proving to be a safe method to close out a bill or tab.

Electronic Payment Systems

This method of payment has been doing well for quite a while now, especially because so many shoppers prefer using methods like ApplePay over carrying around the extra weight of a wallet. Offering this option of scanning for payment provides convenience for both your employees and customers. It’s contactless and is hassle-free for both parties.

Hang Tags

QR codes and hang tags go hand in hand. Let’s say a customer is browsing your shop and finds an item of clothing that they really love, but they can’t find it in their size. You can use a QR code and link it directly to this item on your website, and customers will be able to see if their desired size is available online.

Window Decals

Is your boutique shop having a sale? Maybe your online store’s traffic is a bit low and you’d like to boost it, or maybe you want to provide passersby with a safer alternative for shopping, rather than shopping in-store. Displaying a QR code on your windows on a decal of some sort will catch the interest of anyone who’s walking by and likes what they see inside.

Retractable Banner Stands

Retractable banner stands, even the tabletop sizes, are large and convenient enough to display information that needs to be noticed. Apply a QR code to this product for a perfect way for checking in patients or clients without contact.

In short, QR codes have definitely made a comeback in the consumer world, and from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere any time soon.

How often do you see QR codes being used? We’re curious to know if you’ve seen one used in another instance other than on this list. Share in the comments below!

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