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QR codes in hotels: how to use them and why you should do it now

From retail to tourism, QR codes are becoming increasingly popular: find out how you can take advantage of them in your hotel too!

QR codes in hotels: how to generate them, where to place them and what benefits they offer | Smartpricing

In the space of a few years, the QR code has gone from being an unknown tool, spread mostly among users of social networks such as Snapchat and WeChat, to a medium appreciated and used by an increasingly large segment of the world's population.

A key part in its popularity was played by the pandemic and the search for "contactless" interactions, then came the recognition of the European Union, which chose the QR code as the medium for the covid certificate, and from there on, its spread was unstoppable.

In the two-year period 2021-2023:

  • there has been a +323% growth in the use of QR codes globally,
  • 8 QR codes were generated per minute
  • and nearly 27 million QR codes were scanned in 2023 alone!

But the success does not seem to stop there: recently, regulators announced that, starting in 2027, "old" barcodes will be retired, to be replaced by the more efficient QR code.

And it is not only retail that has sensed the potential of QR codes. Other sectors with record rates of QR code scanning are catering, logistics, marketing and tourism.

But how can you make the most of QR codes in a hotel? In this article you will find everything you need to know!

What are QR codes

Let's start with the basics: QR code is short for "quick response code," because back in 1994 it was developed with the goal of enabling rapid decoding of its contents.

It is a two-dimensional bar code, easily recognizable by its square shape with black dots on a white background. Unlike the traditional bar code, a QR code can store a tremendous amount of information and make it accessible to everyone without the need for specific readers.

In fact, simply framing the code with a smartphone camera is enough to access websites, read restaurant menus, download files or apps, make payments, or listen to music.

How to get a QR code for your hotel

Creating a QR code is surprisingly simple. A quick Google search is enough to find numerous websites and applications that offer the possibility to generate QR codes for free.

The first step is to decide what type of content you want to share: it can be your website address, your business card, your hotel Wi-Fi password, a link to your social media profiles, or any other useful information. After choosing the content, you enter it into the QR code generator of your choice and you're done! Within seconds you can download the image of your code and decide how to distribute it: virtually on your digital channels, such as your website or social media, or in printed form for physical use in the hotel.

A useful piece of information at this stage is the difference between static QR codes and dynamic QR codes. Static QR codes, once created, cannot be changed. This means that the information or link they contain will always remain the same.

Dynamic QR codes offer greater flexibility. Even after they are created, you can change their content without having to change the code itself. This makes them especially useful for advertising campaigns, menus that change frequently, or any information that may require regular updates.

Remember, for both static and dynamic QR codes, clarity and ease of scanning are crucial. So make sure the QR code is of high quality and the right size to ensure the best experience for users.

Where to place QR codes

Once you have downloaded the file with the image of your QR code, the next step is to decide where to place it.

Assuming that the QR code can be printed on any media (paper and cardboard, adhesive paper, banners, etc.), you have free rein when deciding where to place it inside your hotel.

The most important factor will be to choose places of high visibility: the key card, the restaurant menu, informational flyers and even the elevators. The goal is to place QR codes in strategic locations where guests are most likely to interact with them.
In particular, there are two key areas to consider: guest room folder and the front desk.

In Room

Traditionally, the guest folder is a booklet or brochure that contains information about your hotel and services. Replacing or supplementing this folder with a QR code can literally revolutionize the in-room experience. Guests can simply scan the QR code to access information about room service, the spa, the restaurant, but also practical information such as breakfast times.

At the Front Desk

The front desk is the first point of contact between the hotel and the guest. Here, QR codes can be used to speed up check-in, provide information about local events or special offers, and even to collect real-time feedback. Placing QR codes in highly visible places, such as the front desk or waiting areas, allows guests to easily access information and find everything they need, conveniently accessible from their smartphones. Qr codes are also one of the best ways to increase front desk efficiency, if you want to learn more read our article on how to boost front desk performance!

Benefits of QR codes for your hotel

Integrating QR codes into your hotel brings with it a number of significant benefits that relate primarily to improving the customer experience, but not only that! Let's look at them all.

  • Reduced reprinting costs when updating menus, brochures or guest room folders
  • Simplification of marketing activities and the ability to track customer interactions with QR Codes for targeted analysis
  • Expansion of upselling opportunities through promotions accessible via QR codes
  • Increased environmental sustainability by reducing printed materials and promoting an eco-friendly image of the hotel
  • Facilitation in the administration of satisfaction surveys
  • Elimination of language barriers due to the ability to link to content in many more languages than usually used in printed communications

Benefits of QR codes for your guests

QR codes, which are practical because they are easy to scan, provide immediate access to information, services and opportunities for interaction, making a guest's stay more convenient and personalized.

Deciding to use them in your hotel means:

  • instantly improving communication with guests, making it faster, more direct and real-time
  • simplifying check-in, increasing efficiency and reducing annoying wait times at the front desk
  • pampering guests from the moment they arrive, with welcome messages and personalized service offers
  • facilitating the booking of services and experiences, eliminating the need for lengthy and complex searches
  • helping guests discover your location by offering useful tips and links to better plan their stay

Now that you know how easy it is to create a QR code and what benefits it could offer you and your guests, you just have to get down to business!

That's why we've created a comprehensive guide for you, where you'll find tips and practical examples of how to use QR codes in your hotel and improve your guests' experience as quickly and inexpensively as possible!