ABC FOX Montana: Local restaurant using QR codes to reach customers safely

ABC Fox Montana Right Now

By: Rachel Louise Just

BOZEMAN, Mont. – As Montana works through phase one of reopening after the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants continue to adapt to the circumstances – and they’re getting creative.

The Club Tavern and Grill is using QR codes to bring their menu straight to guests without the guests touching anything but their own phones.

All you need to do is point your phone camera at the code and it’ll take you right to the Club’s online menu. You can use an Android or Apple phone and you won’t need to download any apps.

The Club Tavern and Grill has been a staple of Bozeman for more than two decades – but just like every other restaurant, they were hit hard by the pandemic.

When they did reopen two weeks ago, they made a number of changes to keep guests safe. One difference: they couldn’t let customers share laminated menus without having to clean them in between each table, a time-consuming process. Next, they tried printing single-use menus that the could recycle afterwards. But due to the Club’s extensive menu, that meant using a lot of ink and paper, adding on even more costs for the restaurant.

After going through 1,000 sheets of paper in a week, they had to come up with a more affordable solution.

“Long-term, this isn’t… we need something a little more scaleable,” Shawn Vicklund, the restaurant’s marketing manager recalls the management deciding. “So, we thought, ‘How can we use technology?'”

Guests are still able to use the laminated and paper menus if they prefer, along with the digital menus accessed by the QR code. It’s part of the restaurant’s mission to – as Vicklund puts it – “meet our guests and customers where they’re at in terms of comfort level.”

Vicklund says they’re not sure how this technology will be used a year from now, and that they might even give a QR code to each menu item to make ordering easier. It all depends, she says, on how things develop in the coming months.

And since the restaurant – like all of the others in Gallatin County – is only operating at 50% capacity, they’re hoping this will keep customers coming in while also feeling safe.