Set Up Self-serve Ordering and QR Codes with Square Online
Self-serve ordering through Square Online offers a contactless, in-person ordering experience that increases safety and workflow efficiency. Instead of browsing a paper menu and placing orders with a staff member, customers use their mobile devices to scan a QR code at their table, seat, parking spot, or anywhere you want them to order from.
Here is a high level overview of how self-serve ordering works:
QR codes are automatically generated when you set up self-serve ordering. You’ll have a unique code for every table, seat, or any other location. Print and place an ordering card wherever you want customers to order from.
Guests scan the QR code to open your online ordering page using their mobile device. They can select items, add special requests, place their order, and pay directly from their mobile device. Since everything's processed online, there’s no need to handle credit cards or cash.
Once your customer completes their order, the order will appear on your Square POS, and feed directly to your Kitchen Ticket Printer or Square KDS (Kitchen Display System). Since each QR code is connected to a specific ordering station, your staff can see exactly where each order came from.
Fulfill the self-serve order in whatever way works best for your business. Customers will see instructions and other information on your online ordering page that let them know what to expect.
Set Up Self-serve Ordering
You can set up self-serve ordering for one or more locations. In your Square Online Overview page , go to Fulfillment > Self-Serve and select Set up QR codes.
Note: Here are a few things you need to know before getting started with self-serve ordering:
Your website must be published to use self-serve ordering. The QR codes send customers to your website, so it won’t work if the site isn’t published. You can publish your website in your Square Online site editor by selecting Publish.
Self-serve ordering only works with the Order Online single ordering page template. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to create or switch to the Order Online template.
If you have more than one website, make sure you’ve selected the site you want to link the QR codes to. You can switch sites using the site switcher menu in the Square Online Overview page.
After you select Set up QR codes, proceed using the following steps.
Items must have self-serve ordering selected as a fulfillment method. Select the items you'd like to make available for self-serve ordering using the check boxes, then click Continue.
Learn more about adding items and categories to Square Online
Add instructions for customers
Enter any information your customers need to know when placing or receiving orders. These instructions are shown after customers scan a QR code and after they submit an order.
You can see a preview for each set of instructions during setup. Click Continue when you’re finished adding instructions.
Create ordering cards
To generate your ordering cards, enter the number of stations you have and create a label for them. Stations are the places where you’ll display the ordering cards. For example, if you have 12 booths, you would enter the number 12 and the label Booth. That will create 12 unique QR codes, one for each of your booths.
Add an optional service fee
To add a service fee for self-serve orders, select View details from the self-serve ordering page and click Edit next to "Service fee." Choose either a set amount or a percentage of the total, then enter the amount or percentage you’d like to charge. Click Save to apply the changes.
Print or Export Ordering Cards
You can choose to export the QR codes or print your ordering cards.
The export option generates a ZIP file with individual PNG images for each QR code and the associated station number (e.g. Booth 3). You can use these images if you’d prefer to design your own station cards. You can also hire an expert to create custom ordering cards through our partnership with 99designs.
The print option generates a PDF file with four ordering cards per page. These will display your company name and look like the example image shown during setup.
To try out the ordering process, use your phone to scan a QR code from your screen and place a test order to see it in action.
To print ordering cards or export QR codes:
In your Square Online Overview page , go to Fulfillment > Self-Serve.
Select Export QR codes to download and save the ZIP file, or select Print ordering cards to open a PDF file in a new window for printing or saving.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to place each card at the corresponding location once they’re printed.
Tip: Try printing your cards on heavy paper or cardstock and consider laminating them to add durability.
With self-serve ordering, you can allow your customers to place alcohol orders online while dining at your restaurant or attending your event. You can also place a limit on how many alcoholic items a customer can order. Learn more about selling alcohol with Square Online for additional details specific to self-serve ordering.
Edit Self-serve Ordering Settings
To update the settings for self-serve orders, select View details from the self-serve ordering page and click Edit next to the section you want to update.
Note: Reducing the number of stations may disable the QR codes you’ve already created. For example, if you lower the number of stations from 12 to 10, then the existing ordering cards for stations 11 and 12 will no longer work.
You can use these optional features with self-serve ordering.
Turn on tipping to let your customers leave a tip on their order. You can set a default tip percentage or leave it blank. Customers can change the amount or opt to not leave a tip when they check out.
To enable tipping:
In your Square Online Overview page , go to Fulfillment > Pickup & Delivery.
Select Advanced settings.
Click the toggle under "Order tipping," and select a default amount from the menu.
Select Save when finished.
If you offer pickup and/or delivery, tipping settings also apply to those fulfillment types.
Enable customer notes
You can let your customers leave you a note when placing an order. Turning this feature on makes it available for any type of online order.
To enable customer notes:
In your Square Online Overview page , go to Settings > Checkout or Shared Settings > Checkout.
Select Advanced settings.
Under "Checkout options," check the box to allow notes from customers.
Select Save when finished.