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QR code ordering with Square Online

Efficiently manage sales with Square Online

Square Online accepts and manages orders, both online and in-store from social and mobile showroom to stockroom, for today and tomorrow.

Note: Enable QR code ordering by upgrading your Square Online subscription.

QR code 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. You can automatically tie each QR code to a specific ordering station (great for smaller food venues and restaurants) or require customers to enter their location manually when they order (best for large-scale events and stadiums).

Note: If you don't need multiple QR codes mapped to all of your ordering stations, Square Online also generates a single QR code for every site. To manage and use a single QR code, go to your site preferences.

Before you begin

QR code ordering overview

  1. QR codes are automatically generated when you set up QR code ordering. You’ll have a unique code for every table, seat, or any other station. Print and place an ordering card wherever you want customers to order from.  
  2. 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.
  3. Once your customer completes their order, the order will appear on your Square POS, and feed directly to your kitchen ticket printer or kitchen display system (KDS). Since each QR code is connected to a specific ordering station, your staff knows where to send each order.
  4. Fulfill the QR code 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.

Things to know before you start

Here are a few things you need to know before getting started with QR code ordering:

  • Your website must be published to use QR code 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 from your Square Online site editor by selecting Publish.
  • QR code ordering only works with the Order Online ordering page template. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to create or switch to the Order Online template.
  • If you have multiple sites, 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.

Set up QR code ordering

To set up QR code ordering:

  1. From your Square Online Overview page, go to go to Fulfillment > QR code ordering.

  2. Select Set up QR codes by the location you want to enable QR code ordering for.

  3. Choose the items you'd like to set up for QR code ordering using the check boxes, then select Continue.

  4. Add instructions for placing and getting orders that your customers should follow, then select Continue.

  5. Create ordering stations that match the setup of your business, then select Continue.

  6. Set QR code ordering hours, or import and customize the pickup, QR code ordering, or business hours of another location. Choose your location’s time zone and select Continue.

  7. Manage other settings and select Done when finished. Note: If prompted, Publish your website from the Square Online site editor.

  8. Select Get QR code by the location you just set up to dowload your QR codes.

Continue below for specific details on some of the steps and settings outlined above.

Choose items

Items must have QR code ordering selected as a fulfillment method. Use the filtering settings and select the items you'd like to make available for QR code ordering using the check boxes.

You can also visit your Square Item Library later to assign QR code ordering to the items you want fulfilled via QR code ordering. To learn more about updating fulfillment methods for items, check out how to Manage Square Online item settings.

Add customer instructions

Square-Online-Self-Serve-Ordering-Add-Customer-Instructions-EN

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.

  • Placing orders: This message will display on your ordering page before your customers finalize their orders.

  • Getting orders: This is the message your customers see after they submit their order.

  • Not accepting orders: This message will display when you disable QR code ordering (during busy hours or after your business hours) so customers can’t place QR code orders. If you know when you’ll be ready to fulfill orders again, you can toggle on Show when QR code orders resume so your customers see what time you'll begin accepting orders again.

Add ordering stations

Select Add ordering stations to start creating ordering stations that match the setup of your business. Add details for your stations such as a group name, a name for each station, and the number of total stations. Select Save when complete and select Add ordering stations again to add more.

Set ordering hours

Select the days of the week and the hours when your customers can place an order. Customers won’t be able to place QR code orders outside of these hours. 

  • If you have another location, you can choose to import the previously set business hours, pickup hours, or QR code ordering hours of your other location as QR code ordering hours. If you have multiple locations, you'll need to choose a location from the dropdown menu and select which hours you want to import.

  • You can also set up business hours manually by selecting or deselecting days of the week and clicking the + icon to add hours. Select your location’s time zone to finish.

Note: Your items will still be available for purchase outside of QR code ordering hours if the items or categories are set up for pickup and local delivery. During that time, your default fulfillment settings will apply.

Download your QR codes

To preview and download your QR codes:

  1. From your Square Online Overview page, go to go to Fulfillment > QR code ordering.

  2. Select Get QR code by the location you just set up and choose one of the following options:

    1. Customers are automatically assigned an ordering station: Unique QR codes must be placed at each ordering station. This is great for smaller food venues and restaurants

    2. Customers manually enter their ordering station: Use the same QR code and place it throughout your business. This is best for large-scale events and stadiums

  3. Choose your design with one of the following options:

    1. Ordering card with QR code: Predesigned cards with instructions. Great for quick and easy printing and setup.

    2. QR code only: QR codes to place on your own designs. You can also hire an expert to create custom ordering cards through our partnership with 99designs.

  4. Select Download when finished to print your downloaded document and place your QR codes wherever they’re needed.

Note: To try out the live ordering process, click the QR code on your computer or scan it with your phone to place a test order and see it in action.

Manage other QR code ordering settings

QR code ordering has additional settings you can edit or enable after setup.

Edit ordering hours

To edit your existing QR code ordering hours, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and select Edit under “QR code ordering hours.”

Edit ordering stations

You can edit your ordering stations at any time by selecting Edit from the QR code ordering page and selecting Edit under “Ordering stations.”

Note: If you choose to edit your ordering cards by reducing the number of stations you have, you’ll also end up disabling 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.

Edit customer messaging

You can edit your customer instructions at any time by selecting Edit from the QR code ordering page and selecting Edit under Messaging.

Enable text message alerts

Enabling text alerts for QR code ordering provides customers live updates on the status of their order while they’re dining with you in-person. QR code ordering provides two text alert types:

  • Order received automatically sends a text when you receive an order.
  • Order ready for pickup sends a text after an order is marked Ready.

To enable text alerts for QR code ordering, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and select Edit under “Text message alerts.”

Enable open tabs

Enabling open tabs allows customers to continue ordering items on the same tab throughout their visit. They’ll enter payment information upfront, but won’t need to check out and pay until the end of their stay. With open tabs disabled, customers need to pay individually for each order they place.

To enable open tabs, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and toggle on Allow open tabs.

Learn more about QR code ordering open tabs with Square Online.

Enable order consolidation

You can customize when QR orders from the same QR code will be printed: either immediately upon receiving the order or grouped together within a specific time frame. Enabling order consolidation gives you the option to set a time limit for tickets to wait and be printed together, giving you more control in the kitchen.

To enable order consolidation, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and select Edit under “Order tickets.”

Sell alcohol

With QR code 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.

To allow alcoholic items for for QR code orders, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and select Edit under Alcohol.

Learn more about selling alcohol with Square Online for additional details specific to QR code ordering.

Add a service fee 

To add a service fee for QR code orders, select Edit from the QR code ordering page and select Edit under “Service fee.”

For other checkout settings, like accepting customer notes about how their order should be prepared, learn about Square Online checkout options.