Payment Channel Blog Series: QR Code Payments

QR codes, whether used on their own or in conjunction with other payment channels within TableTab’s point-of-sale platform, can generate sales at a low cost to improve the bottom lines of collaborating merchants.

In our Payment Channel Blog Series, we introduce TableTab’s three core payment channels, all part of our collaborative point-of-sale system. This post dives into QR Code payments, the most profitable payment channel.


TableTab QR Codes have a long list of benefits, are easy to use and manage, and should be part of every collaborative operation. QR codes, whether used on their own or in conjunction with other payment channels within TableTab’s point-of-sale platform, can generate sales at a low cost to improve the bottom lines of collaborating merchants. Here are some other benefits that come with our QR codes:

  • connect merchants’ product catalogs for a streamlined checkout experience
  • allow customers to avoid busier payment channels, like a long line
  • reduce reliance on staff amidst an industry-wide staffing shortage
  • make it easy to capture incremental sales through on-demand ordering
  • save money on printed menus, a cost that adds up
  • give customers access to menus that can be changed in real-time
  • can be placed anywhere for selling, from flyers to table tents to window signs
  • bonus: can directly integrate with Square

Let’s dive deeper into QR codes as the self-service channel of our collaborative point-of-sale.

The Customer Experience

Unlike our collaborative terminals or mobile handhelds, customers engage directly via TableTab’s QR codes to do their own ordering and payment, sometimes coined "pay at the table." Thankfully, pre-pandemic TableTab started as a front-facing discovery and payments app for customers, so our team was knowledgeable and experienced in building an intuitive digital experience that is straightforward to use for customers.  To that end, the customer experience with our QR codes is best-in-class.

With our QR codes, there is no app or account creation necessary. Customers scan the QR code and are greeted by “menus” for each merchant customers can order from. Each “menu” is a front-facing, visual so customers can quickly scroll, engage, and make purchases.

Because our QR codes are collaborative and product catalogs are shared, customers can add items from different merchants’ menus to their tab. The checkout process is incredibly simple, enabling customers to spend as little as 60 seconds between scanning their QR code and placing an order.

Even better, our QR codes can connect to an existing order or tab already started by a customer through a different payment channel. For example, a customer may start a tab at the bar and can add to that tab via QR code from their table. Such a workflow provides a natural and streamlined customer experience, leading to increased revenue for merchants.

The bottom line: customers love using QR codes in collaborative operations because it makes it super easy and convenient to place orders and make payments across multiple merchants.

Managing QR Code Transactions

Managing QR code transactions for staff is just as easy as customers placing them. If the QR code transaction starts a new tab, the customers’ name and table number will immediately appear on the terminal and/or handheld. Separately, a ticket can print with the QR code order when placed by the customer. Depending on the service model, orders can be run to the customer, or the customer can receive an automated text message informing them that their order is ready for pickup.

If the QR code transaction adds to an existing tab, that tab will immediately update with the new item on the terminal and/or handheld. The fulfillment method remains as if the order was placed through staff.

Additionally, customers using QR codes must pay upfront. Staff will only receive QR code orders for fulfillment if they were successfully paid for first. Staff will not have to track which customers have already paid, eliminating the risk of walkouts.

Product Catalog (“Menu”) Sync

Because customers interact with a front-facing version of merchants’ product catalogs, they must remain updated. Thankfully, TableTab syncs product catalogs for every merchant across every payment channel in real-time.

For example, if staff turns off an item on the terminal, that item will also disappear from the QR code menu. If a merchant closes up shop early, their product catalog similarly disappears from the QR code menu.

Maintaining a product catalog sync ensures customers can only order what is available when they scan a QR code.

More QR Code Features

While TableTab QR Codes are the only ones in the world that can streamline different merchants into a single checkout experience for your customers, they have other features, too:

  • Auto Generate: Automatically generate, label, and print QR codes from your TableTab dashboard.
  • Programmed Scheduling: Set hours to each menu to determine when they should appear via QR Code. You can also turn QR code menus on and off manually.
  • Real-Time Changes: Changes made on menus accessed via QR code are instantly updated for customers.
  • Custom Branding: Our QR Codes are white-labeled, so you can customize and brand them however you like.

Hardware Agnostic

Our QR codes are naturally software-based, so they will work on any smartphone (even the ancient ones!), whether on iOS or Android.

Operational Autonomy

When customers complete a transaction via QR Code, TableTab’s back-end software ensures each merchant is still responsible for their own items.

  • Separate Ticket Flows: every merchant has their own way of receiving tickets. This means each merchant will receive and fulfill only the items ordered that belong to their product catalog.
  • Automated Accounting: every merchant receives their money instantly. This means TableTab separates each item's sales, tax, and tip (if applicable) by merchant and sends the sum to each.
  • Product Catalog Management: every merchant controls their product catalog. This means product catalogs and their customer-facing equivalent can be managed and updated in real-time by their associated merchant.


TableTab’s collaborative QR Codes are a game-changer for capturing additional revenue at an extremely low-cost while facilitating a self-sustainable collaborative operation. 

Read our case study on how one TableTab partner used our QR codes to sustain their collaborative operation and increase their bottom line. You can also reach out to us here to schedule a chat or demo.

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