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Pink Pepper lets consumers order takeout via QR codes

February 2, 2012

Los Angeles-based restaurant Pink Pepper is using QR codes on its menus and business cards that lead to a mobile-optimized page where consumers can order takeout.

The company is using Paperlinks’ technology to help make takeout ordering easier. Consumers can download the Paperlinks app to scan the mobile bar code.

“Paperlinks marries the benefits of the offline and online worlds by making printed takeout menus interactive,” said Hamilton Chan, founder/CEO of Paperlinks, Los Angeles. “The world is moving towards mobile commerce and mobile ordering.

“It is so efficient and user-friendly to be able to tap in a takeout order on-the-go from a smartphone without having to call in to a restaurant, be put on hold, have to repeat the order, and so on,” he said. “At the same time, restaurants are reluctant to give up the printed takeout menu, because they know that physical media is still effective.”

Takeout scanning
Consumers can scan the mobile bar code featured on Pink Pepper’s menu and business cards, as well as text the keyword PINKPEPPER to 310.321.4888.

When consumers scan or text-in they are redirected to a mobile landing page that features Pink Pepper’s takeout menu.

Consumers can browse Pink Pepper’s menu, view the prices for each item and select the desired quantity.

After adding the desired meals to their order, users can checkout by creating and account.

Additionally, consumers can learn more about the restaurant, interact with its Facebook page, watch a video, browse the company’s gallery and see what others are saying.

“QR codes have made mobile ordering effective and simple for Pink Pepper,” Mr. Chan said. “By placing a QR code on their takeout menu, Pink Pepper has made it obvious for consumers that they can order through their smartphones, and consumers have been taking advantage of this new way of ordering.

“Average tips turn out to be higher when orders come in through the QR code, and consumers appear to be returning more frequently when they order through their smartphone, likely because of the ease,” he said. “The increase in smartphone orders also lightens the load on the phones, as more orders are placed electronically”

Mobile bar codes
Using a mobile bar code for an initiative such as this is an effective way for Pink Pepper to not only attract new customers, but also entice existing ones.

Mobile bar codes are all the rage now and companies are gradually incorporating them into their marketing mix.

“Bar codes are the little engine that could,” Mr. Chan said. “There has been a lot of skepticism about QR codes and smartphone scanning of bar codes, but scanning continues to accelerate.

“While QR code scanning has received a healthy dose of skepticism, I think it’s because the post-scanning experience has left a lot to be desired,” he said. “But the fault isn’t the bar code; it’s really the imagination of the brand trying to drive the scanning activity.

“With QR-coded menus, we give consumers a real reason to scan. Instead of sending consumers to a desktop Web site they could have arrived at by typing in a URL and instead of directing them to unwanted advertising, we are delivering real utility that improves their lives.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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