The mobile food industry has quickly become an industry that spends most of its advertising and marketing time as mobile marketers. QR codes are not new, but may be one of the hottest topics in the mobile marketing world today. They are still popular with marketing firms, and in turn, the consumer base is catching on. If you’re still wondering what those funny black-and-white squares are, and what they’re for, here is a quick introduction.

Why Food Truck Vendors Should Be Using QR Codes

QR codes are an increasingly popular way of converting data like website addresses into an image that can be easily scanned. Thus, it’s possible to publish a website address in print, and readers can go to that address without having to type in the address.

Technically, QR codes are a specific type of 2D barcode that are similar to the UPC codes on your groceries or merchandise and the ISBN number codes you find on books.

Almost every smartphone today has a built in camera, and there are many QR code reader apps for all of the major platforms. You can generate your own QR codes at Google,, Jumpscan, as well as many other sites. Users can have the camera on their phones scan a QR code from a print ad, a business card, or a computer screen. Once scanned, the scanner software on the phone will read the data and ask the user what to do — most likely, open the website address embedded in the code.

How can food trucks use QR codes?

The variety of uses for QR codes are endless, they provide a seamless link between online and offline marketing which is a topic we have written a series of articles in the past.

According to a survey from MGH, mobile consumers are responding to the influx of popularity with QR codes, “32% of smartphone users say they have used a QR code and 70% say they would be interested to do so, either for the first time or again.”  Currently marketers in other industries are using QR Codes to offer promotional discounts (53%) and enter sweepstakes (33%).

Directing QR codes to Facebook Fan Page with an offline call to action, such as “Like us!” greatly increases social community followings and engagement. Directing users to a website could be a “one and done” solution. The hardest part is getting a user to scan the code. If that code directs to a website, maybe they will remember your brand later, and maybe they won’t. However why would you risk it? If they “Like” your companies Facebook page, they will be constantly updated on everything you so desire.

Are you thinking of unique ways to drive engagement that make sense for your food truck or cart? Here are a few ideas…

Where to direct your QR Codes

  • Twitter page
  • Facebook Place check ins
  • Customized landing pages on your website
  • Facebook “Like” page
  • Coupon page
  • Yelp page

It is widely acknowledged that QR codes work to drive engagement. However, as more marketers adopt this technology, it could flood the market. If this happens it would make the QR code less unique and exciting. Stay in front of the competition. So it’s very important to set up an integrated QR campaign for your mobile food business as soon as possible. For those of you looking to use QR technology to increase brand retention, place your codes in an interesting location and direct them to a social page, you will reap the benefits later.

Getting someone to purchase a meal from a direct code may be a tall task. Whether it is the failure to adopt mobile commerce technology, or just simply the market isn’t there yet; increasing brand loyalty may be a better goal for your mobile marketing campaign. Think about placing codes around your service window, or on your receipts and linking them to your social media page to continually be updated on news from your food truck. Keeping a customer should always be a primary focus for any business, and generating new customers secondary.

The Bottom Line

One challenge for food trucks is always staying fresh in the minds of consumers. The food truck owner that embraces mobile technology intelligently will demonstrate its cutting-edge commitment to excellent user experience and customer service.

Do you use QR codes in your food truck? What is the most intriguing use you’ve seen for these codes? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section or social media. Facebook | Twitter