TGI Fridays revives QR codes in UK fast track system

Restaurant chain TGI Fridays has opened a tech-laden location in the U.K. and is using scannable QR codes to fast track customer payments.

The Manchester, U.K. restaurant aims to serve express meals, delivering food within 10 minutes of ordering. Menu items now have corresponding QR codes that let customers order from their smartphone, according to Mobile Commerce News.

There's also free Wi-Fi, lots of electrical sockets and USB charging stations.

The test is expected to be the first of several at TGI Fridays, and is a revival of a failed experiment with a similar concept in New York. All the wireless technology there, it seemed, actually slowed down this ordering process and meal time, rather than speeding it up.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who read the story of a restaurant in New York that reviewed 15-year-old surveillance footage to figure out why customers were increasingly complaining about slow service and long meal times.

It turns out that smartphones were to blame. Patrons engrossed in their phones delayed ordering, took photos of their food and each other, and in general added nearly an hour to their meals compared to 15 years earlier.

While TGI Fridays, and other restaurant chains, seem determined to better leverage mobile technology, none have hit on the right formula.

For more:
-See this Mobile Commerce News story
-See this Gothamist story 

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