Simple, contactless ordering with Routegy and Square

QR sign for stadium mobile ordering

In recent months, QR-code-based menus have become nearly ubiquitous in restaurants, bars, and other establishments. We find them on storefronts, host desks, and dining tables. They range from simple sheets of paper hastily printed at home, to well designed signs that are built for the long haul. While these solutions definitely help by making certain physical interactions contactless, in many cases they feel more like a stop gap.

QR code menu on a restaurant table

# "Please scan the code to see our menu"

Most of these QR codes simply point to an existing, static menu page. Quite often, the menu page isn’t optimized for mobile or is just a PDF version of a paper menu, which leads to lots of scrolling and pinching and zooming. A subpar experience to say the least. Finally, the process of ordering and paying is still the same - it’s hardly contactless and requires human interaction.

# Let your customers order and pay, not just browse

This experience can be made better and safer, especially in places where no table service is expected: our favorite order-at-the-counter lunch spot, food truck, coffee shop, or concessions stand. Why not go the extra step and let people order and pay directly from their phones? The Routegy+Square mobile ordering touchpoint brings this experience to life, directly on people’s devices with no app required.

Routegy mobile menu Routegy mobile menu item

With Routegy, customers simply scan a QR code or tap an NFC tag to navigate a fully interactive menu in their phone’s web browser. They browse and select items for purchase, review and modify their selections, provide payment details, and order. And no finger acrobatics required as the menu is optimized for mobile devices. Finally, a fully touchless experience for simple ordering.

Routegy mobile cart Routegy mobile payment

# Plug-and-play with your existing Square infrastructure

Routegy’s ordering flow fits right into your existing Square setup. Once a customer makes an order, Routegy will use Square's Payments API to charge the customer and create an order via the Orders API. The end result is no different from entering the order manually with your existing Square POS terminal. Not using Square? No problem. Getting started is fast and doesn't require any additional hardware or subscription fee.

Square transaction cart

Getting started is easy. Once you have your Routegy and Square accounts setup, you just need to build your menu, define a Routegy touchpoint, and connect it to Square using a Routegy handler configured with your Square application ID and access token. In addition to the Square handler, you can also add our email or SMS handlers for additional customer notifications or receipts. Use it with our curbside pickup and customer check-in touchpoint for a complete customer experience and a one stop-shop for your staff.

Building a touchless waitlist experience with Routegy, Trello, and SMS

QR sign for customer contactless waitlist check-in

As many countries around the world begin to soften COVID-19 related restrictions, restaurants, hair salons, and other service-industry businesses are resuming operations. However, in this post-COVID world, business owners have a new set of challenges: screening customers for symptoms, enforcing lower occupancy, and limiting face-to-face interactions.

A tablet at a restaurant prompting customers to check in by entering a name and phone number

The first point of interaction usually involves checking in. Previously, it would involve talking to a host and using pen-and-paper or a shared tablet. In the midst of a pandemic, though, we don’t want customers to reluctantly touch surfaces and question our sanitation and social-distancing practices.

Touchless, contactless solutions based on QR and NFC can help, and in this article we'll show you how you can easily create a touchless waitlist to keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.

For customers, the experience is seamless: They scan a Routegy QR/NFC touchpoint with their phone and fill out a mobile-friendly form providing details like name, size of the party, and a phone number to use for notifications. Routegy uses JSON Schema to define collected data, making it simple to customize this touchpoint, or build your own that collects data specific to your business. Want to ask if they made a reservation? Done. Do you run a hair salon and need them to specify the desired service? No problem. Are you required to collect some COVID-19 related data from your customers? Easy.

Once submitted, Routegy will route collected data via handlers attached to the touchpoint. First, it will send an SMS confirmation to your customer via our SMS handler. Second, it will use the Trello handler to create a customer card in your Trello board used by staff to manage the waitlist.

For you and your staff, managing a waitlist using a Trello board couldn't be easier. The board consists of three lists: Waiting, Ready to seat, and Seated. Every time a customer checks in, Routegy will create a card with their information in the Waiting list, and you simply drag the card to Ready to seat and Seated lists as you work your way through the queue.

In order to notify customers that you're ready for them, we'll use Trello automation rules. When a customer card is moved to the Ready to seat list, we will programmatically call a Routegy touchpoint that will send an SMS to your customer using the Routegy SMS handler.

That’s it! A touchless waitlist experience that's both easy to use and flexible. The types of data collected from the customer can be easily customized to include things like reservation info, type of requested service, or any data unique to your business. Routegy touch handlers make it easy to send collected data to any destination of your choice including email, Slack or, if you’re building a more complex workflow, Zapier.

Streamline curbside pickup with Routegy

Orenji Curbside Sign

When Washington state introduced dining-in restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Katia Chan, owner of the popular restaurant Orenji in Issaquah, quickly retooled her operations for takeout only orders. To meet social distancing guidelines, and the expectations of her customers, Katia decided to exclusively offer curbside pickup. An Orenji customer would pull up, call the restaurant, and Orenji staff would deliver their order directly to their vehicle.

While phone-based curbside pickup worked, Katia and the staff at Orenji immediately encountered issues. First, customers calling from the parking lot kept the restaurant phone line busy, preventing Orenji from taking new orders. Second, using just pen and paper, Orenji staff struggled to keep track of who was waiting and for how long. Finally, matching orders to customer information collected over the phone was prone to mistakes and inefficient. “All of these small problems would compound and burden our staff, especially during the very busy dinner hours, and we knew we needed to improve the process”, Katia says.

When Katia learned about contactless curbside pickup powered by Routegy, she saw it as a potential solution to Orenji’s problems. Routegy’s approach was simple; rather than calling the restaurant or walking in, customers could scan a storefront QR sign, fill out a simple form, and staff would be immediately notified.

Getting started with Routegy was easy. After creating her first Routegy touchpoint, Katia had only one question left: how would her team be notified of customer arrivals? Routegy can send simple notifications by text, email, or Slack, as well as integrate with popular tools like Zapier and Jira. Katia decided to track waiting customers and order status with Trello due to its simplicity and ease-of-use.

Orenji’s Routegy + Trello curbside flow is simple: when a customer scans the storefront QR sign, Routegy automatically creates a new entry in Orenji's dashboard in Trello. The entry contains the customer’s information and arrival time. Once staff delivers the order, the entry is marked as complete.

Katia also added instructions and a Routegy link directly to customers' receipts. Instead of scanning the storefront QR sign, customers can simply click the link when they arrive.

"We've seen great results, my team loves it! Routegy protects my team members and guests, and best of all it increases productivity and order accuracy."

Katia Chan


Orenji began using Routegy in May, 2020 and she is already planning to use Routegy for various dining-in experiences. “I’d love to use it for our dining-in waitlist, customer requests, and even touchless menus”, says Katia, “With Routegy, we can keep our guests and staff safe while improving the experience at the same time.”