Asia Business Channel

How the WeChat app is changing the restaurant business in China


The WeChat app is transforming the daily lives of millions of people in China. This is how it helps restaurants to run more efficiently and deliver better value.

Recent proliferation of Western style coffee shops and fancy restaurants has given rise to the new trend of ordering food and drinks in restaurants, using WeChat rather than using traditional menus.

The WeChat app is already installed on practically every smartphone in China, and the vast majority of users have also connected their accounts to bank cards and use WeChat Pay on a regular basis. Using WeChat to order food and drinks in restaurants is not only fast and convenient but also allows instant payment directly with WeChat Pay once the order is placed.

Additionally, using the WeChat app doesn’t require a customer to follow a particular WeChat account. All it takes is scanning a QR code, which is displayed directly on the restaurant’s table, from within WeChat app.

Here is how ordering with WeChat app works:

Step 1: customers scan the QR code, which is unique to each table in the restaurant. This arrangement allows tracking orders associated with customers seated at specific location.



Step 2: immediately upon scanning the QR code, WeChat app opens a menu that looks like this:



Step 3: customers can browse through menu items just as they would with the physical version, read about each item, see the prices and zoom out photos:



Step 4: customers continue adding food items to the list until they are ready to place the order:



Step 5: upon confirming the order, payment is processed automatically with WeChat Pay. At the same time, the restaurant staff receives the order and, once ready, delivers it to the right table.



Besides the obvious convenience of the whole process for the patrons, the WeChat app restaurant ordering system also eliminates the need for bill splitting: everyone can simply order and pay for their food directly with their own WeChat Pay.

As for the restaurants, the WeChat app ordering system offers several benefits. Serving food and delivering orders to the tables becomes easier, and allows restaurants to perform the same service, but with less staff. Streamlining the ordering system also eliminates errors.

Another benefit is that there is no further need for restaurants to print and replace menus, which, as restaurants owners know, adds to the cost of operations. WeChat app based menus can be updated much easier as new items are added or removed through the app’s backend. Prices can be adjusted on short notice and promotions on specific items can run extremely easily and at any frequency.

Beyond these points, the backend of the application offers various analytical functions such as statistics on sales, profit analysis on specific items and various CRM functions. All of these benefits allow companies and individuals to run their restaurant business much more efficiently while at the same time offering better service to their customers.


Editors Note: 
This special report is from Sampi Marketing, which provides marketing services for companies seeking to establish or expand their presence in China. It is published here with Sampi’s kind permission. Visit them on the web at:




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