Picture this… it’s Friday night, 11:37pm, you’re absolutely FIRING at a bar, just put back a pitcher. Out of nowhere, you have this insatiable craving for loaded, cheesy bacon tater tots (we’ve all been there). What if I told you, with a swipe of an app, you could have those tater tots right in front of you, in sub two minutes, without even having to speak to a waiter or take out your wallet? Sounds like paradise, right? Well it isn’t, it actually fucking blows.
Since the reopening of bars and restaurants after the pandemic, many of them have introduced new “QR Code Ordering.” Just scan the table with your phone, it takes you to a menu and you can order food and drinks right to your table without ever having to walk to the bar or talk to a waiter. Genius, right?
Well… just like friends shouldn’t let friends drink and drive, friends also shouldn’t let friends drink and QR code. It’s an abusive restaurant practice, taking advantage of drunk patrons and their stadium-sized, inebriated appetites. Because when you’re blackout drunk, nothing sounds better than a shitty $23 quesadilla, and bars KNOW THIS.
Now, I wouldn’t be bitching about this IF… the menu items were like $3 for a basket of fries, and maybe $7 for some wings or tenders. I feel that’s pretty manageable bar drunk food. I paid SEVENTEEN DOLLARS for dive bar tater tots. SEVENTEEN! And got another $30 pitcher while I was at it, because it was so damn easy.
See, with ordering directly from your phone, there’s no filter of walking up to a bar, taking out cash and seeing your bank account slowly die in front of you. These bars make it SO. DAMN. EASY. They prey… they prey so hard on the inevitable drunchies. They put pictures of the God damn food on their little QR menu and make it so easy, a toddler could do it! (And essentially that’s all a 23 year-old, blacked out, broke college kid is… a starving toddler).
ME WANT NACHOS.
NACHOS ON SCREEN?
WOW, NACHOS ON TABLE!
And what you don’t realize throughout the convenience of it all, is you’ve just spent $53 on probably the worst nachos that you will ever eat.
That’s exactly what happened to me last weekend at one of my neighborhood, West LA bars. Now, I hate this QR code practice, but I actually like the establishment, so I’m not gonna disparage them. For the sake of the article, let’s just call them Drennan’s. It was a Friday, I was imbibing… enjoying my night, and when the pitcher ran low I pulled out my phone. “I just want one more beer, I don’t need anything else.” I scanned the QR code and it brought me to their menu. “Hmmm, I guess I’ll do another pitcher.” And then… the drunchies took over. “Oh and a pizza. And some wings. Well, you can’t have wings without tots.” Our table ate and ate like Christ’s Last Supper. It was a great time… until the next morning, when I got a notification from my bank. “$127 TRANSACTION at Drennan’s.”
It has to stop.
Resist this trend with me, keep your phone off at the bar. Rip the QR codes off the table. Only order in person with a human being, or don’t order at all! Do not let them win!
Can’t we just go back to the good ol’ days of stumbling out of a bar (with my wallet still intact), starving as hell and just buying the entire Jack In The Box menu for $6.72 while on your way home to sending four “U up?” texts to girls you may or may not have worked with on a group project three years ago? At least then, the next morning, the disappointment won’t come from checking my debit card app and seeing I spent $93 on beer and nachos.