WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, including how we order at a restaurant.

Some businesses no longer have menus, instead they’re now using QR codes. A single black square holds the key to any appetite, as well as a business’s success.

It’s the new way to read a menu.

The owner of Stage West, Steve Masterson says, “I think that it draws a little bit of, you know, curiosity and it’s new to a lot of people. So, it you know it enhances the experience a little bit.”

Stage West in Scranton implemented quick response or QR codes for its menu when Lackawanna County moved into the yellow phase more than a month ago.

“Instead of giving away menus each time, throwing them away, that we would try a new modern concept,” Masterson said.

How it works: a customer hovers their phone’s camera over the QR code and opens the menu. If a customer comes in and does not have a smartphone or a phone that will work with the QR code, they will be given a regular menu.

Once the customer is done with the menu it will be washed and used for the next customer.

A couple did just that while dining at Chat N chew in Blakeslee, another restaurant utilizing QR code menus. Meanwhile, a few tables down, another party used the code placed at their table.

“I mean, it works! I mean it would be easier to have a menu,” said Chaliss Richardson of Delaware.

“You can do a lot of demographics statistic with it,” said Michael Dovidio, the owner of Chat N Chew Cafe. “So you can tell exactly where people are coming from, you know how many scans you had each day. It’s a useful tool.”

The business owners we spoke with today told Eyewitness News, they plan to keep the QR codes even when COVID-19 is behind us.