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Why is QR web ordering better than app ordering for the FIRST dine-in order?

When customers are dining, they don’t like to download an app, because 1) they have been conditioned to think that apps require a cumbersome registration process, 2) installing the app may take about 1-2 minutes – depending on the connection speed, and 3) when diners are hungry and haven’t yet ordered, their patience for this process is slim.

QR table ordering is drastically easier.  This was not necessarily true 2-3 years ago, when most people did not know how to scan a QR code and smartphone cameras didn’t automatically open a QR.  Now the vast majority of people can easily scan a QR code.

The major drawback of QR code based web ordering is the payment process.  Customers must either 1) enter a credit card manually, 2) use an installed payment app like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay, or WeChat, or 3) pay at the counter.  CIRCL is deploying all of these.

Is QR ordering or app ordering better for SUBSEQUENT dine-in visits?

Customers tend to order the same dishes 80-100% of the time.  Using a QR code requires the user to re-select these dishes each time.  This becomes a hassle, especially for customized dishes.  And remember, customization drives loyalty and repeat visits.

Using QR or websites also requires a username and password to remember previous orders and credit cards. Customers dislike this and end up just ordering the old way — verbally.  CIRCL is unique in that it anonymously and securely remembers each customer’s credit card and history, even when ordering via the website.

Using the CIRCL app on subsequent visits enables diners to re-order within 2 taps, or about 10 seconds.  All customizations from previous orders are included, and can be easily modified in the cart.  This works especially well for highly customized orders like coffee and for group orders like a family meal.

The CIRCL app generally does not require a username or password for subsequent purchases, unless the user has intentionally logged out or switched phones.

Apps also have additional advantages of being faster and easier to use than web ordering because the graphics load faster and the payment is always saved.  And they save the order history, favorites, and customer rating for future reference when deciding what to order.  Customers will never wonder: “What did I get last time that was so good?”

So to drive loyalty and repeat visits, restaurants should offer both QR and app ordering.  CIRCL offers both, and is designed to automatically encourage QR customers to get the app.

Why is app ordering better than web ordering for TAKEAWAY orders?

20 years ago, web ordering was in its prime.  But now, people strongly prefer apps.  Just think of Whatsapp, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Youtube.  These all have web versions, but billions prefer using the apps.

But I use Amazon on the web!  Ordering from restaurants and local merchants is not like shopping on Amazon.  People are often mobile when they want to order a coffee or meal.  Or already outside when buying flowers.  Ordering from the web is harder when you are mobile.  You have to navigate to the right website, login with password, share your location, wait for webpages to load, and/or enter credit cards.  That’s a lot of trouble.  That’s the reason people prefer to order an Uber ride from their Uber app, not the Uber website.  Apps are better when you might be mobile.  That’s why delivery apps have taken off.  They are addictively easy when customers are hungry.

App ordering drives repeat orders.  Web ordering does not.  With CIRCL, customers can re-order in 10 seconds.  With the web, it can easily take 2-3 minutes…that’s 10 times longer!

An illustration can help.  Let’s say Restaurant APP does app ordering, and Restaurant WWW does web ordering.  Both ask their regulars to order online.  APP asks customers to use the CIRCL app.  WWW asks customers to order from their website.  

APP gives a big promotion for the first app order, and converts 30% of their regulars to app ordering.  80% of these switch permanently to app ordering since it is so easy to use.  They now have 24% of their overall customers ordering via an app.  In addition, these 24% now order twice as much since they can customize their dishes and re-order the entire order in 10 seconds.  On average, these customers spend double what they did before due to higher order sizes and more frequent purchases.  As a result, APP permanently increases total sales by 24%.

WWW gives the same big promotion for the first web order and converts 80% of their regulars.  But because the website is hard to remember and use, only 1% continue to use it.  (That’s realistic!)  So as a result, WWW has not increased sales.  In fact, they are losing sales to other restaurants that have deployed app ordering.

How can you help me convert my customers to online ordering?

We require all merchants on the free tier to give 20% off on the first takeaway order for each registered user.  To be eligible, each user must verify their mobile phone via an SMS code.   We provide this phone number to merchants in each order in case issues arise.

With this 20% discount, users of the CIRCL app will use the app to discover new restaurants and merchants. 

Note this 20% is lower than the fee charged by almost all delivery apps and it is only one-time.  And it goes to customers, not to the platform.  On subsequent transactions, you save the entire 25-35% that delivery apps typically charge for takeaway orders — even though they are not delivering!  Don’t let them gouge your precious profits from takeout orders!

What do I need to start receiving orders?

Use the CIRCL Store app, which requires

  • Any iPhone with iOS 8 or newer (any 2011 iPhone 4s or newer with an up-to-date operating system)
  • Any phone with Android 8.0 or newer, (most Androids since late 2018)
  • Android 8.0 and 9.0 are required for printing. Android 10.0 is NOT yet supported for printing.

For multi-station printing, get a second app, CIRCL Print, which requires any Android phone with Android 7.0 or newer

How do I order a printer?

Bluetooth printers are available for US$99 including free shipping by emailing us at 

Delivery is currently delayed due to the pandemic, so please expect 14-30 days (unless you are in Singapore)

    How do I automatically print orders?
    • Use any Android phone or tablet with Android 8.0 or 9.0.
    • Be sure to use a dedicated phone or tablet for CIRCL and not share it with another app, e.g. don’t use your POS tablet.  This way you’ll avoid missing orders.
    • For multi-station printing, get the CIRCL Print app from Google Play Store, turn on Bluetooth, then go into Settings>Printer to connect it. 
        Send yourself a test order…it should print automatically!
    What’s the difference between secure printing and non-secure printing?
    • Unsecured Bluetooth connections can get mixed up, especially if there are other Bluetooth devices nearby.  This may cause your printer to lose its Bluetooth connection periodically.
    • Secure Bluetooth requires a password to connect.  This means your Secure Bluetooth Printer will not try to pair with other devices.  It provides a much more stable connection.
    Can CIRCL transactions be integrated into accounting software?
    • Via our payment processing partner, all online credit card transactions can be automatically imported into the following accounting software:  Xero, Intuit Quickbooks Online, Zoho Books, FreshBooks, and Oracle NetSuite.  Note that integrating Xero, Quickbooks, Zoho Books, and FreshBooks may require use of integration solution providers, such as Greenback,, or Zapier.  Or see the next FAQ.
    How do I avoid third party integration fees into my accounting software?
    • If you or your accountant use Xero as your accounting software, Xero can automatically grab your CIRCL online credit card transactions daily from your bank as an automated bank feed.  There are over 100 banks around that world that provide bank feeds for no additional charge to Xero, including:Australia NAB, CBA, ANZ, Westpac, Bendigo and many more

      Canada                        : CIBC
      Hong Kong                 : HSBC, Hang Seng
      Malaysia                     : CIMB
      New Zealand              : ANZ (NZ), ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB, Westbank and many more
      Singapore                   : DBS, UOB, OCBC, HSBC
      UK                                : Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Yorkshire Bank, HSBC, TSB, Santander, and many more.
      US                                : Capital One, Wells Fargo and more

    How does online payments work?

    CIRCL has partnered with payment partners for processing online payments. During registration, merchants will create an account directly with one of our payment partners. Every day, that partner will automatically pay out directly to merchant bank accounts according to the above payout schedule, after deducting the below fees. CIRCL does not charge additional payment processing fees or touch the funds. Fees charged by our payment partner are subject to change (though we haven’t seen any changes for the past few years).

    What is required to accept online payments like Visa and Mastercard?

    You will be required to register an account with our payment partner.  On their secure site, you will be required to verify yourself, your business (if registered), and your credentials (phone, address), and agree to the terms and conditions of our payment partner.

    When will my billing cycle renew?

    Your billing cycle renews every month on the same date of the month that your paid subscription began.  If your paid subscription began on the 31st, then your billing cycle will renew on the last day of each month.

    How do I cancel?

    Please login to your account at to cancel at least one day before the end of your billing cycle and verify that you would like to cancel.  
    Then, login to your CIRCL Store app, go to Settings, and uncheck the “Credit card” selection.

    When will I get paid?

    Our payment partner automatically pays your bank account after a fixed number of days.  This varies by country.  For major countries, this payout take 2-7 days from the customer payment date.  You may check your payout schedule below.

    Will I always get the full amount after the payment processing partner's commission is deducted?

    Yes, but with standard exceptions typical of any credit card transaction.  If the customer disputes the charge, then standard dispute resolution processes by payment companies begin.  If they determine that the customer dispute is valid, then your payout will be adjusted by this amount.

    How much are your payment partner’s processing fees?
    Country Payment Partner Transaction Fees Payout
    Australia 1.75% + A$30c
    2.9% + 30c for international cards 2 Business Days
    Austria 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Belgium 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Brazil 3.99% + R$0.50 per successful card charge 30 Calendar Days
    Bulgaria 1.4% + Лв.0.50 for European cards
    2.9% + ЛВ0.50 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Canada 2.9% + CA$0.30
    7 Calendar Days
    Cyprus 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Czech Republic 1.4% + 6.50Kč for European cards
    2.9% + 6.50Kč for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Denmark 1.4% + 1.80kr for European cards
    2.9% + 1.80kr for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Estonia 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Finland 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    France 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Germany 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Greece 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Hong Kong 3.4% + HK$2.35
    7 Calendar Days
    India Domestic :
    2% , for most cards issued in India
    3%, for cards issued outside of India
    International :
    4.3%, for cards issued anywhere. Additional 2% for currency conversion
    7 Calendar Days
    Ireland 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Italy 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Japan 3.6% per successful card charge Weekly
    Latvia 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Lithuania 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Luxembourg 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Malaysia 3% + RM1.00
    5 Business Days
    Malta 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Mexico 3.6% + 3.00 Mex$
    7 Calendar Days
    Netherlands 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    New Zealand 2.9% + NZ$0.30
    4 Business Days
    Norway 2.4% + 2kr for European cards
    2.9% + 2kr for International cards 7 Calendar Days
    Poland 1.4% + 1zl for European cards
    2.9% + 1zł for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Portugal 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Romania 1.4% + 1LEU for European cards
    2.9% + 1LEU for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Singapore 3.4% + S$0.50
    7 Calendar Days
    Slovakia 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Slovenia 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Spain 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards
    2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Sweden 1.4% + 1.80kr for European cards
    2.9% + 1.80kr for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    Switzerland 2.9% + CHF0.30 for European cards
    7 Calendar Days
    United Kingdom 1.4% + 20p for European cards
    2.9% + 20p for non-European cards 7 Calendar Days
    United States 2.9% + $0.30 per successful card charge 2 Business Days

    ** Subject to approval & final rate set by payment partner

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