As Martha Stewart might put it, the use of QR codes in place of physical menus in restaurants is “a good thing.” If nothing else, it saves a tree, especially in the case of restaurants that update their menus frequently.
Yet for one tech-unsavvy restaurant patron in China, the practice turned out to be anything but good. According to the South China Morning Post, a woman dining in a hotpot restaurant was shocked to receive a 430,000 yuan (roughly $60,000) check at meal’s end. The explanation? She had wanted to post a photo of the dishes she and a friend had shared but accidently included a QR code affixed to the table for ordering food. Which unscrupulous strangers promptly did. Before the dust had settled, the restaurant received orders for 1,850 portions of fresh duck blood, 2,580 portions of squid, and 9,990 portions of shrimp paste, each priced at a few dozen yuan (a few dollars).
Wang deleted her post immediately, but new orders continued to flood in. The management did not hold her responsible and ignored all the new orders made via the code.