Why more restaurants are going cashless.

Why more restaurants are going cashless.

As a consumer in your own right, you may already be reveling in the phenomenon of leaving your bulky wallet at home in favor of paying with a single credit card or even by using your mobile phone and its built-in digital wallet feature. Now, switch from being a buyer back into your role as a restaurateur. Think about how embracing the cashless revolution could end up being a big win for your eating establishment. It just might be one of the smartest and most forward-thinking moves you will ever make.

Going cashless reduces the chances of theft.

When you own an eating establishment, stealing seems to come with the territory. Some of the biggest culprits can be your own employees — and with your stockpile of meats, seafood, dry staples and perhaps alcohol, it isn’t hard to figure out why. However, there is another kind of thievery that frequently plagues restaurants of all sizes. It’s the type that happens when a criminal separates you from the money in your cash register. On a busy night, it is quite possible that you will have thousands of dollars available for the taking if you accept cash as a form of payment.

On the other hand, some restaurants require customers to buy food and beverages using plastic or via swiping their mobile phone near an NFC contactless reader. As a result, staff members who might be tempted to filch a few bucks from the drawer will no longer have the opportunity. Furthermore, both customers and workers will be much less likely to be placed in the physical or emotional jeopardy that occurs if your eatery is set upon by criminals. Finally, you can say a permanent goodbye to those dreaded money drops at the end of a long and busy night. It is a necessary job that nobody wants to do.

The need for speed.

No doubt, you have stood behind someone in line at a retail store, cafe, or supermarket who spends an eternity fumbling through their wallet and pockets in order to pay with bills and change. Tens, fives, singles, and coins of all descriptions seem to take an eternity to count. In the most frustrating cases, the potential customer comes up short and must either repeat the interminable process or walk away unsatisfied. All the while, you and everyone else behind you in line are becoming increasingly frustrated.

Cashless point of sale systems remove all of this futile, endless searching. In a matter of just seconds, a card can be swiped or dipped … or a mobile phone placed near a contactless reader. What’s more, there is much less potential for human error on the part of a harried cashier who is all too eager to hurry the transaction along. No restaurant owner needs or wants to figure out cash discrepancies at the end of a crazy night. Therefore, not accepting cash in the first place is an excellent way to ensure that the process is efficient and accurate even at the most frenetic times.

Increased cleanliness.

Whenever you are in the business of serving food to the public, hygiene needs to be one of your top priorities. Cash, which is passed from hand to hand and lives in all manner of dirty pockets and cluttered spaces, is laden with germs and dirt. Often, it even bears traces of illegal drugs including heroin and cocaine.

The further you can keep these substances away from the hands of your staff, the less likely it is that the food you serve will be contaminated. That being said, you still need to constantly remind everyone who works for you about the importance of the 30-second hand wash each and every time they finish in the bathroom. In addition, all food storage and disposal protocols must, of course, be followed. All-in-all, think of going cashless as a way to make hygiene a high priority in your eating establishment.

Don’t discount the “cool” factor.

It’s no secret that many customers are virtually inseparable from their mobile phones. As a restaurateur, you may already be harnessing their powerful GPS and contact features to stay in touch and entice customers into your café or diner by means of coupons, promotions, and location-sensitive flash deals.

If you are, you already know that younger Millennial and Gen Y consumers love an eating experience that is both targeted directly at them and offers seamless transactions. Removing cumbersome cash from the equation is just one more way that you can raise your restaurant’s hipness factor.

Credit card POS systems allow you to grow your business. 

By choosing the right POS system when you go cashless, you should get access to detailed analytics that will help you increase efficiency and profitability. Some payments partners even offer secure online merchant portals to help you harvest data to better manage your inventory, employees, and customers.

A few caveats to keep in mind.

Thanks to modern point of sale systems, going cashless is easier and less prone to error than ever. However, like any trend, depriving customers of the ability to pay using bills and coins comes with its own set of concerns.

For one thing, you will inevitably pay more in credit card transaction fees. These charges are imposed upon you every time a customer buys anything using plastic, whether it’s by dipping (EMV chip cards), swiping (traditional magstripe cares), or tapping (NFC contactless payments like ApplePay via their mobile phone). 

Another issue that may arise is that some of your customers might be unwilling or unable to use plastic to make their payments. Ultimately, some of these patrons might become permanently alienated. Before you eliminate cash, you, therefore, must assess what percentage of your diners you are likely to lose during the transition.

Finally, regardless of their type, all point of sale terminals are dependent on technology. No matter how scrupulously you maintain your systems and ensure that they are upgraded, they can still fail. When — not if — that happens, a cashless restaurant can become paralyzed. Should you decide to go this route, it is essential that you choose a payment processing provider offering the highest possible uptimes and supported with excellent, prompt customer service.

Should you do what it takes to make your restaurant 100 percent cashless? Only you can make the final decision after examining your goals, customer demographics, and staff readiness. For many eateries, adopting the cashless model is proving to be an excellent way to market their brand to customers, gather helpful data, forecast sales trends, and enhance safety and efficiency. Maybe it’s time to figure out if you should join the cashless restaurant revolution as well!