Exploration in Going Cashless

Are you ready to go cashless?

We’ve gone straight to our trusted source, VSAG Managing Partner & Vice President of Restaurant Operations, Amber Hartman, to break it down.

  • What it means to be a cashless restaurant;
  • What it means for your restaurant payment processing;
  • What it means for your restaurant payment system, and beyond…

The Lowdown. Going cashless pretty much means just that: a restaurant or food service provider that prefers plastic and/or restaurant mobile payment options (hello, Apple Pay restaurants!), over cold, hard cash.

When & Where it Works. High-volume, fast casual concepts with multiple locations. Given the right circumstances, Amber says, this approach makes sense. Going cashless proves more efficient for high-volume concepts, and it improves the safety of food service staff and guest as it mitigates the risk of robbery and theft. Idea here: larger operations, with multiple locations, can support the amount of money these businesses tend to spend on armored car services and banking fees, as well as the added labor carrying costs needed to support cash handling on a daily basis. All which could prove devastating to a small business’s bottom line.

The Risks. Going cashless has its risks. Namely, frustrating or offending customers. Not every customer carries his or her smartphone or credit card if just grabbing a bite at a local lunch spot. Not every diner has access to a smartphone. Not every guest has the ability to obtain a credit card. Not every restaurant service or bar staff wants to receive their tip via credit or mobile pay.

In the End. Ultimately, Amber says, businesses need to evaluate their own financial models and risk factors to determine if going cashless is a viable option. As this trend evolves, we see that going cashless allows larger operations to deliver faster, more seamless service, but it also has its pitfalls.

Before jumping on board or ruling it out, Amber advises evaluating your current payment mix breakdown to determine if incorporating this model will add value to your business or hinder it.