Cashless Restaurants: Pros & Cons for Business Owners

Owning a cashless restaurant has its advantages and disadvantages. Learn more before deciding if this is the right choice for your new business.

The Evolution of Payment Options

Successful franchises flourish and stand the test of time by creating innovative ways to adapt to the increased role technology plays in business. This is accomplished by developing methods to keep their brand and franchisees ahead of the competition.

The world was a vastly different place when Wayback Burgers began with a single hamburger stand in Delaware in 1991. Now, with more than 170+ locations domestically and worldwide, our iconic franchise has seamlessly rolled with the changes. The launch of our Wayback app in 2018 affords our guests the power to view our menu and current offers in the palm of their hands. It also gave our franchise owners the ability to offer curbside pickup and delivery, making it easy for guests to enjoy Wayback Burgers from the comfort of home. On top of this, Wayback Burgers is testing out self-ordering kiosks around the country. These credit card only kiosks are extremely popular as they have shown to provide superior customer convenience as well as increased revenue.

The days of reaching for your wallet and pulling out cold hard cash to pay for meals seem to be dwindling. The recent pandemic has expedited the trend of paying for meals only with credit cards and various other electronic payment methods. Recent data from the Pew Research Center found that 41% of Americans say they don’t use cash in a typical week, up from 29% in 2018 and 24% in 2015. The data also showed that 59% of respondents stated that they still pay for some of their weekly purchases in cash.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of opening and operating a cashless restaurant? It’s critical to explore the pros and cons before making this important decision.


The Cashless Restaurant Pros

A cashless restaurant can decrease the risk of theft and robbery as your business won’t have an abundance of cash on hand. Not accepting cash also eliminates human counting errors and the occasional employee malfeasance.

Not accepting cash will also make it easier to track every transaction, allow for more accurate accounting and will ensure that you won’t experience the headache of investigating why the cash draw is short at the end of the business day.

Processing an electronic or credit card transaction is quicker than the exchange of cash and counting out change. This is key for restaurants as the turnover of tables will be more frequent resulting in an increase of profits for your business. A faster payment process will also reduce long lines, which often send potential customers fleeing to another establishment.


The Cashless Restaurant Cons

There are many holdouts who prefer to pay with cash and don’t want to run up or max out their electronic payment methods like credit cards and Apple Pay. That segment of the population, many of whom are older, may not even carry credit cards or have other payment methods on their phone.

Imagine their frustration when their preferred method of payment is declined and they are forced to scramble to pay or even seek another place to eat. They are unlikely to return to your establishment and will opt to frequent a cash-accepting restaurant.

Technology doesn’t always cooperate and often fails us at the worst times possible. The same is true for the technology we rely on to process credit card and other electronic payments. The inability to accept cash as an alternative payment while your system is down could have disastrous results. Frustrated customers and long lines equal the loss of customers in both the short and long-term. Perplexed employees will also face the ire of customers who are forced to wait to pay for their meals.

Accepting credit cards as payment comes with a price for your restaurant. Fees are charged for each credit card purchase and your business may have to build those fees into your prices. This may result in a loss of customers, especially in a down economy where every dollar counts.

Whether a new business endeavor or a successful burger restaurant franchise like Wayback Burgers, the advantages and disadvantages of a cashless restaurant are certainly food for thought.

To learn more about franchising with Wayback Burgers, a brand that embraces various payment methods and other cutting edge restaurant technology to provide the best restaurant experience possible, get started today.