Why your cash is no good at these bars and coffee shops

Bars and restaurants start refusing cash as it not only saves costs, time, and energy but also keeps robbers away
23 April 2018

Restaurants and pubs are increasingly accepting bitcoins and cards and saying no to cash. Source: Shutterstock

Do you dream of a cashless society? One where payments and remittances will be painless and instantaneous? Can you imagine how much money, time, effort, and other resources it will save you?

It’s actually a growing trend that businesses around the world are exploring – and not just hotels chains and retail outlets but cash-rich businesses in the food and beverage industry too are starting to say no to cash.

In fact, according to the Manchester Evening News, it’s something that bars and cafes in Manchester are exploring too. The publication recently featured Sandbar, a pub on Grosvenor Street in Manchester which has gone completely digital, accepting card and cryptocurrency payments instead of cash.

Why cash is no longer king

The interview of Sandbar’s Manager,  Ash Wright, brought some interesting facts to light:

“The cost involved in servicing cash was completely unbalanced compared with card payments. It was costing us 40 hours of management time a week auditing it, counting it, banking it, doing all the cash sheets and till sheets,” said Wright.

Wright also explained that the pub has already saved around GBP 1,200 (US$1681) has been saved straight away in annual banking charges by the move, which will also free up staff to focus on other tasks.

Although he agreed that technically they hadn’t saved any money on wages as yet, the time they now have will be more profitable because they can invest it in more productive things.“We can allocate time to something better: sorting the website out, doing our own payroll, spending time looking at our electricity suppliers,” said Wright.

One of Wright’s most insightful observations was that 10 years ago, 95 percent of their take was cash. In the last two years, it dropped down very sharply to 25 percent. This is true of the industry as a whole – as is the trend.

At home in the US, All 28 of our Tender Greens’ outlets, about 77 of sweetgreen’s outlets, a Starbucks outlet in Seattle, and Shake Shack at Astor Place, New York are all toying with this idea.

Going cashless keeps burglars away

Wright pointed out that cutting out cash kept the waiters and staff safe. “There have always been robberies in bars but recently there have been a few with guns. It suddenly became more of a serious risk. I don’t want a gun in my face and it’s not something my staff should have to risk as part of their job,” he said.

And it’s a valid point that several other restaurant owners agree with.

In fact, the tragic robbery-gone-wrong at Barcelona Wine Bar in Atlanta last year prompted several restaurants to go cashless, according to WSB-TV. Tyisha Fernandes of the channel spoke to a few restaurant owners and they said they don’t want a bunch of cash in their restaurants to give armed robbers a reason to target them.

The media group also spoke to the CEO of the Atlanta Restaurant Association, Karen Bremer. She said that 81 percent of customers who spend money in restaurants nationwide are using debit or credit cards.

From the data, whether far away in Manchester, or at home in the US, it doesn’t look like going cashless will make a dent in the revenues for restaurants. With the time, cost, and resource savings, going cashless might actually prove to be useful.