As restaurants push to retain sales during the pandemic, some are encouraging customers to pay with credit or debit cards, digital wallets, and via apps like Venmo. Owners and operators see the transition as a step toward the future, partly because restaurant POS solutions make it easy to accept and track cashless transactions, and partly due to the ability to support social distancing and reduced health risks that some associate with touching cash.
A handful of restaurants in San Francisco were already touting their cash-free policies even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Split Bread and the Melt, for instance, opened with cashless systems. Still, others have gone a step further, debuting online, mobile, and QR-code ordering.
As mobile payment technology improves and makes substantial gains in popularity, cashless may not be a completely unattainable goal. The trend for small and mid-sized businesses is on a fast track, with restaurants taking the forefront on the initiative. Cashless payments are not only considered more secure, but they are also much more convenient for both consumers and merchants.
Implementing a no-cash policy doesn’t have to be daunting for businesses either. Start by testing the cash-free model in a select location as a trial run. It may be easier than you think, especially as an increasing number of consumers find that mobile payments are just as accessible, and safer than handling paper notes.
The restaurant industry's shift away from cash payments is not necessarily a new trend, but adoption is picking up speed while many are following their local government’s curbside, delivery and carryout mandates. During the balance of 2020, and on the other side of the Coronavirus outbreak, we expect an increased focus on the convenience and security of cashless payments.