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Baltimore has a habit of being ahead of the curve. Going Cashless is Baltimore's new topic -- eliminate cash from your restaurant or cafe, and shift your business to credit cards only. Guests and customers will be facing this reality. The phrase for this action? Going Cashless. Here are pros and cons, plus examples of businesses who already have hopped on the bandwagon.

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REASONS to GO CASHLESS

  • Handling cash is a dirty business. As owners, we already know this. Customers are aware of this! Asking a staff member to stay at the cash register, to ensure the germs from money handling are not transferred to the food you are selling, is standard procedure, yet that's a dedicated job. Labor costs are associated with that dedicated job.
  • Eliminating cash, eliminates frequent bank visits/deposits.  Eliminating the need to run to the bank to get bills, and make change daily does have an impact on monthly bank charges. Certainly each owner has wished they could relieve their business of that nuisance charge.
  • There is no drawer counting. Staff no longer have the tedious end-of-day drawer counting.  Gone are the managers worries over a  $27.88 unrecorded paid out. Gone too, is the double checking that the right bills are back in the drawer, and "do we have enough quarters".  While all those items are not a huge struggle, time is saved, and labor costs are saved. 
  • Focus is now squarely on the customer.  Instead of counting back the twenty, a staff member who recognizes a customer can proceed right on to a friendly interaction.  
  • Cash is simply becoming the only part of our economy that is untraceable, and unrecorded, which also means it's largely illegal activity. Improving credit card use will also put more pressure on less than savory activity.
  • Wave of the future. In 2016, only 22% of all transactions in the US were conducted in cash.
  • Sales will go down with credit card only transaction.  Actually the opposite phenomena happens. Yes, a few people only have cash and have to be turned away.  This is a small percentage, and we are facing this cultural shift already.

REASONS YOU'LL RESIST GOING CASHLESS

  • "Cash carriers".  We all know, that there are just those people who prefer to purchase their coffee in cash. What would you do?  Let that over ride all the positive reasons to go cashless? Or come up with a plan that is inclusive for cash transactions--gift card, for example.
  • "It'll never work".  Going cashless sounds like you just stepped into the Jetson's high-tech, space age world.  We cannot possibly be in the future already. Fact is, we are probably going there now, so consider the pros and cons.  If you decide to go cashless, like anything else in your business, set a date when you plan to go cashless, and find all the avenues to share that idea. 
  • "No one else is going cashless". That may seem true in this very moment, but "Going Cashless" is gaining a following among owners. Tune in to the discussion.  Here are some case studies that will help you understand why other owners have hopped on this bandwagon.
  • "Credit cards cost our businesses so much". This is a real problem. Fact is, we are receiving this charges whether we are cashless or not.  The time and money of not having to run to the bank, and receive bank charges makes for an efficiency.
Latte Art training and practice is an investment the owner of Park Cafe values in the guest experience...now, staffs' craft can shift away making change from a $20 to a creating a lovely moment in a customers day!

Latte Art training and practice is an investment the owner of Park Cafe values in the guest experience...now, staffs' craft can shift away making change from a $20 to a creating a lovely moment in a customers day!

 

CASE STUDIES

  • The owner of Park Cafe and Coffee Bar chose to go cashless after facing repeated robberies. It was a recurring robbery, by the same individual.  Eliminating risk of yet another robbery tipped the scales for David Hart, the cafes' owner.  Was it the perfect solution to eliminate robberies?  No. Police needed to catch the repeat offender. However, it did take a huge factor out of the equation. 
  • Sweetgreens created this model, and is completely satisfied with their decision. They switched to credit card only as a 2017 policy. Their reasons? Staff security was their primary reasons. That is attractive to applicants, and shows that the owner values staff safety.

GOING CASHLESS -- NEWS ARTICLES

Chris Mim of the WSJ just wrote this story from a tech perspective.

DC area Sweetgreens has been a topic of interest since the experiment began one year ago, Jan 2016.

The concept of a Cashless Society is global fascination with India at the forefront of the movement.

The shift to cashless in the US is already growing. 

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