Should fooderies go cashless? Maybe not...
Accepting multiple payment methods can be a good thing in today's digital age, but that should not mean refusing cash. That's the word on the street in New Jersey, where a sub-sandwich chain spokesperson recently declared their loyalty to the king of payment options. Cash.
Since Visa's Cashless Challenge enticed fooderies across the USA to go cashless.. (allegedly without going totally cashless... whatever that means), new business models have spoken up about the pros of going cashless, but we couldn't help but wonder what the tech-savvy yet cash-loyal fooderies have to say about why they're not fooled by Visa's self-interested campaign.
Guests placing an order at Jersey Mike’s can pay for their meal in a variety of ways: credit card, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, online through a delivery-ordering system, through their mobile phones, and more. The New Jersey-based sub sandwich chain prides itself on being aware of upcoming digital technologies and is always trying to move customers through the line faster, says Jersey Mike’s CMO Rich Hope.
But that doesn’t mean the company is thinking of going cashless.
“Cash is still a viable method in this country, and I don’t think we intend to eliminate it anytime soon,” Hope says, adding that at Jersey Mike’s, cash transactions are often faster than credit-card ones.
Cash has its advantages. It doesn’t come with a service fee, it might encourage tipping, and it requires human interaction that can shine a light on superior customer service, says Virgil Dickerson, marketing manager of Illegal Pete’s, a Denver-based burrito concept that had considered going cashless but decided against it. The brand is, however, incorporating more digital payment options than just credit cards...
“I think we’re getting closer [to a cashless market]—a lot of change has happened, but I’m not ready to give up on cash just yet. I don’t feel like everyone is comfortable with all the technologies you have to use to go cashless.”
...Cash’s continued use is a core reason to keep it in the limited-service space. For example, it’s around 20 percent at Illegal Pete’s. In contrast, Sweetgreen was processing fewer than 10 percent cash transactions, Neman told the New York Times... Continue reading
Reader, Ruth. "Sweetgreen Is Going Fully Cashless In 2017." Fast Company. December 30, 2016. Accessed January 09, 2018.
Szalay, Jessie. "The Case Against Going Cashless." QSR magazine online: payment processing. January 05, 2018. Accessed January 09, 2018.
Catch Up: New York Times 'Cash Might Be King, but They Don’t Care'
Indeed. Cashless businesses were once an isolated phenomenon, but now, similarly jarring experiences can be had across the street at Sweetgreen, or two blocks up at Two Forks, or next door to Two Forks at Dos Toros, or over on 41st Street at Bluestone Lane coffee. In Midtown and some other neighbourhoods across New York City, cashless is fast on its way to becoming normal.
Catch Up: Fast Company 'Sweetgreen Is Going Fully Cashless In 2017'
“When it comes to fast food, the major portion of the purchases are cash,” says Bonnie Riggs, a market analyst at NPD Group. She also makes the point that moving to a cashless system cuts out customers on the lower end of the economic spectrum who may not have debit, credit, or even prepaid cards. “What would you say to somebody who came to your restaurant and didn’t have any of those things? We don’t want your money?” Riggs asks.
Catch Up: Cash Matters 'Poor Visa! The company now wants to pay people to use their product...'
In an unprecedented act of despair, Visa announced plans to pay thousands of dollars to 50 small merchants. They would receive the money for restricting their customers’ choice when it came to payments by no longer allowing cash payments. In Visa’s own words, this is part of the company’s "strategy" for “putting cash out of business”.
Catch Up: Cash Matters 'Chicago Alderman Decrees Ban on Cashless'
Chicago's distinguished Alderman Edward Burke (14th Ward) introduced an ordinance to prohibit licensees from refusing cash as payment for goods or services at a City Council meeting on 11th October 2017.