A Cashless F&B – Do you dare?

There are many ways to go cashless and F&B is doing it all
Tired of manually counting and recounting cash after a day’s work? What about that moment when a huge party asks to split the bill and you have to play mathlete to figure out the exact change? Or juggling food and drinks while handling cash? That can get messy - will that be a mustard stain or ketchup?
If you truly wish to spend your time training employees or greeting guests rather than counting cash in a quiet, dusty office, then it’s time for you to go Cashless. Guests are slowly using digital payments as their first choice to cover the bills. Might as well make it the first choice of payment for your F&B establishment as well.    
There are many types of cashless payments, the obvious ones being debit and credit cards, now upgraded to pay without a PIN. Then we have digital wallets, slowly becoming the new norm - guests can now use apps to pay with virtual cash or transfer money directly engaging in contactless payment using their smart phones or wearables.


The Need
Ever realize just how unhygienic it is to have cash around your food? Cash has been around for a long time, travelling from person to person, collecting grime, sweat, dirt and who knows what - you never really know where it’s been. It is also really easy to misplace or steal cash, since you can’t track it so it’s gone forever.
Dishing out change is also an annoying part of it. Customers walk in with big notes and the cashiers may not always have enough change to cover all of them. On the occasional splurges when the final bill is high, the guests can’t be expected to carry that much cash on them, thus their preference to go Cashless becomes more prominent.  
The Pleasure
Installing contactless payments and accepting cards doesn't just help shorten queues, but it’s also a blessing for the staff. They are no longer bound to the front desk. Kiosks too are making a difference; guests can now order and pay as they please which speeds up food service.
In fact, with a tablet for a menu and a payment terminal at the cashier’s desk, the staff is free to focus on other demanding tasks. They can now interact with their guests on a more personal level and so build a much more guest-focused aura, which will enhance guest experience and bring more business in the long run.

The Delight
Loyalty programs too can be monitored through payment systems. Instead of stamping an extra card, an app can be linked to the payment method and every time a purchase is made, the app will record the transaction. On the restaurant’s side, they can collect customer data to further improve their loyalty offers and services.
With cash out of the picture, even tracking financial transactions would become simpler for the restaurants. Digital cash means no internal thefts, constant tracking of costs, faster transactions and easy operation for the staff.
The Drawback
It seems however that digital transactions may not be easy for everyone, for there is a small part of the population that either do not have access to e-payment methods or are too skeptical to use it. Well for the former, there are always ways to get by it. The slow adapters can stick to plastic payments and the little ones without a bank account can download an app and link it to their parents’ accounts.
As for international guests, using digital cash means incurring various extra costs on transaction, conversion and processing fees. Fear not, for with the Prepaid Currency Card, offered by banks globally, guests can make transactions abroad with a select choice of currency. The currency loaded onto the card is fixed at that day's exchange rate, resulting in no transaction or conversion fee.
Although cashless payments make it seem like the staff would lose out on tips, an alternative can easily be found. Instead of leaving tips in a jar or with the bill, guests’ can transfer tips through a standalone terminal or a device simply dedicated to tips.


Clearly the outcomes are beneficial and the drawbacks can be resolved. Leaving us with one foreseeable way forward. Like all things in this world, change is inevitable and cashless payments will soon be just as normal as the barter system was back in the day.
People may be skeptical at first but they always come around to new technology, especially if it is proven to make their lives easier. Cashless payments may or may not take off in every sector but perhaps one day we may see grimy old bills in the museum. Ridiculous right? I’m sure kings thought the same about their specially minted gold coins as well.

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This Blog Post is for informational purposes only. Any information provided on the KIT Blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. Even though KIT is an IT Consultancy, the KIT Blog must not be seen or substituted as any kind of Consultative advice. Readers must not rely solely on any information posted on the KIT Blog, doing so would be at their own risk. For any Consultative advice regarding IT solutions, products and/or services, please contact info@kit.ae.

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