It is no secret that digital currency payments offer a huge amount of benefits for small and large businesses. Instant transactions, lower to no transaction fees, a global payment method and nearly no additional infrastructure is required to set everything up. Restaurants are a great example of embracing newer technologies, especially if that can help cut overhead costs.
Bitcoin & Restaurants – Do They Mix?
In the Western world, more and more restaurants are gravitating towards a cashless payment ecosystem. Handling large amounts of fiat currency means someone has to take it to the bank every day, an operation usually entrusted to firms such as Brinks-Ziegler. Even though there are ways to get your fiat currency transported safely, they bring additional costs to the table.
Accepting card payments is the first step towards a cashless ecosystem for restaurants. However, every card transaction invokes a transaction fee of anywhere between 3 and 5%. Plus, the restaurant owner will have to invest in additional infrastructure, such as multiple card readers. To make it even worse, money will not arrive until 30 days later, while suppliers have to be paid in the meantime.
Mobile payments could work as well, even though they are just a more convenient representation of credit card payments or even bank transfers. The same issue with additional infrastructure is present here, although restaurant owners see the benefit of letting customers pay with their mobile device. Payments can be handled by the customers themselves, rather than sending out restaurant staff to collect the payment.
A total of 87 restaurants across the United States currently accept Bitcoin payments. Granted, this is only a very small percentage compared to the total amount of restaurants in existence. However, customer demand plays an important factor in determining whether or not to add alternative payment options to the menu, so to speak.
“Since we started working with virtual money, we have had several customers pay that way and on the marketing side, it was a hit. We are getting a very good response from people, especially those between 15 and 45, who are most accustomed to using cellphones and interacting with ATMs.” – Matias Caputi, Founder of BitCoffee, told DigitalMoneytimes.
Improving the Customer Relationship With The Restaurant
Customers could also benefit from a frictionless payment option such as Bitcoin when they visit a restaurant. Experimenting with Bitcoin as a payment method for tips has led to some great success by other companies. As a result of that success, Bitcoin became a payment method for all goods offered by those companies. In fact, this “change” dictated a new type of relationship between business owners and their customers.
Additionally, even though customers would prefer restaurants to hold onto a certain portion of every Bitcoin transaction, that may not be feasible for everyone. The Bitcoin price remains volatile, which is why Bitcoin payment processors offer customers the chance to convert Bitcoin payments to fiat currency in their bank account the next business day.
On the other hand, customers who pay in Bitcoin will have an easier time striking up a conversation with restaurant staff about Bitcoin and maybe learn them a few things. In the end, Bitcoin can be very beneficial for everyone involved, especially considering there are next to no infrastructure costs and only advantages across the board.
Source: Virtual Currency Today
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