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Is the industry set to trash the cash?

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Thanks to technology, we live in a world where consumers have everything at their fingertips. One sector in which guests are increasingly demanding more, is the hospitality industry.

With the ability to book a table at the touch of a button, order a meal with an i-pad and use self-service at grab and go restaurants – there is still a growing need for speed from today’s guest.

Contactless is now available in most restaurants, saving time for both guests and your team, particularly when it comes to splitting the bill. And with some operators having launched their own app, in which guests can leave without asking for the bill, the question is, is there still a demand for cash payments or should we ditch it altogether?

When it comes to the bill, it can take several minutes to find a team member to ask for it in the first place, several more waiting for it, and even more to actually make the payment. According to research from Barclaycard, the average wait time for the bill is 19 minutes, they also revealed that 25% of guests consider leaving the restaurant without paying when they have waited too long. Can the industry really afford to let this happen?

In our own research conducted last year, 49% of our panel of mystery guests revealed that when it comes to the guest experience, the way in which their payment is handled can often turn a great experience into a bad one, with all the hard work of your team – undone. What’s more, 27% of these guests said they would be unlikely to return to the restaurant after receiving a negative payment process.

35% of our guests say that the final impression of their experience counts for more than the first impression, so no matter how welcoming your staff or tasty your food – it is worth investing in your payment process, so guests can leave on a high.

The latest restaurant to adopt a cash free policy is Tossed. According to the chain, they have reduced queues making for a far more pleasant experience for both guests and staff – guests simply order their food and tap their card, allowing staff focus on food production. The impact of this has seen a major increase in the number of guests that Tossed can serve at one time – from six guests to twenty-three. What’s more, eliminating cashing up has reduced 6 hours per week for managers allowing them to ensure standards are kept up until close of play with more focus on the guest experience.

For restaurants, it seems that apps may be the way forward, with card details already stored, guests can leave at their own leisure with the app automatically taking their payment. These payment apps also give guests the option to split the bill with their friends, add discounts and leave a tip, leaving staff to quickly clear tables and seat your next guests. Barclaycard revealed that 95% of operators would much rather their staff focus on providing an excellent level of customer service throughout rather than spending time processing the bill.

So, is it worth investing in a new payment system and trashing the cash? Let us help you decide by supporting you in measuring your payment process – get in touch today on 01225 470999 or enquires@hgem.com.                                                              

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