Q & A – Cash Only


We are a four location, family ran, breakfast/lunch restaurant located in Washington state. With ever-increasing costs in labor and food, we are looking for ways to reduce cost without sacrificing food quality or customer experience. My wife and I have been discussing installing ATM machines at all of our locations and going cash only.

Angie and I once considered this for our restaurants too.

But we couldn’t get away from the idea that we’d forgotten who the business was for and that our job was not only to serve our guests but to make it EASY for them to enjoy dining at our establishments. We felt that going to cash only and ATMs might earn us someone’s business once, but were more concerned that those hassles and potential ATM fees might keep them from choosing us next time they were considering going out.

How about place an ATM and give a discount to your guests who choose to pay cash? Maybe even raise your prices on your best selling items slightly? I’m confident you’ll find that about 20% of your menu mix accounts for about 80% of your sales anyway, so the appropriate price changes are a bit easier.


Sometimes your job is to stay out of the way

Guest Retention , Operations

Please remember that guests come to relax and enjoy themselves. They come for good food and drink, and likely to enjoy their dining companions. As we navigate thru the space, we need to remember that. This counts in the restaurants as well as the doughnut counters.

Staff voices should be kept low so as not to disturb our guests.
On too many occasions, I have walked in on a full volume conversation among staff while guests are not only in the restaurant, but sometimes only a short distance away. Diners should never hear us unless we are speaking to them. Conversations between staff members should be kept to a minimum. OUR conversations with staff should be at a hushed tone and away from tables and guests.

The next time you’re out to dinner on your own precious time, spending your hard-earned money, notice if the staff around you are a disturbance. Are they? How does it affect your meal?

As the leaders, you are not only to set this example but to enforce it. Please prime your staff to understand talking in their normal voice, about their personal lives, in front of guests is not acceptable. They should keep their speak professional and about the business at hand. They can talk about their personal issues before and after the restaurant is open for business. If you encounter staff having these types of conversations, they should be disbanded and you should make sure they understand they aren’t appropriate.

This is a daily chore. The more consistently we drive this point home, the better result we will get.