As of August 13th, Hill Country Barbecue Market in DC is “going cashless” and will be accepting credit, debit and gift cards as the sole forms of payment in the restaurant. Like several of our restaurant peers that have recently made this transition, the reasons for our decision to make this change are many-fold.
Our society is increasingly moving to non-cash forms of payment as alternative methods of moving, storing, and securing money have proliferated. At Hill Country, cash used to account for a much higher portion of our overall transactions, but in the past year that number has dropped to less than 7%.
Cash as a form of payment is inherently less efficient than credit or debit cards, as our teams spend a disproportionate amount of their time handling and managing cash. Credit and debit card transactions can simply be executed faster than cash ones, which saves time and enables our servers and cashiers to better service our guests. More broadly – from managers making and counting change, to sorting and re-sorting cash from the registers, to trips back and forth to the bank to make deposits – these functions are not only costly to our business, but they detract from time that could be spent on more productive things for the restaurant.
While cash accounts for a small minority of our transactions, there are often large amounts of cash in the restaurant due to the volume of business at Hill Country. By maintaining this cash on premises for any period of time, we inevitably have a less secure environment than one in which there is no cash around. We have dealt with this first hand, as Hill Country has recently been the victim of damaging and brazen theft. We are confident that eliminating cash will significantly mitigate the chances of future incidents and improve our team’s collective peace of mind.
We are aware that this decision will inconvenience some guests, and we apologize in advance to those who will be affected by this. Hill Country has arrived at this decision after a period of careful consideration and by weighing the positive benefits to our restaurant, guests, and employees over any potential negative ones.
We are also aware that lately this issue has become politicized due to a bill that has been introduced by DC lawmakers that would prohibit restaurants such as Hill Country from banning cash in their restaurants. Our decision to go cashless is in no way politically motivated. We believe fervently that restaurants should be allowed to decide what form of payment to accept based on their own respective circumstances.
Change is not always easy, and we anticipate there will be some bumps in the road as we make this transition. We will do our best to navigate the challenges and find solutions.
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you at Hill Country soon.
Founder & CEO