As lives become increasingly chaotic, consumers are looking for ways to maximize their time. One result of our collective shift towards convenience is growth in the restaurant industry. New niches are popping up weekly (cupcakes, meatballs, or tacos anyone?) and opportunity abounds. Restaurant business owners are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and become fixtures in their communities.
One way to achieve this visibility and brand loyalty is to diversify your product and service offerings. Specifically, restaurants are adding retail check cashing services to their business locations to drive traffic and encourage repeat patrons.
Restaurant Industry Trends
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales were on track to reach $783 billion in 2016. Last year along, restaurants account for 47% of all food spending in the United States- up from 25% in 1955. As technology connects us to individuals and businesses across the globe, our time becomes more valuable. When this happens, consumers start paying more for convenience.
Another factor at play is the strong labor market. When people are employed, they have both the disposable income to spend on dining out and an increased need for convenient dining options. Along with higher employment rates, wages are up by 2.6% among private sector hourly employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this increase between July 2015 and July 2016 is the highest jump since the economic recovery.
While household debt is up overall (and approaching 2008 levels), the ratio of household debt to disposable income is down 3 points. This means that Americans are in a better position to pay off their debt and have a little more financial wiggle room. Low gas prices and declining grocery store costs are also freeing up money for consumers to spend on dining out at restaurants.
Pent up demand for dining out shows us that the restaurant industry is not hitting a ceiling anytime soon. In fact, during a 2016 ORC survey conducted for the National Restaurant Association, 45% of adults indicated say they are not dining out as frequently as they would like. Finally, consumers are craving experiences. Since the Great Recession, consumers have adapted more conscious spending habits. One area where spending has increased is for experiences.
To recap, the restaurant industry growing as a result of the following economic influences:
- Job growth (when people are employed, they spend more money on dining)
- Need and desire for convenience
- Wage growth
- Pent up demand
- Focus on experience
Ways to Grow Your Restaurant Business
Restaurant owners know that there are a thousand moving parts in their business. Juggling customer service, ambience, food quality, staff, and more is a time-intensive job. Plus, successful restaurant owners need to be knowledgeable in each of these areas… Meaning you wear every hat as a restaurateur.
To help streamline, seasoned restaurant entrepreneurs recommend the following:
- Keep it simple. You don’t need 100 menu options, instead offer a dozen plates that you can execute really well.
- Maintain your restaurant space to the best of your ability. Keep your sign looking sharp and the interior clean and up to date.
- Train your waitstaff to be polite and memorable. Give your patrons the experience they are craving.
- Your location needs to have high foot traffic if it is in an urban area or a great parking lot if it is in a rural area. People won’t come in if they don’t have easy access.
- Increase your margins with memorabilia, products, and additional services.
- Keep up your online presence with a website, search profile, and social media platforms.
- Think through the details. Is the plate sturdy enough to hold the steak? Is the silverware appropriate for the cuisine? Are napkins easily accessible? Customers will notice.
- Spend the time and resources to properly train your staff on restaurant protocol and safety. Investing upfront means fewer errors down the road.
Once you have these 8 recommendations under your belt, it is time to grow your business. While your marketing will ideally start before the restaurant opens, it is just as important to keep running promotions. Engaging your community with special offers, a rotating menu, and events is the best way to stay top of mind when they make dining choices. Hosting regular promotions like Taco Tuesday encourages your customers to form a habit of dining with you. Restaurant owners looking to grow their income and increase foot traffic should also consider diversifying your offerings with the addition of retail check cashing services.
Retail Check Cashing for Restaurants
Restaurant check cashing, or retail check cashing, means offering alternative financial services at your restaurant location. The most popular check cashing services include paycheck cashing, convenient bill pay, prepaid debit cards, money transfer, and ATMs. If your restaurant is located in a community with few or no big bank branches, the opportunity to increase your fee-based revenue stream is even bigger.
These services will attract new customers who would not otherwise walk into your business. Once inside, you can engage these customers with cross promotions to entice them to dine at your restaurant. Retail check cashing services increase your visibility in the community and provide convenience for your customers. Restaurant check cashers also benefit from improved customer loyalty and revenue diversification.
Starting a check cashing business at your restaurant is not without complications. Restaurant check cashers face one main obstacle: a lack of reliable check cashing banks. As a check casher, your business hinges on your bank account and your ability to rotate your working capital to keep serving clients. Federal regulation aimed at increasing compliance to fight financial crime is having unintended consequences. Namely, banks are shedding check cashing business bank accounts for their perceived. As a result, it is harder than ever before to secure and maintain a reliable check cashing bank account.
Restaurant Check Cashing Solutions
National Check and Currency solves your banking problems by providing real check cashing bank accounts backed by a network of MSB friendly banks. Your restaurant can continue to cash checks without having to worry about receiving a termination letter in the mail. NCC makes your life easier in other ways too. As a client, you receive a POS check cashing technology system to help you record customer identification information and protect against fraud. Once the check is cashed, NCC provides a number of methods for receiving your cash so that you can stay up and running. Extended weekend deposit times make it easier for you to serve clients on Friday paydays.
In addition to POS check cashing technology, bank accounts, and faster rotation of capital, NCC also provides invaluable compliance expertise. Customer service is available 24/7 and the NCC team includes former federal agents and check cashing industry veterans who know how to solve problems fast. With NCC on your side, your restaurant check cashing business can flourish.