Major Swiss restaurant chain to ditch cash entirely

Major Swiss restaurant chain to ditch cash entirely

Despite cash still being one of the payments of choice in Switzerland, a new report from Blick has found that entrepreneurs are starting to look away from paper and metal money and towards credit cards and Twint. Case in point: Wiesner Gastronomie (FWG), owner of a number of top restaurants in Switzerland, has announced that it will no longer be accepting cash after this summer.

Card payments only at FWG restaurants in Switzerland

After this summer, diners at Miss Miu, Nooch Asian Kitchen, Outback Lodge, The Butcher and Negishi Sushi Bar restaurants in Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Zug and Basel will no longer be able to pay cash. Blick argued that the idea is a dramatic step, given that a third of all transactions in Switzerland are still carried out using good-old-fashioned multicoloured bank notes and silver coins, according to the Swiss National Bank.

Insiders who spoke to the newspaper - FWG refused to comment - said that on average, cash payments only account for 5 percent of total sales at FWG restaurants. What’s more, by not accepting cash payments, the company can save up to 50.000 francs a month, as they no longer have to keep cash in store or pay the postal service and bank for moving and securely storing the money overnight.

Swiss restaurant chains keen to make the switch

FWG isn’t the only firm to make the switch, with Vicafé espresso bars in Zurich and Basel also refusing to accept physical currency. Patrons have not been able to pay with cash since the COVID pandemic, with boss Ramon Schalch telling Blick that “cash is unhygienic anyway, and after all, we work with groceries. In addition, it is simply faster and less complicated without it.”

Speaking to the newspaper, a number of other food chains said that they would be willing to adopt the “cashless model”. Twospice Gastro, owners of Yoojis and Rice Up, said that they would make the switch as long as the customer experience does not suffer as a result. Cash-based businesses are also keen, with the Totalbar and Xenix-bar in Zurich recently moving from cash-only systems to allowing card payments.

Concerns raised about older diners

However, there remains a concern that moving from cash to Twint and card could have a significant impact on the older generation. The latest estimates from the University of St. Gallen found that while one in six people in Switzerland do not use cash at all anymore, the elderly and people on lower incomes still rely on paper money.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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