- On March 28, 2022
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Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in recent years. Especially with the NFT surge, the rise of multiple different cryptocurrencies, and the U.S government looking into crypto policy more. One of the only setbacks in regards to crypto in the past was that most places don’t accept crypto payments. Times have now changed. While it’s not accepted everywhere yet, today more restaurants allow you to buy food using cryptocurrency. Let’s delve into the basics of cryptocurrency and discover the places you can buy food with crypto today.
What is cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is protected by encryption, making counterfeiting and double-spending practically impossible. Many cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger enforced by a distributed network of computers. Cryptocurrencies are distinguished from other currencies such as the USD by the fact that they are not issued by any central authority, making them potentially impervious to government intervention or manipulation.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a method of storing data in such a way that it is difficult or impossible to alter, hack, or cheat. It’s a digital database of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the blockchain’s complete network of computer systems. Each block in the chain contains several transactions, and each time a new transaction takes place on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to the ledger of each participant. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a decentralized database that is administered by various people. Cryptocurrencies operate through the blockchain, so without it, crypto wouldn’t exist.
What are the main cryptocurrencies people invest in?
There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, which is why it is difficult to get started in the world of crypto. These are the top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, or the total worth of all coins currently in circulation, to help you gain your bearings:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ether (ETH)
- Tether (USDT)
- Binance coin (BNB)
- XRP (XRP)
Why do people invest in crypto?
So why would someone want to, for example, buy Bitcoin on a popular crypto exchange platform like Coinbase? People invest in crypto because of its long-term, reliable store of value. Most cryptocurrencies, unlike traditional money, have a finite supply that is controlled by mathematical algorithms. This makes it impossible for the currency to lose value due to inflation. Furthermore, because of the cryptographic structure of cryptocurrencies, a government entity cannot tax or confiscate tokens without the owner’s consent. This feature makes cryptocurrencies appealing to those concerned about hyperinflation, bank failures, and other crises.
Why do people want to use crypto at restaurants?
- Using Crypto in restaurants is a secure way of handling transactions.
- Transaction costs for crypto payments are typically lower than those charged by banks.
- They can also make your business more appealing to customers that use cryptocurrency.
- Cryptocurrency transactions are quick and take only a few seconds to complete.
- Unlike bank cards, cryptocurrency can be used anywhere in the world.
- Crypto transactions are anonymous, allowing restaurant patrons to keep their identities hidden.
- Blockchains are permissionless. Therefore, no one can suspend or freeze the crypto addresses of eateries.
Several restaurants are already leveraging crypto payments. Here are some of the restaurants that accept crypto:
Starbucks, a global coffee restaurant, allows you to pay via bitcoin. The coffee giant accepts payments through a third-party app that acts as a cryptocurrency converter and credits the company’s account with an equal amount in fiat currency. While Starbucks has no plans to adopt Bitcoin as a payment method for coffee, it’s an arrangement that lets customers pay in-store with Bakkt’s unique software. To put it another way, Bitcoin adopters would buy things through a third-party middleman mechanism. This is significant because it alleviates Starbucks’ top-of-mind fear about the process: being willing to risk directly holding digital assets. Starbucks will not deal with digital assets, and financial reporting will not reflect this. Dealing with cryptocurrencies has regulatory and financial concerns, but this strategy keeps Starbucks out of trouble.
2. FlameStone American Grill and Beachwood Seafood Kitchen & Bar
Nick Pappas is ahead of the curve when it comes to cryptocurrency. Back in 2014, when his business FlameStone American Grill began accepting Bitcoin, the Oldsmar-based entrepreneur began accepting cryptocurrency in his restaurants. In addition to Bitcoin, FlameStone American Grill now accepts Ethereum and even altcoins like the Elon Musk approved Dogecoin. Its younger sister restaurant, which is also owned by Pappas, has begun to take bitcoins.
Customers can use the BitPay mobile cryptocurrency app to make payments. This app transforms any cryptocurrencies deposited into the restaurant into Bitcoin, allowing FlameStone to accept a variety of payment methods while maintaining a single currency. The restaurant never transforms the majority of its digital assets into money. This, according to Pappas, is so that they can standardize the use of cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Many of their vendors are starting to accept virtual currencies as well, so paying for goods with Bitcoin keeps them within a digital ecosystem that is assisting in the growth of their business and day-to-day interactions.
Quiznos, founded in Denver, Colorado, is an American franchised fast-food restaurant that specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches. Customers at Quiznos can now pay for their toasted subs with bitcoin. Quiznos is partnering with digital asset developer Bakkt to permit cryptocurrency payments at some locations, making it one of the largest restaurant chains in the United States to do so.
The fast-food world is diverse, and several well-known businesses, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza Hut, have managed to become global. However, there is one food brand that stands out above the rest: Subway. Its menu and selection of available items are its main competitive advantages. The company aspires to provide its customers with nutritious meals that can be consumed in a matter of minutes. This uncommon combination of healthy eating and fast food, combined with good service, helped the business to expand to every corner of the globe.
Subway was one of the first fast-food restaurants to let customers use Bitcoin as payment for its services. Reporters uncovered at least three Subway locations offering to trade their meals for cryptocurrency in 2013. Allentown, Pennsylvania, was one of them. It even prompted some Reddit users to visit the location and take advantage of the Bitcoin payment option.
5. Burger King
Burger King is the world’s second-largest fast-food hamburger chain. They are well known in the US and abroad for their family-friendly fast food experiences over the last 50 years. Burger King now allows customers to order food with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum.
6. Safari Comedor
Safari Comedor is a Mexican restaurant in the city of Tulum, specifically in the Aldea Zama neighborhood. The restaurant derives its design cues from traditional Yucatan homes, as evidenced by its one-of-a-kind décor. Safari Comedor honors Mexico’s culinary heritage with tacos, tamales, and maize exquisite, as well as dishes from the Yucatan Peninsula. All crypto lovers are welcome at Safari Comedor, which accepts Bitcoin as payment for its delectable meals and beverages.
7. Crazy Italians
Italian cuisine is popular all around the world, and people from all walks of life attempt to present their versions of classic recipes. However, it’s difficult to find a location where a restaurant preserves original recipes. Crazy Italians, a Memphis, Tennessee restaurant is a great example of a place that can serve authentic Italian food at a reasonable price. The restaurant is known for accepting Bitcoin payments in addition to its excellent menu. So, if you’ve always desired a plate of spaghetti purchased with Bitcoin, now is your chance.
Kentucky Fried Chicken has started selling a “Bitcoin Bucket” that can only be purchased with bitcoin. Customers in Canada may now use digital currency to request delivery from the fast-food business. KFC Canada has also developed a real-time price tracker on Facebook, which displays the current Bitcoin price of a fowl bucket. To cope with the extremely fluctuating cryptocurrency markets, KFC has set the price of its bucket at $20 (£11.71) and will convert it into fractions of a Bitcoin anytime someone buys a bucket full of battered and fried chicken.
9. Whole Foods
Grocery stores have begun to get in on the crypto craze as well, with the Amazon owned grocery store giant Whole Foods now accepting Bitcoin through a third party app. As one of the most well-known grocery retailers in the nation, Whole Foods is opening new doors for people who want to buy food with crypto. It’s one thing to go to a restaurant for one meal and pay with Bitcoin, but regularly putting food on the table with cryptocurrency payments is a game changing possibility. Especially since we’re still in the early stages of the widespread use of crypto and these restaurants are geographically sparse, not everyone can get to these restaurants regularly. But Whole Foods makes buying food with crypto more accessible.
Accepting cryptocurrencies at restaurants and grocery stores is gaining traction like never before. However, the number of such places is far too large to include in a single article. If you want to go somewhere and buy food with crypto, you can do so by searching if they accept such payments.
What does this mean for restaurant kiosks?
As cryptocurrencies becomes a more universally accepted form of currency, how will this change how restaurant businesses serve their customers? If you have been to any fast food restaurants lately, you’ve seen how self-service kiosks are already becoming more commonplace. We all saw how the pandemic increased the demand for contactless services in restaurants and retail stores. Orders through food delivery services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash surged and curbside pickup became normalized and most places automated parts of the food service process using QR codes. In restaurants, kiosks make checkout faster, more convenient, and limit human contact, which is why they have become a perfect tool for during the pandemic. And even after the pandemic, there’s no reason to believe that restaurant kiosks are going away anytime soon.
As digital signage providers who have seen a lot of new tech trends overhaul different industries over the years, we have experience with how these things can impact restaurant services. As a result, we have a few ideas about how the rise of crypto will change the restaurant business.
We predict that kiosks will continue to have a growing demand and will need to accommodate more than just debit card and credit card payments, they’ll have to take crypto payments as well. It’s important to facilitate emerging crypto trends with best in class tech, otherwise restaurants may lose consumers who are enthusiastic crypto investors.
It’s also likely that we’ll start to see cryptocurrencies accepted at more grocery stores, not just Whole Foods. Self-checkout kiosks are certainly a presence at most grocery stores today, so equipping kiosks with the ability to take crypto payments is the logical next step.
Learn more about self-service kiosks
At Keyser, we make installation of digital signage easy by providing installation, maintenance, and design services. If you’re interested in transitioning to self-service kiosks and/or digital menu boards in your restaurant, contact us to learn more.