As Fast Company reports, salad chain Sweetgreen plans to go completely cashless in 2017. Many other retail and restaurant businesses are following this "cashless business" trend, moving away from traditional cash registers and toward digital technology. Sweetgreen, for example, will allow customers to order and pay through in-store devices or a mobile app.

Here are seven ways that going cashless can benefit small businesses:

1. Eliminates the Costs of Cash Management

Handling, transporting and manually depositing cash at a local bank can be a time-consuming and expensive process. By eliminating cash, you can also rid your business of the direct and indirect costs related to cash management.

2. Increases Safety

When you have cash on your premises, you are exposing yourself to a handful of security risks. If would-be criminals are aware of the fact that you are cashless, your small business may become less of a robbery target.

3. Gives You More Time to Devote to Your Staff Members and Customers

You can improve your overall service quality when you reallocate time previously devoted to cash management to other important business functions, such as training your employees and serving your customers.

4. Increases Customer Satisfaction

Cashless businesses that allow customers to order in advance can reduce wait time substantially. When this type of system is in place, the customer can arrive at the location just as his or her food is ready.

5. Allows You to Provide a Personalized Customer Experience

Handling payments through a mobile app can enable you to personalize both the customer experience and your marketing messaging. These types of apps allow you to collect and leverage data about a customer's preferences. For example, you can figure out what a customer typically buys, how often he or she visits your location and when these transactions usually take place. This type of data makes cross-selling and personalized marketing easier. For example, if you know that a particular customer eats a taco salad every Friday, you might want to offer him or her a 20 percent discount on one salad per month. This kind of personalization can serve to drive customer loyalty.

6. Provides You With a More Hygienic Payment Process

Physical money circulates from hand to hand, collecting germs over time. If your staff members move from handling money to handling food without taking the necessary precautions, you may face various health risks. In this way, going cashless can be more hygienic.

7. Allows You to Take Part in a Growing Trend

Millennials are driving the cashless trend, which in many ways represents the future of business. As such, platforms and methods that enable your business to go cashless will likely scale up, while the related costs will likely come down.

The cashless business trend is here to stay, and it offers small businesses a number of significant benefits. Are you ready to go cashless?

Tags: Technology Marketing Campaigns