The Quail & Thistle Tea Room is pleased to announce that it will accept Bitcoin digital currency as payment for restaurant meals and catering services effective Saturday February 22, 2014!
Restaurant patrons will now have the option to pay their bill using Bitcoin digital currency. On request, the Q&T staff will present the bill with a Bitcoin payment address QR code (bar code) and payment amount in BTC. The customer uses their smartphone camera to scan the QR code into their Bitcoin wallet application to send the payment for the bill.
“The flow is a little different from what folks are used to with credit card transactions.” explains Quail & Thistle co-owner Danny Thorpe. “In a credit card transaction, the vendor’s credit card processor “pulls” payment from the customer account using the information on the credit card. In a Bitcoin transaction, the customer “pushes” payment to the vendor’s Bitcoin address.
“Based on an internet search of local businesses, we believe The Quail & Thistle is the first restaurant in Santa Cruz County to accept Bitcoin payments.”
“While it’s true that Bitcoin is still a fledgling currency compared to traditional fiat currencies, adoption and interest is growing rapidly worldwide. An enormous amount of Bitcoin technology development and activity is happening right next door to us in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Those Bitcoin luminaries and advocates live and play here in Santa Cruz county. If they have Bitcoin to spend, we’re happy to accept it as payment.
“Santa Cruz and Capitola attract a lot of international visitors. If these visitors have Bitcoin, they can purchase a meal from us directly in Bitcoin and avoid the fees associated with converting their native currency to our native dollar.
“As a merchant, Bitcoin is attractive because the transaction fees are much lower than credit card transaction fees. Bitcoin transactions clear (show up in our account) in minutes instead of days, so we can put that revenue to work sooner.”
What about volatility? Doesn’t Bitcoin value fluctuate a lot?
“Bitcoin’s exchange rate to US Dollars and other currencies does fluctuate quite a bit, just as US Dollar to British pounds or Japanese yen exchange rates fluctuate continuously on the foreign exchange markets. Bitcoin works fine as a currency to move payment from A to B. If you try to treat Bitcoin as an investment (for long-term value), you’re in for a wild ride.”
Will you list prices in Bitcoin (BTC) on your menu?
“All our prices are in US Dollars. When we generate the QR code for a guest check, the Bitcoin payment amount is calculated based on the current US Dollar / Bitcoin exchange rate at that moment. The customer transfers that amount of BTC to our Bitcoin address, and our Bitcoin processor (Coinbase) immediately converts that BTC to US Dollars for deposit into our local bank account. So our exposure to Bitcoin price fluctuations is negligible.”
Will you cater a wedding reception or bridal shower for Bitcoin?
“Of course! The bill will be in US Dollars and that will be converted to a realtime BTC figure at the time of payment.”
Will you accept other digital currencies, such as LiteCoin?
“We are only adding support for Bitcoin payments at this time. We will reevaluate that if our Bitcoin processor adds support for other digital currencies in the future.”
Will people rush out to buy Bitcoin so they can enjoy your delicious tea luncheons or catered dinners?
“<laughs> They are welcome to if they wish, but that doesn’t seem likely. We are just adding another form of payment for those who wish to use it. If you have Bitcoin, we are happy to accept it as payment, If you have MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Union Bank of China credit card or any of a number of other credit and debit cards we can process, we are happy to accept them as payment. Whatever payment form you prefer – the whole idea is to reduce friction for the customer.
“However,” he adds with a twinkle, “given the lower merchant fees for Bitcoin transactions, we’d be 3% happier if you choose to pay with Bitcoin over credit cards!”