A pair of metro Detroit delis have taken on a leadership role in promoting bitcoin. Bronx Delis in Pontiac and Farmington Hills, Mich. have served as gathering spots for local bitcoin enthusiasts. While restaurant patrons enjoy food and beverages as they discuss bitcoin, they can pay for their meals with bitcoin using smartphones and a QR code.
And if they want to add to their bitcoin wallets, they can buy bitcoin from a recently installed bitcoin ATM at the Farmington Hills restaurant, which reportedly is the first bitcoin ATM in the “Motor City.”
Tapping A New Market
“I realized that this would be a new customer base,” said Zuccato, who learned about bitcoin from his brother-in-law, a stock broker. “Plus, we also knew we would get some free publicity. We have been on Fox 2 news talking about bitcoin.”
“These ‘bitcoiners’ that eat in the deli would have never dined here if we didn’t take bitcoin,” Zuccato told CCN. “We have a sign in the front window and the bitcoin logo is also on some of the menus. I also have the logo on my email signature block.” He has also promoted bitcoin on his Facebook page, which is one of the restaurant’s main marketing tools.
Patrons who pay with bitcoin can also tip their servers in bitcoin.
Only a minority of patrons pay using bitcoin, but Zuccato said the number is growing, albeit slowly.
Zuccato does not use bitcoin to pay for his business purchases. Nor has he offered to accept bitcoin for Bronx Deli’s online takeout orders.
Zuccato’s personal interest in bitcoin is primarily as an investment.
Also read: Consumers warming to bitcoin ATMs
Meetups Lead To A Bitcoin ATM Installation
Michael Woon, an automotive engineer, began attending the biweekly bitcoin “meetups” at the Bronx Deli in Farmington Hills in mid-2013. Woon had also learned about bitcoin from a relative and was interested in making more people aware of it.
When he found out about dedicated bitcoin ATMs, Woon thought it would be a good way to introduce more people to bitcoin. Being a Bronx Deli patron, he had no problem getting permission to place a bitcoin ATM in the restaurant.
After educating himself about bitcoin ATMs, Woon purchased a Lamassu bitcoin ATM and installed it in the Bronx Deli about one year ago. Patrons can buy bitcoin using cash. Woon sets the bitcoin price to allow himself 1 percent profit on each bitcoin sale. Woon’s phone number is on the machine for patrons who have questions.
“The whole thing was a massive learning process for me,” Woon said.
Oftentimes, Bronx Deli patrons call Woon just to find out how to open a bitcoin wallet.
Meanwhile, Woon continues to attend the biweekly bitcoin meetups. “It’s a common bond. And we can pay for food and beer with bitcoin.”
Bitcoin enthusiasts in metro Detroit have a place they can go for a good meal and some moral support