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A new trend?

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Andrew Mellman

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A new trend?

by Andrew Mellman » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:53 pm

Went to an Epic Burger fast-food restaurant today (in Chicago). It's a "cutting edge" chain with hormone free, naturally raised, free range, cage free, no GMO, et al et al burger, chicken sandwich, turkey burger, portabella mushroom, and (their own) vegan burger with avocado, fried egg, blue cheese, horseradish havarti, et al on a bun, whole wheat bun, or lettuce.

Big sign on the door and order desk, one that I haven't seen before: they no longer accept cash!

I've read about it for some sit-down places, but here's what I'd call fast food (tho they probably call it QSR) only accepting plastic.

Is this a trend I've missed?
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TP Lowe

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Re: A new trend?

by TP Lowe » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:22 am

I'm guessing they are leaning to electronic payments (Apple pay, etc) more than to plastic.
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Robin Garr

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Re: A new trend?

by Robin Garr » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:19 am

Depending on the neighborhood, it might be a policy aimed at limiting cash on hand as a robbery lure? Also takes cash out of the tipping economy? Just speculating here.
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Steve H

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Re: A new trend?

by Steve H » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:14 am

Forget the no cash, I need to hear more about the vegan fried egg.
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Re: A new trend?

by Robin Garr » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:19 am

Steve H wrote:Forget the no cash, I need to hear more about the vegan fried egg.

Morels does one in the Egg McBluffin. I don't know how, a soy product I'd guess, but it's a dead ringer for the real thing in that context. Probably eaten on its own it would be less persuasive, though.
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Re: A new trend?

by RonnieD » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:47 pm

First I've heard of it. Seems kind of odd to me as it cuts out a % of your potential customer base, but I guess they ran the numbers and the % it would affect their business is minimal.
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James Natsis

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Re: A new trend?

by James Natsis » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:58 pm

Interestingly, I've had the opposite experience as of late.

I had to leave a Pho restaurant in Hamilton, Ont last month because they only accepted cash or debit. I eventually got some cash and ate there twice---some of the best pho I ever had. They must have had 20 different types!

Just last week in SF's Chinatown a sign indicated $20 minimum for credit and "cash is better." I had some cash anyway with me.

It may be a 2-track trend--family run Asian places saying nyet to credit while prefering to keep the couple % the companies charge (and perhaps for easier skimming--who knows); and corporate America trying to lead us to a paperless society.
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Re: A new trend?

by Mark R. » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:33 pm

I've read about this several other places and I really wonder if it's legal. US currency has the following wording on it: "This note is good for all debts public and private". Based on that I'm not sure how they can refuse to take cash as payment for a meal. They may not like it but I don't think they can refuse it. I wonder what they would do if you ate a meal and said that you didn't have anything but cash to pay for it with? I'm betting they would take it!

Granted, we like many people use credit cards very often when going out to eat but only because that's our choice not because we are required to do it.
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Re: A new trend?

by Jerry C » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:58 pm

From: https://www.expertlaw.com/library/consumer-protection/it-legal-refuse-cash-payment

It is a widely held belief that, in the United States, a business must accept cash payments from a consumer. Some people take the argument a step further, arguing that if a business refuses to accept cash from a customer, the business loses its ability to charge the customer. Neither belief is true.


Federal Law and Cash Payment

Paper currency in the United States is printed with the provision that it is "legal tender for all debts, public and private", language that flows from the provisions of a federal law, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 5103,

United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

The principal purpose of that statute is to ensure the nationwide acceptance of U.S. currency, consistent with constitutional language that reserves to Congress the power to create a uniform currency that holds the same value throughout the United States. While the statute provides that U.S. money is legal tender that may be accepted for the payment of debts, it does not require acceptance of cash payments, nor does it provide that restrictions cannot be imposed upon the acceptance of cash.
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Re: A new trend?

by Andrew Mellman » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:43 am

Steve H wrote:Forget the no cash, I need to hear more about the vegan fried egg.


I actually thought of ordering the vegan burger with cheese and a fried egg, just to see if they'd have a reaction, but their burgers (all fresh, all made on order (not premade and kept warm)) are decent for a fast food type of place.

The two places I went were in good neighborhoods, so I don't think it's for "safety" or to avoid being robbed . . . I do wonder if they've had problems with internal theft, as before (just from observation) it was around a 90% cash business.
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Re: A new trend?

by Alison Hanover » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:30 am

I would suspect it is a way to cut down or maybe eliminate employee theft; although I know by my experience that if an employee is going to steal then they will find a way. Before I had the clover system I had an employee who was adding $20 onto customer's charge slips. I kept getting calls from people who said" I was charged $20 more than I signed for" I had to give back around $400. With the help of my credit processing guy we found out who it was and obviously he was swiftly given the boot. I would say plastic accounts for 60% of my takings.
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