There is a growing trend among a number of restaurants across the country that are no longer accepting cash. Starbucks and Shack Shack are running test locations, whereas the entire chains of Sweetgreen, Dos Toros and Tender Greens are moving exclusively to credit cards only. The agrument these stores present by not dealing with cash is that it helps move the lines of customers faster, as there is no more counting change. The chains also argue that a large majority of the people who coe in pay with credit cards anyway.
However, there has been a backlash to this cashless movement. Behind this push-back are state lawmakers, the National Retail Federation and a company that services ATMs who feel this is an un-American act. On any bill are the words " This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." So, by excluidng this right, they are infringing on an American freedom to pay with legal tender.
There is currently no federal law that addresses this issue, but New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfired thinks something should happen before it is too late. "I think Americans ought to have a right to pay with cash," Gottfried told the NY Post in a recent article, "It makes sense to put a halt to this before it becomes too common and too hard to stop."
Not all restaurants, though, are sold on this idea and many in the New York metro area have said they will continue to accept cash. Credit Card companies, of course, are championing the idea of going cashless, so it will be interesting to see if this becomes more than a simple trend or if it grows into something more prevalent.