Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

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tennisplyr
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Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by tennisplyr »

I thought there is a trend towards a "cashless" society? I'm finding a number of restaurants I've seen in the NY area that only take cash and that seems to be increasing. Was wondering if you frequent cash-only restaurants and how you feel about it. Obviously I know why they do it....it definitely enters into my decision on which to use...I generally prefer card-accepting establishments.
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whodidntante
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by whodidntante »

I'm less likely to go to a business that will only accept cash. I like the convenience, protections, rewards, and float of a credit card.
mak1277
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by mak1277 »

Honestly I would have no problems with this. Of the *many* times I have had my credit card number compromised, I suspect at least half of those times came from using the card at restaurants. I prefer paying cash now when practical.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by JoeRetire »

tennisplyr wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:11 am I thought there is a trend towards a "cashless" society? I'm finding a number of restaurants I've seen in the NY area that only take cash and that seems to be increasing. Was wondering if you frequent cash-only restaurants and how you feel about it. Obviously I know why they do it....it definitely enters into my decision on which to use...I generally prefer card-accepting establishments.
Most cash-only restaurants have ATMs nearby.
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ThatGuy
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by ThatGuy »

At this point, I simply walk away from any business that won't accept a credit card. No, a debit card is not just as good.

Kudos to them if they can stay in business while alienating some section of the populace that are like me.
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pshonore
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by pshonore »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:26 am
tennisplyr wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:11 am I thought there is a trend towards a "cashless" society? I'm finding a number of restaurants I've seen in the NY area that only take cash and that seems to be increasing. Was wondering if you frequent cash-only restaurants and how you feel about it. Obviously I know why they do it....it definitely enters into my decision on which to use...I generally prefer card-accepting establishments.
Most cash-only restaurants have ATMs nearby.
Some even inside the restaurant with a hefty fee.
deadlymonkey
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by deadlymonkey »

Maybe in the US, but there is a large number of restaurants in Asia and Europe that are cash only. Most are smaller and may not cater specifically to tourists. I think it is just a reduction in overhead and not wanting to pay card fees that pushed them to cash only. I learned early in traveling to always be prepared to be cash if necessary.
furwut
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by furwut »

Barber shop I use takes credit for the service but tip is cash-only.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Shallowpockets »

Now, if we could only get a tipless restaurant.
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leeks
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by leeks »

Cash-only for places where one is unlikely to spend more than $100 is fine with me.
I prefer it to credit-card only.
No way should I have to pull out a credit card for a $3 latte. I have walked out of a place like that before that wouldn't accept cash.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by txbabe »

They are probably operating on a slim margin and the credit card fees really add up. I have no problem paying cash as long as they don't tell me after I already ate the meal. I appreciate a big sign on the door.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by jebmke »

I live in a small town/rural area. There are a couple of cash-only. No big deal. One of them has an ATM in the coat room and the other generally will let you go to the ATM down the street if you are short. I've even come back a day later to settle my tab.

ATMs are everywhere.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Calico »

I like to go to the beach near my mom's place (since I can stay with her for free). A handful of the mom and pop/family owned restaurants and some other small businesses there take cash only. It's a bit of a hassle, but usually those places (at least at the beach) have great customer service and low prices (since they don't have to increase prices to pay banks to accept cards). It's a trade off for me. They never seem to hurt for customers so it must work for them too.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Jimmie »

I've seen more bars that are "cash-only" than restaurants. I sense that somebody (the owner?) is doing something below board, particularly for tax purposes.

What I don't understand is a trend toward "no cash" restaurants like I saw in a news article last week. I understand a convenience store or pizza delivery driver specifying that they don't take bills larger than $20. I understand not being able to pay for a truck with pennies. A merchant can specify those kinds of things even though you often hear of anecdotal evidence of disgruntled people trying to pay traffic fines or property taxes with coins.

How can a restaurant refuse to take a $10 bill for a $10 meal when the currency issued by the US clearly states on it "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private"?
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by stan1 »

I went with a front pocket slim wallet about 10 years ago. Sometimes simple decisions like that have great impact. For me it is a constant reminder that I choose and enjoy a minimalist lifestyle.

I don't carry cash but I do keep a few small bills in my car. If I didn't have the cash in my car handy I would go elsewhere if I could easily do so. I do not use debit cards due to 1) bank friendly (not consumer friendly) fraud protection; 2) no cash back.

Exceptions:
When not in the US yes there are still cash economies so I'd do something different there. Also the credit card chip/pin problem is getting better but not entirely resolved in parts of Europe.

My barber shop will put tip on credit card and the cashier hands me cash to give to barber.
Boulder92
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Boulder92 »

Two of the busiest places here in Boulder CO are cash only — The Mountain Sun and sister Southern Sun. Both are packed all day long. There is an ATM in back without a hefty fee and they take checks. I sometimes get annoyed at the policy but the staff are so nice and the best part is that if you do not have cash/check — “mail us a check whenever you get around to it...” has been said many times to out of town guests taken by surprise about the policy.
StandingRock
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by StandingRock »

Some of the food trucks in my area only take cash. My favorite one included.

There are a couple of local spots where it is a good idea to use cash as you may not want a paper trail connecting you to that establishment. That's a different topic however I suppose.
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bottlecap
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by bottlecap »

Credit cards charge businesses. When margins are small, going to cash might make sense.

JT
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by runner3081 »

Jimmie wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:36 am I've seen more bars that are "cash-only" than restaurants. I sense that somebody (the owner?) is doing something below board, particularly for tax purposes.
Yes, absolutely. I know a few small business owners. Cash always gets a considerable discount for a few reasons.

1) No CC fees
2) Avoiding Chargebacks
3) "Shelter" from taxes :) Not legal, but yeah, that is how it works.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by mptfan »

Jimmie wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:36 am How can a restaurant refuse to take a $10 bill for a $10 meal when the currency issued by the US clearly states on it "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private"?
It's a good question, and I had the same thought when I wore a younger man's clothes. When I was in law school I went to an arcade with a bunch of coins that I had saved up and I wanted to pay for the arcade games with my pile of coins. The owner of the arcade refused to take the time to count up and sort my big pile of coins and told me she would not accept them. Being young and brash and somewhat immature, I argued with her that it was legal tender and she had to take the coins and I was not leaving, so she called the police. Long story short, I was told to leave with my coins and I had no recourse.

I was bothered by that experience, and like you I wondered how a business could refuse to accept legal tender. I learned that part of the freedom we have in this country means that a business is free to set the terms of payment that will be accepted in advance and they are allowed to accept or not accept any form of payment (cash, coins, credit cards) as they see fit, so long as the good or service has not yet been provided. It would be different if I already ate a meal and then the business told me they will not accept my coins (assuming there was no notice before I ate the meal). But if the good or service has not yet been provided, the business has the right to set whatever terms of payment they will accept in advance, and that includes refusing to accept legal tender. Likewise, a business has the right to give reasonable notice up front regarding the means of payment that will be accepted before the good or service is provided and you as the customer have the right to agree to the terms or not. There could be a situation where notice is not given in advance that a business will not accept cash or coins and a business provides a good or service and you offer to pay with cash or coins, and in that case I think the cash or coins has to be accepted because it is legal tender.
Last edited by mptfan on Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:55 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by tibbitts »

Well since you said NY(C?), I went to the $2.75 pizza-plus-soft-drink place in Manhattan several times on my last visit and was okay with the cash-only policy given the location and price. For much higher prices I would be less likely to do cash-only.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Rob5TCP »

I live in NY and I see more restaurants, lately, that WON'T accept cash. Venmo, c.c., pp and others but no cash. I usually see cash only in some small restaurants downtown and a couple near Chinatown.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Jimmie »

mptfan wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 amI was bothered by that experience, and like you I wondered how a business could refuse to accept legal tender. I learned that a business is free to accept or not accept any form of payment (cash, coins, credit cards) as they see fit, so long as the good or service has not yet been provided. It would be different if I already ate a meal and then the business told me they will not accept my coins (assuming there was no notice before I ate the meal). But if the good or service has not yet been provided, the business has the right to set whatever terms of payment they will accept in advance, and that includes refusing to accept legal tender.
No business owner should be forced to count a bunch of coins. I understand reasons why a business might restrict the denominations of cash they accept. I even stated that in my reply.

I want to pay for a $10 meal with a $10 bill. Not that I was forcing legal tender down their throat.

What trouble is that?
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by jharkin »

bottlecap wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:42 am Credit cards charge businesses. When margins are small, going to cash might make sense.

JT
Yes, and rewards cards charge even higher fees from the merchant. Those double points we all like dont come out of MasterCards pocket.

Also, most likely at a cash only business the wait staff are not declaring 100% of their tips. Before folks get all indignant about the injustice! of that remember most of these folks are being legally paid less than minimum wage.

If any of us had to step out of our affluent bubble and live on the incomes service people make I suspect we might not have such strong negative feelings about the cash economy....
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

One of the restaurants in my town is a cafeteria-style establishment, privately owned, decades in existence. They only take cash; no checks, no cards. They are one of the busiest places in town at mealtime. I have no problem making sure I have an extra $20 bill in my pocket before I go there. The quality of the food trumps the inconvenience of cash-only. (IMHO they have absolutely the best fried catfish in our area.)
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by tennisplyr »

tibbitts wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 am Well since you said NY(C?), I went to the $2.75 pizza-plus-soft-drink place in Manhattan several times on my last visit and was okay with the cash-only policy given the location and price. For much higher prices I would be less likely to do cash-only.
Yes NYC. Was thinking more of full service restaurants were you can easily run up a tab of $50-$100
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Watty
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Watty »

It really does not matter to me. I almost always have enough cash with me to pay the bill anyway.

It is rare but I have had problems paying for a meals with a credit card because of a power outage or the restaurant is having computer problems including phone and internet connections so I like having the option of just paying cash and being on my way.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by London »

tennisplyr wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:58 am
tibbitts wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 am Well since you said NY(C?), I went to the $2.75 pizza-plus-soft-drink place in Manhattan several times on my last visit and was okay with the cash-only policy given the location and price. For much higher prices I would be less likely to do cash-only.
Yes NYC. Was thinking more of full service restaurants were you can easily run up a tab of $50-$100
Peter Luger is expensive and cash only. They seem to be doing just fine.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by student »

mptfan wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 am I was bothered by that experience, and like you I wondered how a business could refuse to accept legal tender. I learned that part of the freedom we have in this country means that a business is free to set the terms of payment that will be accepted in advance and they are allowed to accept or not accept any form of payment (cash, coins, credit cards) as they see fit, so long as the good or service has not yet been provided. It would be different if I already ate a meal and then the business told me they will not accept my coins (assuming there was no notice before I ate the meal). But if the good or service has not yet been provided, the business has the right to set whatever terms of payment they will accept in advance, and that includes refusing to accept legal tender. Likewise, a business has the right to give reasonable notice up front regarding the means of payment that will be accepted before the good or service is provided and you as the customer have the right to agree to the terms or not. There could be a situation where notice is not given in advance that a business will not accept cash or coins and a business provides a good or service and you offer to pay with cash or coins, and in that case I think the cash or coins has to be accepted because it is legal tender.
Interesting info. Thanks.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Cheyenne »

txbabe wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:35 am They are probably operating on a slim margin and the credit card fees really add up. I have no problem paying cash as long as they don't tell me after I already ate the meal. I appreciate a big sign on the door.
+1
I have a small business and never understood why I have to pay a 3rd party 2% to 3% just to accept payment. It's another tax and the customer gets spied upon for the privilege.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by dodecahedron »

Jimmie wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:52 am
I want to pay for a $10 meal with a $10 bill. Not that I was forcing legal tender down their throat.

What trouble is that?
In some neighborhoods, accepting cash payments is dangerous, attracting armed robbers.

Even in my safe suburban neighborhood, I see armored trucks picking up cash from businesses that accept cash. That service is not free, nor are the ancillary services of the employees in dealing with all that cash.

I used to work in a drugstore that accepted cash as well as checks and credit cards. We spent a significant amount of time dealing with the accounting for the cash in our drawers at the beginning and end of the day and then it got locked up in the safe and there was further time spent by our manager and the armored truck driver in accounting for the amount of cash transported away.

Employee theft is also a great risk if cash payments are accepted. When I worked at the drugstore (this was back in college), I had to be bonded and this involved a polygraph test administered by a specialist.
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Noble Knight
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Noble Knight »

Restaurants claim they do it to avoid credit card fees, but in reality it's to pocket extra cash and not have to pay the taxes on it.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by RollTide31457 »

We only pay in cash. Convenient for leaving a one or two for a tip as well.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by StandingRock »

dodecahedron wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:24 am
Jimmie wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:52 am
I want to pay for a $10 meal with a $10 bill. Not that I was forcing legal tender down their throat.

What trouble is that?
When I worked at the drugstore (this was back in college), I had to be bonded and this involved a polygraph test administered by a specialist.
They're probably more worried about people stealing painkillers.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by DarthEnol »

There’s a nice, smaller, family run restaurant near me that offers a 10% discount for paying with cash.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Nicolas »

DarthEnol wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:42 am There’s a nice, smaller, family run restaurant near me that offers a 10% discount for paying with cash.
We have an Indian restaurant that gives the same 10% discount for cash. Whenever we eat there I bring cash. Much better deal than points.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by hornet96 »

mptfan wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 amIt would be different if I already ate a meal and then the business told me they will not accept my coins (assuming there was no notice before I ate the meal)..... There could be a situation where notice is not given in advance that a business will not accept cash or coins and a business provides a good or service and you offer to pay with cash or coins, and in that case I think the cash or coins has to be accepted because it is legal tender.
Several years ago, I had an interesting experience when attending a corporate event for about a dozen people that had been organized by another, more junior co-worker. Apparently the place that this individual chose for the event was a cash-only restaurant, but none of the rest of us knew about that fact before spending 3 hours at the place and being presented with the bill. It's possible that they provided notice somewhere, but none of us were made aware of that fact until it was too late.

They had an in-house ATM of course, so a partner and a couple of other senior managers withdrew several hundred dollars to pay the bill. Ended up being an interesting expense report for them since company policy is to only use the corporate card for such events.

I have not been back to the place since (mostly because I didn't enjoy the food).
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by dknightd »

Some places, including restaurants, do not like credit cards. There is a cost to them (who do you think provides the money for your cash back bonus). And they might have had a customer that disputed charges.
Some places do not like cash. Perhaps they have received counterfeit money.
I like the flexibility to pay either way. But if the place prefers one way over the other I'm OK with that.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by pdavi21 »

I don't eat out anyway, but as long as they charge 2-20% less, I'd be happy to buy my wife food there.

EDIT: Most commonly they don't care about 2-3% CC Fee or chargebacks. They are really trying to avoid paying sales, state business, corporate, etc taxes.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by barnaclebob »

I think most cash only places don't need your business because they are running at capacity (or have enough business) with no desire to expand. Why pay cc fees when plenty of customers are happy to pay cash?
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by munemaker »

To the degree possible, I avoid businesses that do not accept credit cards.
- I like to keep track of my expenses in Personal Capital.
- I don't like to carry and handle currency and coins, and I don't like to replenish my wallet at the ATM.

If I am with others though, I go along and don't make a big deal out of it.

I have a relative that has a service business and he prefers cash. No defined agreement on this, but the way it has evolved, I pay in cash and he discounts my bill. When I use the services of his business, it is an inconvenience because I have to make sure I am carrying enough cash. Much prefer the cc, but it maintains family relations.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by neilpilot »

London wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:12 am
tennisplyr wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:58 am
tibbitts wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 am Well since you said NY(C?), I went to the $2.75 pizza-plus-soft-drink place in Manhattan several times on my last visit and was okay with the cash-only policy given the location and price. For much higher prices I would be less likely to do cash-only.
Yes NYC. Was thinking more of full service restaurants were you can easily run up a tab of $50-$100
Peter Luger is expensive and cash only. They seem to be doing just fine.
unless you happen to have the Peter Luger Card or a debit card. They will also take a check.s and cash
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by barnaclebob »

student wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:15 am
mptfan wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 am I was bothered by that experience, and like you I wondered how a business could refuse to accept legal tender. I learned that part of the freedom we have in this country means that a business is free to set the terms of payment that will be accepted in advance and they are allowed to accept or not accept any form of payment (cash, coins, credit cards) as they see fit, so long as the good or service has not yet been provided. It would be different if I already ate a meal and then the business told me they will not accept my coins (assuming there was no notice before I ate the meal). But if the good or service has not yet been provided, the business has the right to set whatever terms of payment they will accept in advance, and that includes refusing to accept legal tender. Likewise, a business has the right to give reasonable notice up front regarding the means of payment that will be accepted before the good or service is provided and you as the customer have the right to agree to the terms or not. There could be a situation where notice is not given in advance that a business will not accept cash or coins and a business provides a good or service and you offer to pay with cash or coins, and in that case I think the cash or coins has to be accepted because it is legal tender.
Interesting info. Thanks.
I guess I never really thought about the exact words "all debts public and private" There is no debt until a good exchanged or service rendered.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by DarthEnol »

Nicolas wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:45 am
DarthEnol wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:42 am There’s a nice, smaller, family run restaurant near me that offers a 10% discount for paying with cash.
We have an Indian restaurant that gives the same 10% discount for cash. Whenever we eat there I bring cash. Much better deal than points.
My place is Italian.

And yes - much better than points.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by Cheyenne »

Noble Knight wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:35 am Restaurants claim they do it to avoid credit card fees, but in reality it's to pocket extra cash and not have to pay the taxes on it.
I used to have a acquaintance who was a retired IRS agent and he told me they operated on the assumption that ALL small businesses cheated on their taxes. So if it's expected of them, is it any wonder that some of them might?
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by MnD »

With low-paid employees, cash larceny drag is pretty much a constant with infrequent but more serious felony theft (days cash receipts go missing somehow) and then you have robbery risk. So the net cost of cards is not really 2-3% relative to that. Business owners forcing cash-only or offering significant discounts are likely engaging in major tax fraud.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by 3-20Characters »

I pick a restaurant based on food, dining experience, service. I prefer home cooking so I will put up with almost any decor and sometimes even mediocre service if it’s not intentional or snobby. Paying cash to get good meals at good deals is not an issue. I’m a return customer and I get to know something about the owner—who is often an immigrant and gives me perspective about how people live outside my circle. I’ve been going to a family owned, local, cash only, seafood restaurant for dacades. Then they got an ATM. Now they take CC. The place hasn’t changed otherwise so I still eat there. I always carry a couple hundred $$ on me and have more at home, even though I Apple Pay or CC for practically every purchase.
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Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by retired recently »

Agree with others, those who take cash only are typically cheating on their taxes, especially those that work for tips. I like what my taxes provide so avoid those who cheat to not pay. So many other restaurants to choose from...
The Wizard
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Location: Reading, MA

Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by The Wizard »

whodidntante wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:13 am I'm less likely to go to a business that will only accept cash. I like the convenience, protections, rewards, and float of a credit card.
Convenience and protection of a CC is a good thing when buying an airline ticket with your smartphone, but going to a cash only restaurant?
I don't see those applying there...
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mak1277
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

Post by mak1277 »

Does the possibility that the owners of these restaurants are committing tax fraud actually bother anyone? I feel like it's 100% immaterial to me. Just like I don't care if my friends or family are committing tax fraud. It's none of my business. I can only control what I do.
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