No Credit? No Food For You.


maincommerceI’ve dined all over the United States and parts of Europe and never have I heard that a restaurant doesn’t take cash.  No credit?  Sometimes.  No checks?  Frequently.  But no cash?

At Commerce, located in Greenwich Village in New York it’s now officially a credit or debit only dining experience.  Their message, ‘tip in cash if you wish, but otherwise your money is no good here.’

For the most part, I get it.  After all, we swipe our cards for a taxi ride and as we go through a fast food drive-thru.  We donate to charities via credit.  And credit saves the headache of having exact change available and limits cash shortages at the end of the night.  But I struggle with the restaurant’s co-owner, Tony Zazula’s statement, “If you don’t have a credit card, you can use a debit card. If you don’t have a debit card, you probably don’t have a checking account. And if you don’t have a checking account, you probably shouldn’t be eating at Commerce to begin with.”

According to Mr. Zazula, he came up with the idea while on an American Airlines flight where, “the flight attendants weren’t accepting cash for any of the food. Suddenly, it struck me how unnecessary cash was.”

What do you think?  Is going cash-less a good thing?  Or is this just a PR ploy by the restaurant to improve traffic after mediocre reviews?


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2 Responses to “No Credit? No Food For You.”

  1. Graham Crow Says:

    Definite PR ploy. Not a bad one, initially, either. Would you have written about this restaurant without this move? Still strange, in this economy when many people are becoming more budget conscious and trying to reduce the urge of running up credit, to not allow cash. Also, subtle message saying, “Cash isn’t good enough for us — but it’s just fine for our hired help.”

  2. John Bentz Says:

    Bad idea. More because of the snarky tone around “if you don’t have a checking account, you probably should not be here.” I gather the owner does not want European tourists in his restaurant. Credit and debit cards do not have the same ubiquity among many Europeans (especially those of a certain age). They still love their cash. I have many well-to-do Italian friends who come to NYC strictly on a cash basis. I’ll have to warn them off this place.

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