New D.C. bill aims to make ‘cashless’ restaurants illegal
Restaurants are increasingly less likely to accept paper currency, a trend that likely protects businesses from theft but also makes it harder for low-income people to shop.
The fish tacos at Surfside, a 24-hour Mexican restaurant in Washington D.C., sell for $12.50. But don’t plan on trading a ten and some change for the meal: the restaurant is one of many in the city that no longer accepts cash.
It’s a growing trend in an era defined by mobile payments, online retail, and Bitcoin. The supporters say going cashless speeds up transactions and protects businesses from theft. But others say it discriminates against the many Americans who don’t have reliable access to a credit or debit card.
Now, a new bill called the Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act of 2018 seeks to make it illegal for restaurants and retailers not to accept cash or to charge different prices to customers depending on the type of payment.
“Banning the use of cash is a discriminatory practice that disproportionately impacts the 10% of DC residents who are unbanked, and an additional 25% of residents who are underbanked and may not have access to a credit card,” wrote Councilmember David Grosso.
“In addition, this practice is discriminatory against youth, who are often unable to obtain a credit card, impacting many of our middle school and high school students.
By denying patrons the ability to use cash as a form of payment, businesses are effectively telling lower-income and young patrons that they are not welcome.”
Mobile payment--Wikipedia commons
Still, the mandate could prove to be a headache for some businesses, like D.C.-based juice company JRINK.
“When we had one location in Dupont it was easier to deposit cash, which was right across the street at Eagle Bank,” JRINK CEO Shizu Okusa told the Washington City Paper. “But then the company grew... At some of our locations, including one in Clarendon, it’s really hard for businesses to keep track of all of the cash that’s laying around. If you think about providing more access to your products in multiple locations, we want to balance with operational feasibility.”
Okusa said the company would have to update its business model if the bill passes.
“We'd have to have new protocols, new equipment, and new staff training.”
Many cashless stores in D.C. cater to a wealthy clientele. But for other businesses around the country, going cashless is a safety precaution. Chicago-based chain Epic Burger, for instance, decided to experiment with a cashless model at one of its stores after being hit by six break-ins, burglaries and robberies over eight years.
“It has generated the most negative pushback of anything we've ever done,” found David Friedman told USA Today, adding that he’s now implemented a cashless policy at all of his stores. “I made the decision to put my customers' and my employees' safety as my No. 1 priority.”
According to police data, there were 165 burglaries and robberies in D.C. restaurants in 2016. One D.C. resident summed up the bill, which has yet to be voted on, like this:
“I can see both sides...Businesses should be able to choose what they want to do with their business and what sort of money they want to transact with. But at the same time, cash is still currency. So to say that is not a valued way to pay for something would be kind of frustrating.”
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
- Tesla's new version of the Model 3 costs $45,000 and can travel 260 miles on one charge.
- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
A mind-bending paradox questions the nature of reality.
- Boltzmann Brains are hypothetical disembodied entities with self-awareness.
- It may be more likely for a Boltzmann Brain to come into existence than the whole Universe.
- The idea highlights a paradox in thermodynamics.
What makes an excellent educator?
- When it comes to educating, says Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, a brave failure is preferable to timid success.
- Fostering an environment where one isn't afraid to fail is tantamount to learning.
- Human beings are complicated and flawed. Working with those complications and flaws leads to true knowledge.
Drinking home alone in your underwear just might be what you need to be as relaxed as the Finnish.
- Päntsdrunk is the latest trend to come out of Northern Europe and it involves drinking alone at home.
- Finnish writer Miska Rantanen outlines the philosophy in his newest book titled: Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation.
- Kalsarikänni is a word in Finnish that literally means "drinking at home and alone in your underwear."
It's hard to imagine such a number. But these images will help you try.
The Mega Millions lottery just passed $1 billion for tonight's drawing.
What does that even look like, when represented by various currencies?
It takes just 6 numbers to win. You can only, however, purchase tickets up until 10:45 ET tonight.
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
"It's about having employees that are empowered."
Denmark may be the birthplace of the Lego tower, but its workplace hierarchy is the flattest in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the nation tops an index measuring "willingness to delegate authority" at work, beating 139 other countries.
Want a happy, satisfying relationship? Psychologists say the best way is to learn to take a joke.
- New research looks at how partners' attitudes toward humor affects the overall quality of a relationship.
- Out of the three basic types of people, people who love to be laughed at made for better partners.
- Fine-tuning your sense of humor might be the secret to a healthy, happy, and committed relationship.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.