If you share your credit card, you will probably end up with a losing hand.

When you bring the Serrano Grilled Shrimp Bowl to the Tender Greens salad chain, no effort to bring cash.

Tender Greens, with 28 restaurants on the east and west coast, is among a growing number of restaurants. Either they shun cash and only accept credit and debit cards and contactless payment systems like Apple Pay or experiment with the Strategy.

While no one has maintained the number of restaurants taking over cashless policies, interest has increased significantly. According to a 2016 Federal Reserve study, the number of cashless payments – including credit and debit cards – reached 144 billion in 2015, rising by 5.3% per year between 2012 and 2015

Sweetgreen, another salad chain on the coasts and part of the Midwest and some independent restaurants have adopted the same policy. Two national chains are exploring it.

In January, Starbucks made one of its stores cashless in its hometown of Seattle, and Shake Shack, the gourmet hamburger chain, began testing cashless kiosks at its Astor Place restaurant in New York City in October. Both chains refused to discuss their experiments.

Restaurant owners say that ordering from customers is faster, hitting plastic instead of dollars, cutting a few seconds out of the process. But most of the advantages seem to be attributed to the restaurants: less time spent on bills, less theft, no fees for armored cars or fear of being exceeded.

It's a risky strategy. For starters, upscale millennials, who are among the most coveted diners due to their youth and wealth, prefer cash, according to data. In addition, more than a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 37 have no credit card.

For customers, patronized restaurants that do not take cash are less likely to pay if they need a quick meal during lunch – too short a lunch break. It also raises questions about discriminatory cardless youth and the poor being discriminated against.

Miah Taughtery came to social media in the fall after he had hit politics at a Sweetgreen restaurant in Washington, DC

"There is a presumption that people have a credit or debit card on them That would not mean that would mean that I would not be able to have lunch? "Daughtery, 38.

She added that her parents were growing up in a time when cash was king, so they also might not be lucky.

A committee in Chicago weighs Alderman Edward Burke's proposed claim against traders Accept cash. Since 1978, there is a Discrimination Against Cash Buyers scheme in Massachusetts.

"Most people who use cash are people who do not have access to a bank account and have a lower income," said Lana Swartz, co-editor of the book Paid: stories of dongles, checks and other money , " One of the cornerstones of American capitalism is that the money of all people is the same."

Cashless businesses point out that customers typically have many options on where to shop. And if someone, such as a homeless or a young teenager, does not have a credit or debit card, some restaurants say they have distributed their share of free meals to difficult cases. give them a break and let them eat for free.

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Tender Greens says it cuts 10 seconds of order time by going cashless. "A customer does not have to wait that long, it makes us competitive," said President Denyelle Bruno.

Señor Sisig, a fleet of five Filipino fusion food trucks in San Francisco, has higher gratuities and less hassle The benefits of being cashless on January 1st.

It's "frustrating when I have valuable employees who only count money," founder Evan Kidera said, expecting it to devour more than 40 hours a week. "This was a way to get them back to what they are good at, namely food and service."

In addition, fewer and fewer customers paid in cash, from about 70% in 2010 to 19% before

So far, however, the giants of the fast food world are still unconvinced.

McDonald's spokeswoman Andrea Abate said the chain is "always trying to make things easier for our guests".

Paul Murray, Dunkin & # 39; s brand director of digital experience stated that "they can pay as they please."


Wiping your credit card becomes as prehistoric as the dial-up Internet. Susana Victoria Perez has more.

Follow USA TODAY Reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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