Another Restaurant No Longer Accepts Cash

Following the lead of Mulberry & Vine and Sweetgreen, Two Hands no longer accepts cash. I like the restaurant quite a bit, but as a sit-down establishment, this seems like something it should notify folks about (such as on its website and via Resy) before they settle in to read the menu. Then again, I may still be feeling a bit tetchy from the two times I’ve been rebuffed at cash-only restaurants (Sweetgreen and Bluestone Lane) because I don’t bring credit/debit cards when I go to work out.

For more on why restaurateurs would want to avoid cash, here’s an explanation from Mulberry & Vine’s Michelle Gauthier:

The management of cash is a burden and a timesuck—the counting and the recounting and the bank runs…. At the end of the day, there’s always $4.22 that no one can ever locate. It takes an employee 30 minutes or an hour trying to find a few dollars. This happens every night, and it beats people down right when everyone just wants to leave. So we decided to try it in Nomad. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for my employees. It was life-changing. Three weeks later we did it in Tribeca. Yes, we pay a credit-card fee on every transaction, but removing the mental anguish of having to deal with cash makes it more than worth it. And you know what? The kids today don’t carry cash. We gotten very little pushback—if we had, I’d have reconsidered it. I think the world is moving to being cashless.



  1. Said it before and will say it again. The kids today may not carry cash, but some people are actually unable or cannot afford to have a bank account or credit card. Go ahead and continue the class divide. I guess I will find my gluten-free, hormone-free charred avocado smash curry noodles somewhere else.

    • If one is unable to afford a bank account or credit card, is that person likely to be spending $12 for avocado toast?

    • wow, someone really IS uptight. like it or not, that’s the way things are headed. what is the point of you “defending” an imaginary group of people that only have cash and are roaming the streets of tribeca in search of avocado toast?

      • Yo homey, you got a 40 Rosé with that toast? The problem is that if it continues to head this way, all places will soon adopt it. I know you think all the bros in the hood only use a Black Amex, but I like a neighborhood of diversity.

      • I’m one of those “imaginary people” who tried to pay for a food purchase with cash and was told that the restaurant only accepted digital payments, even though it didn’t prominently display its policy.

        Fortunately, I hadn’t been served any food and canceled my order. That’s one restaurant I won’t patronize in the future.

    • a large part of the population use “prepaid” cards because they are not in a position to maintain a bank account. the fees on these can be substantial and the clearing time to deposit a check on them is unconscionable. their are countless ways to screw the working poor…

  2. They spelled important wrong…

  3. Not accepting US currency is un-American, but sadly, not illegal.
    Look here:

    I co-own the Reade Street Animal Hospital and though the vast majority of our transactions are by credit card, we would never turn away clients by not accepting cash.
    If we had a $5 cash discrepancy we would never waste even a minute trying to reconcile it.
    I just noticed a brand new business in the West Village that will not accept cash.
    Think about that- as a new store wouldn’t the owner want to do everything possible to bring in as much business as they could? Why turn business away by not accepting US currency? Makes no sense!

  4. The notice on the menu upfront probably helps to make it legal to refuse cash in this context. If the customer is not warned about no cash being accepted until after the debt is incurred, i.e., their actually ordering and eating, and the customer offers cash but it is refused, a judge could reasonably say that the restaurant has forfeited the debt.

    One example:


    § 3-603. TENDER OF PAYMENT.

    (b) If tender of payment of an obligation to pay an instrument is made to a person entitled to enforce the instrument and the tender is refused, there is discharge, to the extent of the amount of the tender, of the obligation of an indorser or accommodation party having a right of recourse with respect to the obligation to which the tender relates.

  5. I guess cashiers are too dumb how to calculate in giving proper change back..

  6. So the solution to a 4.22 rounding error is to add an expense 100x that (likely more than that). Got it.

  7. It is a labor savings for the owners and they don’t want to deal with the cash, counts and balancing but sometimes I dont want to be counted either… being off the grid with cash is freeing…Not being paranoid just like ithe option of cash. Limiting cash payments would limit my options but so many places that no worries about not going to these 3…

  8. Businesses have the right to decide what works best for them.
    Who are we to dictate how they should run their business & how to be successful at it. Customers have a right to patronize a business or not depending on lots of criteria, including, food choices, food quality, service quality etc. if you don’t like the payment choices don’t patronize the business. They will either lose business (or not) by only accepting charge/debit cards. It is a time saver for them on many levels & also makes them less of a target of a robbery. They don’t have to go to the bank daily to make a cash drop and get enough change (small bills and coins) for their establishment. They eliminate the problem of holding onto cash overnight. As stated above, if someone doesn’t realize and eats a meal & only has cash, the restaurant had 2 choices, make an exception or forfeit the debt. Probably doesn’t happen often.

  9. “If you haven’t noticed that local salad chain Sweetgreen doesn’t accept cash, it may be because you’re part of the 68% of the United States population that has a bank account (and access to a debit card) or among the more than 159 million who have a credit card.”

  10. Drybar (including the one in Tribeca) has not accepted cash as of April. What sucks is that the stylists (of course) prefer to receive tips in cash but the salon does not have any cash on hand for change. So I assume a lot of customers end up tipping by credit card which isn’t great for the stylists.
    (If you don’t have change, you can go to Starbucks next door. They’re very nice about breaking a bill as long as you’re willing to wait for someone who uses cash so that they can open the register. LOL!)

  11. The REAL reason restaurants want to go cash-only is to eliminate theft by their own employees. It isn’t for convience, that is just a canard so the owner doesn’t have to admit they don’t trust their own employees. Yes…preparing banks and counting cash is a timesuck…and finding missing cash is a nightmare…but my guess is eliminating theft is at the top of most owners wishlist. Sadly, rliminatimg cash just hits their employees in the pocket more by putting all tips on cards…which means workers take home less cash everyweek.

  12. We need more businesses that not only accept cash but refuse to take credit and debit cards. Every business that accepts credit and debit cards pays a percentage of the transaction to the banking system that is passed on to the customer whether he or she pays cash or pays by credit card. That is not right. This is not fair that these banks practically own a few percent of every business that accepts credit and debit cards. The banks would like to ban cash so they could have total control of all our money not to mention all the real estate they already control because of mortgages. We should boycott and even picket/protest businesses who refuse to accept cash. It could eliminate a very important part of our rights to freedom and privacy which all the sheep are being conned into giving up. Also banks that are endorsing eliminating cash should be boycotted and put out of business. They pay us practically nothing in interest and if cash were banned we would have to pay the banks to hold our money aka negative interest rates.