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Old 06-05-2006, 09:47 AM   #1
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Thumbs down New Trend in Brooklyn NY

I was visiting some friends in Brooklyn this weekend and we were noticing a new trend there in the restaurants. More and more places are no longer taking credit cards or debit cards and are going cash only. It was a bit of a pain. It was not horrible since there is an ATM every couple of feet, but still it means you now need to carry a wad of cash with you if you are going out to eat.

Has anyone else noticed this trend anywhere else?

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Old 06-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #2
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Not here yet Gb.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:19 AM   #3
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I've not seen it in Toronto yet GB, and I certainly hope that it doesn't catch on up here. I almost always prefer to use plastic over paper, if only for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if anything were to happen to my wallet (knock wood) that I wouldn't be out a wad of cash. But instead just have to quickly cancel all my cards.

Not as annoying, but a trend that can really add up at the end of the month is how some merchants (and most all ATMs, sans perhaps the ones from your own bank) now charge you a .25-$1.50 fee to use your debit or credit card in their stores. I know that having the systems in place to allow these kinds of transactions is not free for the merchants, but still as I use my cards (mostly debit) for the vast majority of my purchases, this factor would be enough to deter me from using a store again, especially if the fee was above .50 cents per transaction.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:48 AM   #4
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I guess the 2%, 3%, 4% that MC or VISA charges the merchants is too much to bear...

At one point in time, the merchants were not permitted by MC and VISA to charge a premium for credit card use. Has that changed?

Every consumer then has to make the decision of whether or not to patronize the particular merchant based on the convenience of card usage.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #5
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Nope.. not happening in the Seattle area yet. Sure hope it doesn't! We use the credit card for everything. ( WE NEEED those airline miles, every time we've been to Greece we've gotten at least one of our tickets for FREE).
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:33 PM   #6
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You do this in LA and you lose half your business. The only places I can think of in LA that doesn't take plastic are those little hole in the wall Mexican restaurants and beachside hot dog or taco stands.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:26 PM   #7
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If anything, I've noticed just the opposite in my area. All the "good" restaurants have always taken plastic, but now I'm noticing that many of the fast food joints are starting to take plastic as well.

I know that credit card companies can and do charge merchants a small percentage of the sale for each transaction. However, it seems like many places are starting to cater to folks who may not have a credit card, but do have a debit card.

Honestly, I can almost see debit cards becoming the way almost all future transactions are done.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:34 PM   #8
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Many places will take your debit card and treat it as a credit card if it has a MC or VISA logo on it. Then when it gets to your bank, they know what to do with it.

I really like the convenience of a debit card. Between the debit card and electronic bill paying, I practically never write a check!
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:25 PM   #9
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The fast food places here have all started taking cards. One of our two local Mexican restaurants (which just changed ownership) now only takes cash. Our local Chinese place doesn't take cards, but they do take checks. The nicer places (most of them at least 20 miles from here) all take cards and cash.

Different subject, but something that drives us nuts about our local restaurants is that they are all closed on Mondays. The fast food places are all open, and so is the Mexican place, but all the other "sit-down" restaurants are closed on Mondays--even last year when Valentine's Day was on Monday. If we ever want to eat out on a Monday we have to drive 20 miles to Monroe, NC.

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Old 06-07-2006, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I really like the convenience of a debit card. Between the debit card and electronic bill paying, I practically never write a check!
It's practically the same here and I really like it that way. Even when I knew that there was no possible way of having my cheques bounce I was always had a tad bit of trepidation when I used them. I still have a cheque book, and I'm sure I'll write more cheques in the future, but going electronic certainly gets my vote!
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:50 PM   #11
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this practice has existed in north jersey as long as i can remember. being more common with small italian places, it was always rumored that the reason for cash only was money laundering for organized crime.
i know for a fact that this were true in a few cases, from pizza joints to barber shops. overall tho, i think that's just an urban legend.
if anything, the owner of the restaurant goes cash only for his own manipulation of tax, payroll, and insurance reasons.
also, it's much easier to keep accounts on a small business when there's a simple and direct cash flow.
it is a bit of a pain; i too rarely write a check anymore, and carry less cash.
you get used to remembering which places are cash only, or at least get used to taking notice of the sign by the entrance for cash only.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:21 AM   #12
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Houston, recently voted the fattest city in the US by the way, boasts tons of great restaurants---we even have a pullout Dining Out section in our great Houston Chronicle once a week, that's totally devoted to the restaurants, star ratings, costs, location, etc. and nearly all places take plastic. If there's anything that a lot of the restaurants WON'T take it's personal checks. Hmmmmmmm? I guess we have more "Michelin" and "Firestone" checks down here.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
this practice has existed in north jersey as long as i can remember. being more common with small italian places...

I agree, BT. You can get used to the fact that Guido's pizza takes cash only and deal with that.

I believe GB was talking about restaurants that have been accepting credit cards and are now dropping them. I think that's more difficult to accomplish as you are giving the other restaurants in the area a competitive advantage.

If you have a loyal following, they will probably still patronize your place even if you take only cash, but no credit would be a deal breaker for a lot of folks.

I'm curious about the reasoning for dropping credit. All I can think of is the fee that the credit card companies charge.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:43 AM   #14
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Actually Andy, I was noticing this with new restaurants that were opening up. It seems like the new places are just doing cash only. I am not sure about the existing places though. These are not the cheap eats type places (pizza joint and delis) that I am talking about. These are places with entrees around $20 or so.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:51 AM   #15
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Thanks for setting me straight. I must have misread your post. I still don't understand why they are doing this. I see it as putting them at a disadvantage. Can it just be the fee?
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:08 AM   #16
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My friend who we were visiting seems to think they are doing it to be trendy.

What I do know is that it is not hurting their business any. Each of these places were full or close to it. There is certainly no shortage of customers in a place like Brooklyn. Now if you tried to do that in my town you would be shooting yourself in the foot.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:44 AM   #17
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I accepted Mastercard and Visa in my greenhouse business for a while, but it was a pain it the butt for a busy lady running a small business to deal with, and I did away with it after a couple of years.
I always accepted personal checks, though, so I really didn't get any complaints, except from a hot-shot (set designer for Dianna Ross, among other claims to fame), who was home from LA, visiting his parents. He didn't really protest much, he was just surprised, and had to dig around for the cash.
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