Cash Is Cool Again

By the end of 2019, even people who prefer paying in cash can get in line to order one of Manhattan’s trendiest salads.

In an April 25 blog post, Sweetgreen has announced it will accept cash in all of its locations by the year’s end. The company is turning its back on its cashless policy amid complaints that people who could only pay in cash, or who preferred using cash, were being excluded from Sweetgreen.

The company’s decision to go cashless was announced in 2016 in another blog post which cited that it was looking to increase efficiency, sustainability, and safety. At the time, about 10% of all Sweetgreen transactions were cash, which prompted management to weigh the risks of continuing to accept cash versus eliminating cash transactions altogether.

Though going cashless had its advantages, said Thursday’s post, “to accomplish our mission, everyone in the community needs to have access to real food.”

These are some of the people who are disadvantaged by cashless policies:

  • Tipped workers: tips are often paid in cash.
  • People who rely on cash budgeting: exclusively using cash can prevent over-spending.
  • People have difficulty with digital services: elderly, people with disabilities, teenagers who do not have credit or debit cards.
  • The homeless
  • People with cash only-businesses