There is a battle going on for the contents of your wallet or purse. Will cash or credit be the winner? The restaurant industry seems to be where most of the war occurs. Some dinners take both, but one Cedar Rapids restaurant has decided to stop taking cash when the bill is due.

A friend of mine was out for a nice dinner at a Cedar Rapids restaurant over the weekend. When the bill came he offered to pay with cash. He was then informed that the establishment was no longer accepting cash. He said that he felt a bit out of place, but paid the bill with a card. He stated that he didn't know if he'd go back with that policy in place. The restaurant was 350 First-Top of the DoubleTree in downtown Cedar Rapids.

I'm sure you've been to restaurants of late that may take both cash and credit cards but will charge more to use plastic. Most people understand that it costs restaurants a fee to run a card so many are passing that fee on to the customers. But what is the benefit of not accepting cash?

According to, some restaurants say no to cash due to how time-consuming it can be handling it. With rising labor costs and hourly wages, some employers can't afford to have employees on the clock for the time it may take to drive to the bank and make a deposit. Some restaurants don't like to have large amounts of cash on hand because of the risk of employees skimming money, or the restaurant getting robbed.

Restaurant Bill Reciept Holder Isolated on White Background
Michael Burrell

One of the most asked questions when this topic comes up is are restaurants legally required to take your cash? While some states have considered laws addressing the issue, according to the Federal Reserve, the answer is 'No.' There is no federal law mandating that a private business, person, or organization must accept currency or coins as payment for services. The Fed says that private businesses are allowed to develop their own policies.

I'll admit that I pay my bill by card almost all of the time. I just don't carry that much cash on me. But I can certainly understand the frustration from customers who would like to pay that way. Make sure you know a restaurant's pay policy before you sit down to eat!

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