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The Daily Tar Heel

Local businesses opt to go cashless


Açaí bowls have come to Franklin Street with the opening of The Purple Bowl. 

Establishments are going cashless. 

Some restaurants have stopped accepting bills or coins because they fear being robbed, while others see "going cashless" as a step toward the digital future. Many establishments agree it increases cleanliness and efficiency. The conversation between businesses going cashless is not straight forward, but for some businesses they believe it makes more sense.  

Jared Smith, manager at TRU Deli & Wine Bar, sells everything on credit, making it an almost fully cashless establishment with the exception of tips at the bar. 

“We do accept cash at the bar if it’s in exact change and as a tip," Smith said. "But otherwise we are cashless and it makes it easier for staff to close out at night and it's convenient with our software."

TRU uses a computer system that allows people to customize their own meals and send it straight to the kitchen without a server’s involvement.

“It's one of our ways to make ordering easier and more efficient," Smith said. "By using the software to it’s best advantage allowing for people to customize their own orders and by using cards it kind of expedites the process for everyone." 

UNC junior and TRU patron Skye Golann said he prefers using cards over cash because it is more efficient.

"Paper money has no inherent value and takes a lot of money and trees to produce," Golann said. "I see no reason for cash at all anymore.” 

Purple Bowl manager Paula Gilland said going cashless is a way to prevent customers from using dirty money.

"The person puts their credit card in and takes it back out so there's no touching of money on our end with our employees.” 

This tactic is restrictive, Gilland said, but most of the Chapel Hill population has credit cards and aren’t bothered by it. 

Some think going cashless can contribute to elitism in the area and could be a harmful way to keep those who don’t have credit cards out of the area. UNC senior Dalton Shaw said some small businesses cannot afford the transaction fees that come with only using credit cards, so it is difficult for them to generate cash flow.

“I don’t mind when businesses have credit card minimums because if I buy something and the transaction fee is close to the same amount, then there’s no profit and I get why it’s there,” he said.

UNC junior Khari Hutchings said since people carry less cash on them and online shopping has become more popular, it seems like businesses are adapting to the changing business climate.

"There's only more reason for businesses to keep pace with the cashless idea,” he said.

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