Sweetgreen Tests Going Cashless at 6 Locations
In an effort to speed up lines and transaction times, restaurant chain Sweetgreen has stopped accepting cash at six of its 48 locations. In those select locations, customers are only allowed to pay with credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets.
Employees at the cashless locations have been able to complete 5-15% more transactions per hour since the switch, reports Jonathan Neman, one of the co-founders of Sweetgreen. This could mean a significant increase in sales for the company, but only if customers continue coming to the establishment. Even though many Americans are now choosing plastic over paper money, there are still a significant number of people that use cash to make their everyday purchases.
Speed isn’t the only benefit with the new system. Neman says it makes the restaurants safer since there is no cash for potential thieves to steal.
“I don’t think anyone’s coming in to steal arugula,” he said.
Unbanked and underbanked consumers could be pushed away by the new policy. Before the company moves its cash-free concept nationwide, it plans to find a way to address these customers and allow them to still dine at the restaurant. One proposed idea would place gift card machines at cashless locations so customers could use their paper money to obtain a gift card that could then be used to make a purchase. But this extra step would take away from the “convenience” factor of the switch.