A fast-casual darling stops taking cash in some stores

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The Sweetgreen fast-casual salad chain is eliminating cash payments in a select number of stores in the Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C. areas, limiting patrons to credit cards or the concept’s app.

Foregoing cash yields faster checkout, streamlined operations, greater sustainability and a glimpse of “the future of retail,” the chain says. A sign in some stores’ windows notes that “forward-thinking business are going cashless.”

Although many restaurant chains now offer cashless payment, few if any are completely foregoing payment with greenbacks.

But the chain isn’t jumping in full force just yet. It’s inviting customers to give feedback via its hello@sweetgreen email address.

Several consumers took to social media to address concerns. 



Another tweeter praised Sweetgreen’s open communication with guests as to why it was testing this new payment method, while still acknowledging some guests might not be too thrilled. Others just seemed curious to see how the cashfree efforts would work out.

A post on Trip Advisor noted that Sweetgreen’s unit in Boylston, Mass., stopped taking cash. But, the post pointed out, the location is near high schools, and kids don’t always have their own credit cards.

Another Sweetgreen customer in the Twitterverse posted that she observed a woman “gaze forlornly at a $20 bill,” because she didn’t have cards on her.

The tests, which started at the beginning of the year, are ongoing, the chain said.


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