The Abolition of Cash, Frisco Edition

Do people not understand the words “Legal Tender?”


If you want a hot coffee at Blue Bottle, cold hard cash may not work anymore.

The high-end coffee company will ban cash at 12 locations across the country starting on March 11 as part of a month-long experiment that aims to speed up purchases.  (photo from this article)


Commenting on The Instapundit, Ed Driscoll notes

On Twitter, Rob Province, aka, “Educated Hillbilly” asks, “Am I a total racist for thinking this is a way to keep poor & minority customers out of their hip San Francisco coffee shop?” Not at all. Beyond that, as Glenn noted in December, “This is mostly a stealthy way to keep homeless people out.”

It’s much more than this.  Remember, surveillance institutions–whether corporate or state–have an imperative to collect behavioral data in ever-widening scope.  No aspect of your life is immune.  The Chronicle’s Shwanika Narayan blithely swallows the pretense offered by the restaurant industry

The move reflects a growing cashless trend across the restaurant industry, which is eager to make service more efficient.

That’s the businesses fronting for the credit card folks, who would love to track every purchase made by every person, every day.  Think what a goldmine of behavioral profiling this would be to their “back end” customers in advertising, law enforcement, and more nefarious endeavors.

As for me, “Real Texans pay cash,”   (unless I working the x% cash back on my credit card).  As for places like Blue Bottle, if you don’t want my cash, I don’t want your coffee.

Update:  On further consideration, I really don’t like this; it abuses the help.  My custom is to always tip in cash, even when paying by credit card.  (Try this where you’re a regular customer; you’ll notice a boost in service.) A tip is a private transaction between me and my waiter.  It is not the business of the employer, the IRS, or some band of tip-sharing Nazis.  No cash, no tip.

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