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Winnipeg eatery taking cash off the menu, patrons to pay with plastic

More and more businesses are moving away from cash in favour of plastic as payment for goods and services.
More and more businesses are moving away from cash in favour of plastic as payment for goods and services. File / Global News

Going cashless. It’s been talked about for years. The convenience of paying with plastic has led many people to even stop carrying cash.

And a Winnipeg restaurant has taken notice, deciding it will no longer be accepting cash payments.

Tomas Sohlberg, owner of Boon Burger Cafe on Sherbrook Street told 680 CJOB’s Mackling and Megarry in an interview Tuesday they are now accepting payment by debit, credit or gift card only.

READ MORE: More and more people prefer plastic over paper when paying the bill: survey

“I guess we just started seeing a trend of more and more people paying with debit and credit card, and the amount of money we have to spend in order to manage cash is quite astronomical when you think of the few people that pay with cash.”

The owner of the vegan cafe says he pays a manager a minimum of 10 hours per week to handle deposits, prepare cash trays, deal with coins and banking.

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Other businesses operate quite effectively without cash and believes it is the way to go, said Sohlberg.

“It is happening. We’re just a little bit ahead of the curve, and well, we’re hoping we are on the right side of it.”

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Sohlberg said they do have a “loophole” for people who only use cash. They will sell them a gift card, which allows the customer to pay for their meal and retain the balance of the card for future use, and the restaurant won’t have to mess with making change.

But what about tips?

“Most tips are left on the debit machine or credit card transaction,” Sohlberg said.

READ MORE: Is Canada becoming a cashless society?

“I think it’s where the country is going and where the world is going,” Andrew Moor, CEO of Equitable Bank said.

“Generally we’re seeing this happening, particularly in restaurants, it helps to improve efficiency,” Moor suggested, adding that people who are handling food should probably not also be handling cash.

“Boon Burger seems kind of to have a visionary approach.”

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Most people are accustomed to paying with plastic, be it credit card, debit or gift card, but what happens when technology breaks down?

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Moor advised people always carry some cash with them even if they don’t intend to use it, in the event of power outages or technical issues. But technology has become more and more reliable over the years, he added.

WATCH: cash no longer king: Canada ranks third in cashless transactions

He said the move to plastic-only payment will lead to greater efficiency for businesses and customers.

“Its quite hard for people serving customers, cash for one, debit for another, credit for another … having two or three ways of accepting payment is a bit inefficient. Generally speaking most business today — a lot of it’s tap, and for most people that’s easier than handling change.”