Up to 600 people can patron the chef-driven eateries at this trending New York hotspot, but if guests want to use cash, they'll have to go elsewhere. The surprise felt by a 29 year-old construction worker, interviewed by BBC, prompts questions on discrimination via payments, and further interest into the ongoing efforts to safeguard cash acceptance across the United States of America.
The problematic payments choice made the news in April 2019 when public advocate Jumaane Williams called for a boycott on the cashless eatery then again almost one year later following a BBC article published in February 2020. Williams argues that the discriminatory foodery is “salt in the wounds to a project we all knew was not for the majority of this city," referring to the delays on affordable housing projects.
“People should stop eating at places that are cashless,”
"New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who sponsored New York's law, said his goal was to protect people without access to bank accounts or credit cards against discrimination.
Cash also works in an emergency when the power is out and preserves privacy in an era when credit card companies and others widely share shopper histories, said Jay Stanley, a privacy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has lobbied in favour of the new laws.
"I think people understand that removing cash as an option will disempower them at some level," he said. "We can act on convenience minute-by-minute and yet still have a larger vision for the kind of society we want."