Toronto not sure it likes restaurants that don’t take cash

Cash-less restaurants are still a relatively new phenomenon in Toronto, but as more and more new places pop up that don’t accept paper money, the practice is becoming more pronounced.

Not everyone, however, is a fan of this new way to pay. A debate recently broke out on Toronto’s Food and Wine Industry Navigator over the merits and drawbacks of cash-less payment systems.

The thread started when someone posted that he had recently visited General Assembly near King and Spadina hoping to grab some pizza with the only tender he had available: two $ 20 bills.

He was surprised to learn that he was unable to make a purchase and claims he was told by staff to “go back and order from Ritual or Foodora.”

According to the Canada Currency Act, it’s legal for retailers to refuse cash payment – every business can set their own payment policies.

General Assembly isn’t the first restaurant in Toronto to go cash-less and it won’t be the last. 

Eva’s Original ChimneysIQ Food Co., Tsujiri and Sorry Coffee are among other notable businesses that have made the switch.

Popular Leslieville brunch spot The Green Wood told the CBC that only 10% of customers were using cash anyway so making the switch eliminated a lot of hassle.

New restaurants like General Assembly are choosing to go cash-less right from the start, a decision that streamlines processes for employees and management and helps eliminate human error.

Still, not everyone has ready-access to a credit or debit card or wants to use an app when they order food so it’s going to be an adjustment.

For some customers, they’ll probably just take their business elsewhere.

As for General Assembly, a spokesperson tells us they’re still ironing out some kinks in the process and hope to install more visible signage soon that better explains payment options to potential customers.

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