Food trucks leaving cash in the dust

Don't forget to bring your credit card when going out to eat


Moving restaurants are heralding the cashless movement as many food trucks start to transition out of paper transactions to strictly swipe or insert only.

“It’s a lot quicker if you have card only, you don’t have to deal with cash handling at the end of the day and such,” says Adrian Saenz, manager of Chi’lantro, a Korean barbecue food truck in downtown Austin that was one of the first to go cashless.

Citing safety and speed as the main reasons to forgo cash, managers of food trucks like Chi’lantro, which almost always has a line, say they haven’t faced any pushback from customers who prefer bills. “If they do have cash, they usually also have a card on them as well so it hasn’t been an issue at all with us,” he says.  

While it may not bother most customers, in some states is could be a violation of the law to refuse cash. While there is no federal law banning the restriction of cash, some states have passed laws in the past that make it illegal for a business to refuse to accept legal tender. But, laws like these may soon change as well, as toll booths, parking garages and now restaurants say no to the mighty green, preferring plastic instead.

“We’re kind of over those cash is king days,” Saenz believes. 

See related: Poll: Cash or credit for a $5 purchase?, Street performers now take tips via credit card

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Updated: 02-16-2019