My family and I went out to dinner last night. Nana serves pan-Asian fare, a mix ofNana_051706_002
Japanese and Thai cooking. The waitress
made some helpful suggestions and, in general, we liked the appetizers, even
though we thought the meats could’ve been better seasoned. We liked the entrees even more: everything
was tasty, from the pad thai we ordered for our son, to Bridgett’s crispy red
snapper, to my soft shell crabs. Overall, a very enjoyable experience.

Until the bill came.

No, it wasn’t the price. With drinks, appetizers, entrees and dessert, and including tax and tip,
it was just over $90. As I present my
credit card, the waitress tells me, “Oh, we don’t take cards. It’s cash only.”

What?

As I understand it, restaurants go cash-only because they
don’t want to pay the fees that are required in order to take payments via
Visa, Mastercard, Amex, et al.

But, if you’re in a service business, who’s this policy
really serving? If I’m spending over
$40 at a restaurant, I tend to want to pay with a card. I’d be surprised if I’m in the minority on
this.

Net-net is that it’s easier for the restaurant to be a cash
business. It certainly makes the
owners’ lives easier when it comes to taxes and declaring income. But what about me, the consumer?

In the end, between the two of us, we had the cash and even
had enough to leave a respectable tip.

But, I’m going to think twice about taking the family—or any
large party, for that matter—again because I’ll have to make sure I’m carrying
enough cash. There are a ton of
restaurants along here along Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. In addition to a crowded field, Nana is
starting with a handicap because of its cash-only policy. When it comes to choosing a restaurant,
convenience is a factor.

I certainly hope the cash-only policy is removed. It’d be a shame to have to forgo a decent
restaurant, all because the owners think it’s more important to make their own
lives easier.

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Posted by Rob Fields