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Friday, April 19, 2024

Local eateries often cash-only, limiting card-toting customers

Local Restaurants: Cash or Credit Infographic
Local Restaurants: Cash or Credit Infographic

Slow Gainesville summers are ideal for sampling the best-loved local restaurants. But before you set out to swipe some plastic at Satchel’s or Vine Bread & Pasta, make sure the restaurant accepts electronic tender. 

Several Gainesville-area restaurants only accept cash for payment.

Stephanie White, marketing and promotion manager at City Bar & Lounge, 115 NW Second Ave. in Trenton, Florida, said the charges for electronic tender were too much. Instead of continuing to pay the service charges, she invested in her own personal ATM to help customers.

“The very few people who come in and do not have cash, I just point them over to the ATM,” she said.

For Teresa Zokovitch, owner of Vine, 627 N. Main St., being a cash-only venue has as much to do with helping her community as it does with keeping costs down.

Zokovitch said she does not see the necessity in paying huge corporations a fee of 3 percent for her customers using their credit cards at her establishment.

“My business is not about making money; it’s about having people coming in and trying my product,” she said.

Zokovitch purchased an ATM to accommodate customers who can’t pay because they didn’t bring cash. If there is still an issue with paying, she will spot the customer and tape his or her receipt on a wall and expect to be paid back the following day, she said.

“Luckily we do not have any receipts on the wall currently,” she said.

Hogan’s Great Sandwiches has been accepting only cash for 30 years now, and if a customer, specifically a student, does not have enough money to pay, then the sandwich shop will spot them for the rest of their bill, said Kelly Dratezato, an employee of Hogan’s Great Sandwiches.

“Ninety-eight percent of customers who received help actually paid us back,” she said.

Mari Reyes, a 21-year-old political science senior said she understands why some restaurants don’t accept plastic. 

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“Logistically I think establishments that are cash-only are inconvenient for students, but realistically the cheaper the better,” Reyes said. 

[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 5/22/2014 under the headline "For local eats, bring cash"]

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