The operator of The Boot in Freston, near Ipswich has claimed to be the first in the country to go completely cashless.
Whilst the growth of card and contactless payments has been undeniable in recent years it did appear that the pub sector was loth to go all in on the form.
This news coming out of Suffolk however may signal the start of a sea change with operator, Mike Keen, particularly effusive about the benefits of dropping cash.
He did however state that customer reaction has not be universally positive. “If there was a negative, it would be some people who are used to paying with cash are a bit taken aback when they haven’t got the option.”
The Boot only opened in its current form at the start of summer 2018 so there is little data available to analyse how the decision to go cashless will impact business in the long run.
The erosion of historic cash culture in the pub sector will undoubtedly have an impact on the situation of gaming machines which are currently being hamstrung by governmental stallings over technical standards.
It makes all the sense in the world for the coin-op industry to be allowed to keep pace with wider consumer trends unabated, but as recent DCMS reviews have high-lighted the legislatory powers are not forthcoming with such allowances.
The Boot’s switch to cashless, does, however highlight the huge conundrum facing the industry. Gaming machines are an integral part of the pub landscape – and income; a cashless pub, in theory, means a machineless pub in practice Unless, of course, the government sees sense and revisits its position on card use on gaming machines.