Santa Maria Pizzeria group — London’s outstanding Neapolitan pizza restaurant group — has announced that it will stop taking cash payments across its three branches (Ealing, Fulham, and Fitzrovia) in the new year. A fourth location could also arrive in the new year.
In an Instagram post this lunchtime, the owners announced a “New year’s resolution.” It is presented as both a safety measure and a move that will expedite back-end administration.
From 2019 all our branch will go cashless and only take payments in credit cards. We won’t have more cash left on the premises and we’ll know our tax situation straight away.
In the comments, replying to a user who voiced the concerns for “those unable to get a bank account such as refugees, homeless, bad credit history...,” as articulated in this essay, which argues of the potentially socially exclusive implications of not taking cash, the business said: “If a homeless [person] or a refugee wants a pizza, we give it for free.”
‘Going cashless’ has increased in popularity in New York City over the past 18 months — a city whose restaurant scene is often the source of inspiration for London operators. Exposed brick, cocktails in jam jars, gourmet junk food, and now electronic payments.
Since the downsides for operators in an increasingly digital world — at least for a certain kind of fast casual restaurant business — are negligible, it could be adopted with increasing regularity in London in the new year. Only last week, Dishoom, one of London’s most-admired fast casual restaurant groups floated the cashless model on Twitter.
Time will tell.