Starbucks is experimenting with cashless restaurants at a posh location in downtown Seattle. Since January, your money is no good at the cafe inside the Russell Investments Center unless it’s in the form of plastic.
There is no sign announcing the policy, but a barista on Wednesday declined to take a $20 bill in payment for a short latte and a piece of lemon cake, explaining that the store is not accepting cash.
The test will help Starbucks understand how cashless forms of payment may impact our customer experience,
Starbucks says its mobile payment and ordering app is a fast-growing success — to the point that last year it blamed slow sales growth a stores on crowding by people who had ordered from their phones.
The second-floor Russell Center cafe, dominated by armchairs, couches and at least one chaise longue, is reached from the lobby of the 42-story building, which is the corporate home of the online real-estate company Zillow as well as Russell, an international financial firm.
The cashless test is an opportunity to make Starbucks Better Simpler Cheaper, by removing the need to keep Cash in the Till, speeding up transactions, removing a hygiene issue and removing the need to go to the bank to cash & change.
Employee theft is also less of a concern in a cashless system, And the move may help in “positioning themselves as a very innovative company.”
“If we can shave another 10 seconds per order, over a day or over a year, that’s a lot of savings.
A box at the sales register made clear, however, that tips are still accepted in cash.