- Sweetgreen will once again accept cash, three years after forcing customers to exclusively pay via app or card.
- The chain's cashless policy "had the unintended consequence of excluding those who prefer to pay or can only pay with cash," Sweetgreen said in a blog post on Thursday.
- Sweetgreen follows in the footsteps of Amazon, which recently announced its cashier-free Amazon Go stores would start accepting cash, after backlash and regulation.
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Sweetgreen, a trendy salad chain that helped kick off the cashless revolution, is backtracking.
On Thursday, Sweetgreen announced it plans to accept cash at all locations across the U.S. by the end of 2019.
The change comes three years after Sweetgreen announced it would accept payment via app or card only.
Going cashless "started with an imperative that we've always had at Sweetgreen: How do we simplify things?" Sweetgreen co-founder Jonathan Neman told Business Insider at the time.
Neman said in 2016 that Sweetgreen was going cashless to speed up service, protect against robberies, and promote sustainability.
"Going cashless had these positive results, but it also had the unintended consequence of excluding those who prefer to pay or can only pay with cash," Sweetgreen said in a Medium post on Thursday.
Sweetgreen isn't the only company backtracking on its plans to cut cash. Earlier in April, news broke that Amazon is planning to start accepting cash at its cashierless Amazon Go stores.
Cashless restaurants and stores have faced a backlash for excluding millions of people who do not have a bank account. In the U.S., 8.4 million households, or about 6.5 percent of all households, were unbanked in 2017, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Cities and states have recently been working to pass regulation to ban cashless companies. Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Philadelphia already require stores to accept cash payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures.