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Restaurant Receipt Shock: The ‘Cash Only’ Controversy and the Astonishing Fee That Followed!

Dining out is always a pleasant experience, and settling the bill by card is becoming the norm. However, one woman’s recent dining experience took an unexpected twist when her sister received a receipt with a message that was both amusing and exasperating, accompanied by an extra fee due to not paying in cash.

Sharing her bewilderment on Reddit’s ‘Mildly Infuriating’ forum, the woman posted: “My sister went to a charming mom-and-pop-style restaurant and used her card. Here’s her receipt,” along with an image of the ‘passive-aggressive’ message she encountered.

Displayed prominently on the receipt was the phrase: “Bring me cash next time fee,” accompanied by a charge of $0.50 (40p). Evidently, the restaurant owner was not thrilled with the card payment. In the ensuing comments, users speculated on the reason behind this rather unusual fee.

A small business owner added their perspective: “I manage a small business, and we used to be cash-only until we began accepting credit cards. While the associated fees can be irksome, the ability to accept credit cards not only boosted sales but also increased the average transaction amount. Our overall revenue has more than compensated for the fees. As a result, we charge the same whether a customer pays by cash or card.”

Another user suggested, “I think this might be a common practice for very small businesses,” attempting to rationalize the charge without necessarily justifying the message. Meanwhile, someone else pointed out, “In my state, it’s actually against the law to impose any fees related to credit card usage. The price listed on the menu must be the maximum amount paid by any customer, regardless of the payment method. While restaurants can offer discounts for cash payments, they can’t penalize customers for using credit.”

Another Redditor expressed their annoyance, noting, “Businesses are also free to choose not to accept credit cards,” while others criticized the accompanying message as “passive-aggressive.” They argued that perceiving a penalty for using a card was unjust.

In the UK, regulations prevent businesses from imposing surcharges for debit card, credit card, or electronic payment transactions. These rules were implemented in January 2018 to eliminate ‘rip-off fees’. In the USA, while surcharges are forbidden by state law in many states, exceptions exist.”