Boloco CEO Asks Customers About Banning Cash Payments After Weekend Robbery

Following a burglary over the weekend, local restaurant chain, Boloco, asked customers if they would be willing to forgo cash for credit cards moving forward.

In a post on Twitter, CEO and founder John Pepper asked customers to weigh in on the idea, stating that past robberies have highlighted a need for greater safety measures.

“It would take away a lot of incentive to break into doors, break windows, rob safes,” Pepper explained.

In 2012, one of Pepper’s locations was burglarized by several people who stole a safe full of cash. This weekend, Pepper said someone broke into their Federal Street restaurant and once again stole their safe, which had approximately $1,000 inside.

Following his post online, Pepper received a slew of responses from consumers. While the majority supported a cash free system, many did point out problems with such an approach.

“There were some good points that were made,” Pepper said, “Really sort of disenfranchising the people who don’t have the circumstances that allows them to get a credit card or bank account.”

Aside from customer concern, the practice of retailers refusing cash is also illegal in Massachusetts. While allowed federally, the state prohibits retail operations from discriminating against customers who only carry cash.

However, fewer customers are using cash.

At Boloco, they estimate 10-15% of people pay with cash. At other chains, like Sweetgreen, they have already eliminated cash from their locations outside Massachusetts.

While Pepper said they have no plans to change the way they do business in the near future, he does believe it’s something to be considered moving forward.

“We’re not dropping cash,” Pepper said, “I would say it would be worth taking up with the state to try to figure out to how to evolve with business needs.” 

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