Restaurants go cashless after deadly robbery in West Midtown

ATLANTA — Several restaurants in Metro Atlanta are going completely cashless – only accepting debit and credit cards from customers.

It's something that became popular after Atlanta Police say a group of suspects killed a Barcelona restaurant manager in November 2017 while trying to get cash out of a safe.

Now many customers are seeing signs on restaurants and coffee shops that say, “We are no longer accepting cash.”

“I was like ok – doesn’t affect me,” said Octane Coffee Bar customer River West.

West said she didn’t know why Octane, Bartaco, Barcelona and other metro Atlanta restaurants have gone cashless.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes spoke to a few restaurant owners and they said they don't want a bunch of cash in their restaurants to give armed robbers a reason to target them.


Wednesday, Atlanta police made two final arrests in the November murder case that rocked the restaurant community, and made employees and customers feel unsafe.

Samyak Saxena, a resident in the West Midtown area said he hopes the new cashless strategy gives customers and employees some peace of mind.

“It may make it safer. It's hard to say right how but I think it’s a good idea overall,” said Saxena.

The new move is also expected to make transactions faster and smoother.

We spoke to the CEO of the Atlanta Restaurant Association Karen Bremer. She said 81 percent of customers who spend money in restaurants nationwide are using debit or credit cards. She said eventually cash will be a thing of the past.