Is cash a thing of the past? Local businesses weigh in

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Cash may become a thing of the past for some retailers around Columbus, while others say it’s here to stay.

This week Dublin Cleaners started to roll out their new standard; no more cash.

The local business can be found at six brick and mortar locations around Columbus and they have expanded to 14 mobile routes, catering to around 4,000 customers on those mobile routes alone.

For the large local company, accepting cash started to become more of a hassle than it was worth, according to Brian Butler, president and owner of Dublin Cleaners.

In fact, using cash began costing Dublin Cleaners 3x as much.

“We did the math on the labor it was taking to do change orders on every drawer and do all 36 deposits every week and the costs behind cash were over 3x the costs of credit card,” Butler said.

But for one Short North bar, accepting cash is an integral part of their business model.

Mike’s Grill on North High Street has few stipulations, but “only cash” is one of them.

“It’s always been a blue-collar workers type of bar. If you were a construction worker, roofer, electrician, this was your place to come,” said Mike England, the bar manager at Mike’s Grill.

Along with the costs, Butler cites security as a reason Dublin Cleaners is ditching the dollar.

“We’ve had store break-ins, we’ve had glass smashed out of the front of our stores, we had the back doors peeled off,” he said.

Time after time, the break-ins result in a lot of effort, for very little reward, he said.

“There’s so little cash in there that the cost, if they actually get to any, that the cost of rebuilding our stores is 10, 15x what they stole,” Butler said.

For smaller businesses like Mike’s Grill, security looks a little different.

The bar is virtually staffed 24/7 because in the 3.5 hours it is closed, there is still a janitor on site and all earnings are removed at the end of the shift.

“If you were to come into the bar after hours and nobody was here, the most you could get is a few free drinks,” England said. “There’s never anything left in the bar at the end of the night.”

The policy works for the single location but for larger operations, the dollar bill is no longer realistic.

“For years our cash sales have been declining,” Butler said. “It’s just more popular to use plastic.”

At the end of the day, the move for Dublin Cleaners is in the best interest of the customers, Butler said.

Starting with the main location this week, cash will no longer be accepted at stores in order of lowest cash volume.

“I don’t want to upset people,” he said. “I want them to understand this is for the customers. This is to reduce costs and to reduce trouble.”