Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

22 Comments
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By an edhat reader

Twice this year I have paid cash at a restaurant for a meal, and been given “change” rounded down to the nearest dollar. It wasn’t a mistake: the servers explained in both cases — at Los Arroyos in Goleta, and Trattoria Vittoria — that the restaurant didn’t deal with coins anymore.

Is this now how eating and drinking establishments operate? I ordinarily pay by credit card. This may have become the norm with cash without my knowing!

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LosArroyos Dec 23, 2019 10:24 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

On behalf of Los Arroyos Restaurant: We are shocked to hear that Los Arroyos Goleta is being associated with the restaurants that are no longer giving change- that information is inaccurate. We have been in business for 20 years and have proudly served the Santa Barbara and Goleta community and are grateful for how accepting the community has been to us. It has been our goal from day one to provide a family dining experience and ensure we are sticking to our customer first philosophy. Our restaurants have managers on duty who are able to handle & resolve concerns or issues but customers are always welcome to reach out to our corporate office as well. We are sincerely apologetic for the incident that may have occurred resulting in the idea that we no longer provide coins as change but again this incorrect. All of our locations provide accurate change down to the penny.

CGinSB Dec 31, 2019 11:27 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

It was about 4 or 5 months ago at L.A. in Goleta, on a Sunday around noontime. A young woman with brown hair was the server and when I questioned her she spoke and acted like that was their practice in the restaurant. I waited for a while to try to speak to the manager but couldn’t wait long enough.

Chip of SB Dec 19, 2019 01:33 PM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

Up until 1934, the dollar was defined in terms of gold at a rate of $20.67 per ounce. By that standard, 1 penny would be worth just over $0.70 today. If a penny still had that kind of value, I think coins would be a lot more useful. I think it's about time we moved the decimal point over one or two notches on our currency. If pennies were worth $0.50 or $1.00, we could start using them again.

Ahlia Dec 19, 2019 09:00 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

This is what happens when they refuse to get rid of pennies ! Now all coins are a bother. Panera changes its prices so that everything comes out to (for example) $7.06 for soup. So I stoped paying cash for orders under $10 and started using a card every time. The advantage is that the line goes a LOT faster when you use a card. Even better, when you aren't handing change back and forth you aren't spreading the cold & flu germs on peoples hands :-)

aragorn Dec 19, 2019 08:07 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

Now some laundromats don't take quarters. One puts in cash in a machine, $1.00, $5.00, $10.00 or $20.00 and the machine will give you a card with the amount that one put the bills in the machine. One uses the card for washing and drying. But for some restaurants not to give you back your coins in change. Just not right. They are making a small profit by doing that. And I do know the owner of Trattoria Vittoria. He was Pascual Gamboa's last partner when it used to be Pascual's Restaurant & Bar. Good fun times when it was Pascual's. Food and drinks were "The best!" as Pascual used to say.

a-1582012127 Dec 18, 2019 02:02 PM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

How could that be legal? I could understand rounding up. But rounding down seems very wrong. You agree to pay a price on a menu, the bill shows that amount, they owe you the change (or more, not less). This is theft in my opinion, unless it is clearly stated on the menu that this is how they operate - and even then, it sounds very shady.

Bug Girl Dec 19, 2019 01:38 PM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

We waited that long because we were nursing tall glasses of beer, eating morsels of fries left on a plate, and gabbing, and saw that they were really busy with a few large parties. When the beer was gone for more than 10 minutes we found our server.

Bug Girl Dec 19, 2019 08:20 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

LINA24 this has happened to me many times! The most memorable though was at the Brewhouse, probably 5 or 6 years ago, where myself and my friend were there eating dinner and having a few beers, and we paid our tab with a $100 bill. The bill was something close to $45 dollars and we had been getting reasonable service and were planning on leaving a 20% tip. We sat waiting for our change for over 30 minutes (she switched sections with another waitress) and had to go inside to hunt her down and ask her for our change. She said "Oh! I thought it was my tip!" And I was SO shocked! No, I'm not leaving you a $55 tip on a $45 check! How dare you! I'm wondering if that had worked well in the past, depending on how many beers your customers consumed... She tried this with a friend of ours as well, same waitress, claiming they had used a different bill to pay than they had. She stopped working there shortly after so I have a feeling people complained.

Lina24 Dec 19, 2019 12:00 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

At least they're not just keeping your change like a waitress in New Mexico did to me once. She never brought it back and when I asked her for it, she told me that she thought it was her tip - over $7 for a $12.00 meal! I didn't want to tip her that much and told her to give me my change and I'd decide what her tip was. She was a terrible waitress, so I tipped her accordingly.

Classic Dec 18, 2019 11:04 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

.03 x 100 customers = 3.00 x 5 days a week $15 times 50 weeks (cause you 2 week get paid vacation) = $750. I was thinking like the gas station or convenience store and a lot of grocery stores. I was being conservative in the numbers,

Yeti Dec 18, 2019 10:58 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

The obvious issue here is that IF they have eliminated coins from their registers to save Them the expense and time of handling the coins AND they are rounding DOWN the change that they provide to their patrons.. then obviously, this is purely just a Money Grub on their part.. nothing else. On a side note, it is further justification for using various forms of e-currency. Currently, your primary option is your credit card or a debit card.. this will get your change back from the restaurant and potentially give you credit card points to harvest later. Cash is almost a thing of the past!

CGinSB Dec 18, 2019 10:41 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

Just did a quick search (restaurants round bill change) and found that this has been going on - and contested - for well over a decade in some places, e.g. New York. A 2002 article from the NY Post: https://nypost.com/2002/10/27/restaurants-pocket-your-coin-change/ How widespread is it in the greater SB area, I wonder.

a-1582012127 Dec 18, 2019 10:36 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

After receiving back my change from paying the bill, and noticing that the restaurant has kept my change (to their benefit), I just take the change I'm owed out of the tip to compensate. Bummer for the server, but this practice sucks. I guess these restaurants prefer that customers pay via credit card, but the CC companies will charge the restaurant a >2% surcharge . I don't get it...

a-1582012127 Dec 18, 2019 06:12 PM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

They have to be accepted *for debts* - so, you can't go to the movie theater and demand they accept your payment in coins, since they haven't provided you anything yet and therefore you haven't incurred a "debt," but for a restaurant, you have incurred a "debt" after you've received your food and they DO have to accept any form of legal tender. This isn't what OP did, but I do wonder if they would accept it...

REX OF SB Dec 18, 2019 10:16 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

I've been fuming about this deceptive thievery for a couple of years, ever since they started pulling that crap at the various Nugget locations. It IS thievery. If they choose to not use coins, that's their problem, not mine. It works two ways—if one of the thieving restaurants won't give you coins in change, you, the customer, shouldn't have to give coins either; i.e., if the bill is $23.49, you should only be obligated to pay $23. I believe we should continue publicizing the names of the thieving restaurants and boycott them if necessary. Are you listening, Los Arroyos in Goleta, Trattoria Vittoria, and The Nugget? We're ON to you.

a-1582012127 Dec 19, 2019 03:49 PM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

Thank you for naming the restaurants. The only true way to fight this is to not go to places that do it. I, for one, will not.

shorebird Dec 18, 2019 09:38 AM
Restaurants No Longer Using Coins?

This begs the question: If the bill is $15.55 and you leave exact change do they leave $.55 on the table? That would be rounding down to the nearest dolllar.

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