First cashless food outlet opens in London

Is physical money doomed?

A self-service salad counter at Tossed.

Healthy food chain Tossed is opening two new stores in London that won't take cash.

The outlets, in Coleman Street and Upper Thames Street, are fitted with self-service kiosks instead of manned tills, and will take payment only by credit or debit card, contactless and Apple Pay.

The Coleman Street store has 15 kiosks - over twice as many till points as any existing Tossed store - and there's a dedicated collection point for online and App orders.

The chain plans to extend the new system to the rest of its 26 outlets, which serve salads, wraps, hot food, smoothies, juices and breakfast egg combos.

"Most operators face speed and capacity issues at lunchtime, but ours are intensified because we make our food fresh-to-order and most guests like to customise their food to suit their health and taste requirements," says Vincent McKevitt, founder of Tossed.

"This unique point-of-sale solution allows our team to focus their energy on our speed of production. Guest feedback from the trials has been very positive: people like to be able browse in their own time and customise what they eat, completing a great experience with tasty, bespoke, healthy food, served quickly."

Tossed raised the £1.27 million it needed for the new system through a crowdfunding round with Seedrs last September.

"We have been working with Pointone EPOS on this proprietary technology. Contactless, digital ordering and mobile payment make cashless payment systems so quick and painless nowadays," says finance director Neil Sebba.

"To be able to do something so ground-breaking so early in our journey with our new shareholders is very exciting and goes some way to repaying the faith that they showed in our business when they invested. We are excited to see what our Seedrs investors think of the concept they have helped us to deliver."

Since last year, cashless payments have accounted for half of all UK sales, according to the Payments Council.

It's even been suggested that cash could be eliminated altogether: in Sweden, for example, buses are cashless, retailers are allowed to refuse cash payments and even the local equivalent of Big Issue sellers take cards. The country, some have suggested, could be completely cashless within ten years.

However, some have concerns, with many older people particularly preferring to rely on cash, and others worried about security.

Envisioning a Cashless Economy

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Vintage money-saving tips