Bozzelli’s Coming to DC – Will be “Cashless”

1025 Vermont Ave, NW

Ed. Note: This is the former Which Wich/Cafe Mediterranean/Quinznos space just north of K Street.

From an email:

“!Bringing ‘This Thing of Ours’ to DC!

Since ’78 Bozzelli’s has been serving Real Italian Guy ApprovedTM subs & pizza in Northern Virginia

Family owned and operated, Mama Bozzelli is culinary director, sister Mina is COO and brother Mike is deluded visionary

1025 Vermont Ave in NW, DC will be their fourth location, the unit should hv appx. 20 seats

The DC store will differ from the others stores in that it is an ode to toasterias in Italy, the small cafes that specialize in toasted sandwiches; the Bozzelli’s are originally from Puglia in Southern Italy

Target opening is late winter

Their Vermont Ave operation will be a cashless business, thus they will not be accepting cash in favor of all major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Wallet “Cash is archaic. Going cashless allows us to expedite the transaction process.”

Check out their Crystal City menus here.

54 Comment

  • Do they realize that cash is legal tender and MUST be accepted?

    • no it dosent. they are allowed to say no thank you to business.

    • From the Federal Reserve:

      “Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” states: “United States coins and currency [including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”

      This statute means that all United States money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.”

    • This is quite common. “Do not mail cash.” “Cash not accepted at this location.”
      If everyone took cash, would there be a market for money orders? No there would not.

  • Bozzelli’s “The Senator” is one of my all time favorites. Definitely looking forward to this!

  • justinbc

    Good, every business should do this.

  • So, if you’re an unbanked individual, you can’t go to this restaurant. That’s cool. No issues there.

  • Also, the new credit cards with chips take long than cash in my experience.

  • I’m sure they aren’t part of this restaurant’s target demographic, but there are still people who can only pay in cash (or be forced to use prepaid cards with exorbitant rates).

    But yea, this is a no-brainer for a sandwich place in downtown DC.

  • I work weekdays in financial inclusion and weekends at DC farmers markets. Cash is not archaic. Many people are excluded from plastic payment, in our own community and around the world. Additionally, many of the local vendors I work with at market prefer cash transactions to paying high fees on card transactions. When customers want to charge every $2 purchase, the merchant loses out. Most customers are understanding of suggested card minimums. Some are not. I wish that digital solutions were inclusive and available to all, but unfortunately our current financial systems are prohibitive for both clients and users. So until everyone can access plastic and e-payment and do so without extra charge, cash is not archaic.

    • justinbc

      Those minimums are often total BS. At most your transaction fee is 2.5% and that’s with a real gouger of a processor. You might also have to pay a $0.10 or thereabouts per transaction fee. The simple solution is simply raise the price by a quarter or less, accept credit cards, and the consumer won’t bat an eye (unless you’re selling solely to low income families, not likely in DC). You cover your fees, don’t piss off potential customers, and if someone actually does pay in cash that’s additional income passed on to you.

      • I only speak for myself, but I’m likely to purchase more if I can use a card since I don’t have to worry about saving my cash.

      • Thanks for telling me what constitutes ‘total BS!’ That 2.5% fee can add up quickly for a small business. Even a small price increase leads to more eye batting than you appear to presume, even among privileged consumers. And as for your final point – ‘if someone actually does pay in cash that’s additional income passed on to you.’ – Right. Hence why ‘cash is archaic’ and your statement above that ‘every business should do this’ (accept no cash) are neither accurate nor realistic.

        • justinbc

          I never claimed that it was realistic, I just said that they should. I completely understand that some people fight progress every step of the way, using whatever excuse is most convenient. As for prices, do you really remember if the lettuce you got from the farmers market was $5 last week and is now $5.15? (I have no idea how much lettuce costs so forgive me if these prices are not perfect) Or if your authentic Burundi mask from the artisan vendor is $36 instead of $34? I can’t imagine that many people do.

          • Concrete example: Price of a product went from $5 to $5.25 between fall 2014 and spring 2015. People noticed and complained. Depending on where your price point is set, moving from $10 to $11 or $19 to $20 or $99 to $100 certainly influences consumer behavior. Why do so many stores list things for $29.99 instead of $30? Just because one person can’t imagine it or is not personally impacted doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and doesn’t affect others. I am not arguing for no cards ever. I am stating that a card-only society would be inefficient, exclusionary, and negatively impact both consumers and merchants. The only winners are big financial firms. I guess if you’re one of them, great for you.

          • justinbc

            Oh I don’t doubt for a minute that there are people who complain. I just don’t think that the majority (or even a large minority) of people shopping at DC farmers markets, to use your example, are going to be the people who notice. Then you also have people like me, who upon seeing a “minimum $10 for CC” or “no CC accepted” sign will simply say fine, I’ll give my business to someone else who really wants it. Until we get to a point where it’s all or nothing, cash consumers can certainly make that same choice as I make when faced with a “no cash accepted” sign. And I certainly don’t expect that day anywhere in the immediate future, but I can sure hope for it.

        • businesses should be just transparently pass this fee onto customers. In NY/NJ you can often save 10 cents a gallon by paying cash.

      • clevelanddave

        I’m usually in agreement with you Justin but on this you are wrong. Some places charge up to 5 percent in a transaction fee for charges. There is no reason not to take cash, unless you feel you’re likely to be robbed. Lots of people like to use cash for small purchases. Perhaps they are concerned that their help won’t be able to make change?

  • Anyone else notice how stale all the signs are above the respective restaurants in the downtown area? It’s as if they were standardized some 50 years ago and never really changed.

  • Instead of calling cash archaic, I think they should have really highlighted the fact that that this is vastly safer for the physical security of the business and their employees. I appreciate how Surfside Taco Stand can stay open 24/7 without turning itself into a fortress.

  • The Yelp reviews are favorable but don’t say that much about the food except generalities like “awesome””. I wonder if they’re like &pizza and object to any negative review. I’d start with the assumption that’s typically bland DC metro italian.

    The plastic only thing is discriminatory and even people with plenty of plastic often do pay for things like lunch with cash because of the way they budget (keep a “petty cash” budget for certain things to prevent over spending). I’ve done this in the past and know others who do it. This place would have to be a step up from the usual dreadfulness of red sauce Italian in DC for me to drop by (and it’s very convenient for when I work at home).

  • I suppose if you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck working in this area it’s not a bad option. Otherwise, no thanks; if I want an Italian sandwich I’ll stick with A. Litteri.

    The lame no-cash policy just seals the already-sealed deal.

  • Cash is archaic until the power goes out…

    • Good point! I was at National a couple weeks ago for an early morning flight, and all the card readers were down for the couple open food places in Terminal C. They were having to write down card stuff on paper receipts for people and then keeping them to process later. I paid in cash, and was wondering why no one else did.

    • justinbc

      If the power goes out this place won’t be open serving sandwiches.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Many stores use Ipads and other similar devices for checkout. Last time I checked, those have batteries that would work even when the power goes out. Also, a restaurant probably has a generator because if the power goes out, so do the refrigerators and soon thereafter, you have spoiled meat.

    • The 7-11 kiddie corner from this location had its credit machines down just 2 days ago…

  • “Did you enjoy being part of the Home Depot hack? Or that snazzy free credit monitoring service after the Target hack? Or any of the other hacked-credit-card-data-file-of-the-month clubs? Then you’re going to LOVE Bozzellis! Our small business is uniquely catering to those who enjoy having their credit files at risk by combining a cashless system with the traditionally lax data security you’ve come to know and love from small businesses! Come by Bozzellis today and roll the dice on if you too may get to be part of the next great data breach!”
    Count me out. I use cash for anything under a hundred bucks ever since a $7 transaction at Target cost me about a hundred hours to deal with credit card fraud that came from that data breach. It keeps the number of times I get to play “spin-the-fraud-wheel” to a minimum, helps me to easily stay aware of how much I am spending, and has the added bonus of making sure I always have change for parking meters handy.

    • justinbc

      Why did you have to pay $100 for Target’s breach? Any charges you didn’t actually authorize should have been refunded.

      • “cost me about a hundred hours to deal with credit card fraud”

      • 100 hours of personal time to resolve the issue. He/she paid a lot more than $100 to resolve that, when you consider the value of his/her time.
        Most corporations outside of tech and banking have their heads up their asses when it comes to data security and preventing hacks. Anything that’s a cost driver is bad for shareholders.

    • “Our small business is uniquely catering to those who enjoy having their credit files at risk by combining a cashless system with the traditionally lax data security you’ve come to know and love from small businesses!”
      This made actually laugh out loud, thanks for that!
      I am so with you on this but just can’t break the habit of using cards for everything. My next big step is eliminating using my debit card entirely and switching to using a credit card instead for bills and monthly expenses, then paying it off at the end of the month. That’s a hard enough switch for me. Maybe I’ll be ready to take this cash-only for purchases plunge in another few years.

      • justinbc

        You should definitely go that route if only for the fact that so many CC companies give you cash rewards. If you’re paying it off every month the difference is irrelevant to whether it’s via debit card or credit card, so you might as well get the bonus cash back.

        • Yeah I know. I’m always thinking about the free cash rewards I’m losing out on by not doing this. Really the issue is that Mr. Eggs and I both use our debit cards for everything, linked to the same checking account, to easily monitor our spending for the month/pay period. It’s so convenient to be able to log in and see how much we’ve got left for the pay period…and with switching to a CC, I’ll have to keep an eye on how much we’re spending on it and then subtract that from the bank account. It’s just an extra step, but that extra step is enough to dissuade me lol. We’re planning to go open a joint CC very soon and start doing this though.

      • Well @eggs, start small. Start by just saying “I won’t charge anything under ten dollars”, and then a few months later up it to $20, and then $50. I used to find myself running out of paycheck before I ran out of month, but since going back to cash, I usually have a few hundred dollars at the end of every month left over. It’s just soooo easy to swipe that card and get whatever the thing is, but when you’re spending cash, you are so much more aware of how much you spend, and you will spend less. I guarantee it.
        When I made the switch, I probably eliminated five to eight transactions a week that were under $15 (to the tune of about $75 a week, or four grand a year), just because I refused to swipe for that amount and I didn’t have that much cash on me at the moment. It will shock you how many things you buy each week that if you had to walk even three blocks away to an ATM to get the money and come back for you’d just pass on and never think about it again!

        • This is a great perspective, thanks!! I know most of us are less likely to make those multiple cheap purchases if we have to use cash, and I know most people will spend less if they’re spending actual cash versus using a card.

    • binpetworth

      +1. I’ve been the victim of hacked debit/credit cards 3 times in the past year, including one in which a small sandwich shop had its system compromised. Now I only pay cash for purchases under a certain amount.

  • I always pay cash for things like coffee, fast foot, sandwiches and things under $10. Using a CC is way, way to easy and I find myself spending more because of it so I use it as a way to control spending. Of course my mother was a bank manager back in the 1970’s and 80’s and she always told me to NEVER pay cash for things under $10 because of the fees. Of course a lot has changed since then but it has proved a good rule for me.

  • Hallelujah! Down with cash!

Comments are closed.