Suffolk pub is the first in the UK to go cashless
- Credit: PA
A traditional pub in Suffolk has become the first in Britain to go cashless, its landlord has said.
There are no tills at The Boot in Freston near Ipswich, and customers must pay by card or phone. There is no minimum spend per transaction.
The 1530s pub had been derelict for nine years before new landlord Mike Keen took it on and it was refurbished.
“The benefits of going cashless are huge,” said Mr Keen, 49.
Since re-opening The Boot 13 weeks ago, the story of Mr Keen’s cashless system has gone viral - “I’ve got Russian telly coming in later to interview me, and an Australian media company are calling me up today too,” he said.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Keen said that when he first came up with the idea, he hadn’t realised his pub would be the first to operate such a system.
“I was doing some consultancy work in London about opening a cashless deli - then I took on this pub project, and the idea hopped into my head,” he explained. “I just thought, why not? Others will do it too at some point - it’s inevitable.”
- 1 The places with the highest and lowest levels of Covid in Suffolk
- 2 Matchday Recap: Aluko brace not enough as Blues draw at Cambridge
- 3 'I'll never shut up shop' - Cook on 2-2 draw at Cambridge United
- 4 Stu says: Six observations following Town's 2-2 draw at Cambridge
- 5 Covid vaccine boosters now available at walk in sessions
- 6 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 2-2 Cambridge draw
- 7 Cambridge United 2-2 Ipswich Town: Blues let their lead slip again in draw
- 8 New fishmonger shop opens in Suffolk market town
- 9 Have you had the 'worst cold ever' that is going round Suffolk?
- 10 2,000 patients visit A&E because they are feeling depressed
He said he researched other cashless businesses before opening and found few negatives, saying that some delis had gone cashless and at least one bar in Manchester, but no traditional pubs before The Boot.
“Cash has always been a pain,” he said. “You’ve got problems with theft.
“The banks charge a fortune for you to pay cash in, they take a cut of everything you pay in.
“You have to organise change, go into town, park, queue up which is another security risk or pay a firm like Securicor to pick it up. The bottom line is that we are not mucking about with cashing up, which saves us a lot of time.”
Mr Keen says that a few people have come in so far without their bank cards. “They’ve always been part of a group and someone else has paid, or they’ve gone out to pick their card up. But it hardly ever happens.”
He said the decision to go cashless means his insurance premiums are lower as cash is not kept on the premises.
The pub, which has a 12-seater cinema in an outbuilding, is focused on food and Mr Keen said there was around a 60-40 split on food versus drink sales.
The system of card machines is backed up with dongles in case there are problems with the internet connection, Mr Keen said, adding: “We’ve used them but we haven’t gone down yet.”