A while back I wrote a post called “This nation is built on trust and self-service fountain beverages”, which was about how casual dining chains often trust you not to steal their drinks. It has always been amazing to me that these places trust me with an empty cup that they’ve given to me for free to actually fill it up with water rather than Orange Fanta.
A taco truck near my office had me thinking about this concept lately. It’s cash only, and I ordered three tacos for $9. After I collected my food and was about to hand the guy at the window a $20 bill, he quickly pointed to an open cash register and asked me to take the change myself. I’d never seen that before, and I thought it was awesome.
Why would a business do this? Aren’t they afraid of someone not paying the right amount, or worse yet, taking money out of the register rather than putting money in? The clear calculation that a business like this makes is that whatever they lose in customers cheating them, it’s worth it not to have to slow down the whole assembly line by taking off the latex gloves, handling the cash transaction, and putting them back on.