Woman talking(l+r), Apple pay(c)

Primakov/Shutterstock @thesheekchick/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘It’s 2024’: Woman says restaurant worker shamed her for not having Apple Pay. But viewers are torn on who’s right

'You probably gave her attitude.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 15, 2024   Updated on Mar 15, 2024, 3:12 pm CDT

“I’m just waiting for the police to come any minute now,” Rene (@thesheekchick), a TikToker says in a viral video she uploaded to the popular social media application from her Manhattan hotel room, moments after an altercation over a dining bill at the establishment’s restaurant allegedly erupted.

Why does she expect Johnny Law to be on her tail? It’s because a bartender with an attitude Rene didn’t appreciate outright refused to accept the $100 bill she brought down with her to pay for her meal. The only way the employee would accept the $100 bill, Rene says, is if she didn’t ask for any change, because the restaurant only accepts card.

Rene said that she didn’t want to pay her meal with a card, and remarked that the employee proceeded to question why she didn’t have “Apple Pay” because it’s the year 2024. Rene also added that there wasn’t any signage in the business that indicated it was a card only place of commerce.

“Guys a situation just happened to me at a bar in Manhattan I’m so pissed off but I need to know if I’m in the wrong,” Rene says at the top of the video before further delineating what occurred at the restaurant that left her so heated in the first place.

“So I go to a bar alone, it’s a small bar in Midtown. I had a budget in mind for going like, I can’t spend more than a $100, so, I brought $100 bill with me. There’s no signage outside that says card only, there’s a hostess, even the hostess never said nothing about card only,” she says.

The TikToker goes on to say that there was a male and female bartender working the restaurant’s bar at the same time and from the second that she sat down get a drink, that the woman didn’t pay any attention to her. “It was just the male bartender who was very, very nice. So I order my food, I enjoy it, and at the end I go like this to the male bartender to bring my check. So the female bartender comes over [with a] card machine and I said to her I only have cash… and it’s a $100 bill. And she goes oh, well, we only do card. And I go well I only have cash. And then she goes I only… I don’t have no change and I said well you’re gonna have to find change.”

Instead of trying to solve Rene’s issue or speak to another employee of the restaurant to see what the establishment’s policies are towards serving cash paying customers are, the employee elected to, instead, question why Rene was attempting to pay with cash in the first place: “She goes it’s 2024, you mean to tell me you don’t have Apple Pay?” I go: “No, I don’t. But even if I did, I want to pay with cash. She goes well I’m not a bank I don’t have any change where am I supposed to get the change from? I said I don’t know you need to figure it out this is a restaurant, this is a bar…”


AITA?????? The bar is called agency of record BTW

♬ original sound – Rene | NYC Creator 🇯🇲

It’s at this point of the story where it seems that the employee at the bar may be attempting to pull a con for a sizable gratuity: “So she goes you can give me the money but you’re not getting no change back. I said I’m not giving you my money without my [expletive] change. So she’s like ‘Oh you staying at a hotel you mean to tell me you don’t have card?’ I said if I go in my room I’m not coming back downstairs. So find change for my money because I’m not giving you my money and getting no change back. So she goes ‘Oh so you’re refusing to pay.’ I said relax yourself. Relax, I’m not refusing to pay, you’re refusing to give me my money.”

The restaurant worker then threatened to “call the police” on Rene because she didn’t want to pay with a card, which is something the social media user had no issue with. She left the hotel bar and proceeded to go to her room, as the bartender approached the front desk of the hotel, telling staff members that she’s refusing to pay her bill.

“I went over and I said no I’m not refusing to pay, I have the money, literally showing the money, she said she don’t take cash. I didn’t know they didn’t take cash that’s their problem.”

She caps off her video by repeating that it’s up to the restaurant staff to figure out how they’re going to get her her change for the transaction she attempted to complete.

Numerous commenters remarked that it’s illegal in NYC for any business to not accept cash as a form of payment: “It’s illegal not to accept cash in New York,” she said while another replied: “It’s illegal to not take cash in NYC”

“it’s legal tender, I think they are legally required to take cash,” someone else said.

In January of 2023, Cash Matters, reported that there is indeed a cash law in New York which prevents businesses from accepting bills as a proper form of legal tender: “For over two years, it has been illegal for New York businesses to refuse cash payments, and the city has since been actively defending payment choice with fines for offenders,” the outlet wrote, while highlighting a defense for this law by New York Times columnist Pamela Paul who stated: “‘the most significant objection to a cashless system is whom it shuts out.’ Cash enables everyone—regardless of age, credit history, income or immigration status—to pay for goods and services. Cashless options typically require a bank account, which comes with additional requirements not everyone can meet. Ultimately, an equal society needs to support payment choice, which means allowing everyone the option of using cash.”

However, there were other folks who thought that she should’ve known better than to have expected a business to be able to make change for $100: “Walking into ANY PLACE with a 100$ bill in 2024 is a set up for failure . This couldve been avoided had you been prepared better with different forms of payment.”

Others thought that Rene was making the situation unnecessarily difficult: “This interaction did not have to be this difficult. You set a snarky tone by telling her she’s gonna have to find change. Change could’ve easily be made in the hotel lobby,” one wrote.

Another thought she could’ve easily rectified the situation by getting change for her cash to pay her bill: “If you can go to your room, you can go get change to pay the bar. Get out your feelings.”

“my opinion is you’re wrong , they way you’re telling that story with an attitude, you probably gave her attitude. plus she’s just doing her job , why is it always someone’s else’s problem to solve ?” another said.

In a caption for her post, Rene stated that the bar in question was called Agency of Record, which the Daily Dot has reached out to via Instagram DM, along with Rene via TikTok comment, for further information.

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*First Published: Mar 15, 2024, 6:00 pm CDT