Until now, I've dealt in rational arguments, because rational arguments are important. But the very strongest case against cash-only chicanery is the simplest one: it annoys the ever-living bejesus out of me. No amount of logical artifice can convince me otherwise. Cash-only restaurants are an infuriating inconvenience to the customer. They say, "Hey, customer! **** you!", then laugh coyly at your chagrin. They don't just want you to give them cash, they want you to want to give them cash. Cash-only restaurants are the needy girlfriend of the restaurant industry, and like the undateable slob that I am, I can't quite shove off.
The reason I can't quit is because cash-only restaurants continue to spring up like weeds in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods from coast to coast. More often than not, they earn an outsize portion of cachet and buzz compared to their peers, because they are "trendy," "off-the-beaten path," and "made out of barnwood that has been claimed, then claimed again." Like self-important landmines, cash-only restaurants lurk amongst a city's card-accepting majority, waiting silently for you to step on them so they can condescendingly tell you where the nearest ATM is, and while they're at it, to go screw yourself, pal.