Portillo's, a Chicago-based chain of fast food restaurants, has announced that it will be going cashless in its drive-thru lanes starting in February 2023. The decision was made in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce contact between employees and customers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Portillo's CEO, Keith Kinsey, the decision to go cashless in the drive-thru was not an easy one, but ultimately it was the best decision for both customers and employees. By eliminating the need to handle cash, Portillo's hopes to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases, as well as increase the speed of service in the drive-thru.


While some customers may be hesitant to use a cashless system, Portillo's has assured customers that it will still accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay. In addition, Portillo's will also be offering a new contactless payment option through its mobile app, which will allow customers to order and pay for their food without ever having to leave their car.

Despite the convenience of going cashless, some customers and advocacy groups have expressed concern over the potential impact on those who may not have access to or prefer to use cash. However, Portillo's has stated that it will have a system in place to accommodate these customers, including the option to pay with a check or a gift card.


In a statement, Portillo's acknowledged that while going cashless may not be suitable for every business, it believes it is the right decision for its drive-thru lanes at this time. The company also emphasized its commitment to ensuring that all customers, regardless of their preferred method of payment, are able to access its products and services.

While the decision to go cashless may not be popular with everyone, it is clear that Portillo's is taking steps to prioritize the health and safety of its employees and customers. With the pandemic continuing to be a concern, it is understandable that businesses are looking for ways to reduce contact and increase efficiency, and going cashless in the drive-thru may be one solution. Only time will tell if this move proves to be successful for Portillo's, but for now, it seems to be a step in the right direction.

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