London bakery goes cashless

Sweet Things will be the first London eatery not to accept cash payments when it opens in Notting Hill on 4 January.

A bakery and café owned by former MasterChef finalist Natalie Allen, it will offer a range of electronic payment options including credit, debit and contactless cards and electronic devices such as mobile phones and Apple Watches.

The move comes for a range of reasons including customer convenience, as Allen says many of her customers no long carry cash with them. Other concerns include decreasing customer waiting times at the till, helping to keep staff hands clean and safety concerns.

Allen said: “Not carrying cash means it’s not a risk to the shop and the staff.”

She has not taken the decision lightly and said she would continue to accept cash at her pre-existing Primrose Hill shop for at least the next six months despite 70% of her customers using card payments.

“I’ve done a lot of research,” she said, adding: “There’s actually a café in Amsterdam which has done it and has been very successful.”

Sweet Things will be Allen’s second bakery, building on the success of her Primrose Hill premises of the same name, which has traded since 2005.

It will serve a range of products, including cupcakes, carrot cake and sourdough toasties, made at the Primrose Hill bakery and completed at Notting Hill. Crêpes will also be made in the window with a range of sweet and savoury fillings and a party room at the back will play host to events including cupcake decorating classes.

Allen does not currently have plans for further expansion as she want to maintain a hands-on approach to running her sites.

She said: “It’s not really something I want to replicate and have a big chain.”

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