Payment Choice Heroes

Watch PCA Campaign Director Martin Quinn searching pubs in London’s Shoreditch for Payment Choice Heroes - and Villains!

ALL pubs should be socially AND financially inclusive - and inclusivity requires the acceptance of cash! The Payment Choice Alliance has written to the “Top Ten” UK pub operators asking that they confirm that they accept cash at all their venues.

So far we have SEVEN Payment Choice Heroes amongst the “Top Ten” UK pub operators.

Admiral Taverns

Admiral Taverns

We are delighted to be able to add Admiral Taverns, the UK's leading community pub group to our growing list of Payment Choice Heroes. Admiral runs over 1,600 predominantly wet-led community pubs and their CEO, Chris Jowsey, has confirmed that “All the Admiral Taverns pubs that we are directly responsible for take cash. If the pub is leased or tenanted, that choice lies with the licensee holding the lease. However, I have not yet come across one of our licensees who does not take cash.”

We celebrate Marston’s pub group and their commitment to accepting cash

We celebrate Marston’s pub group and their commitment to accepting cash

Marston’s have been part of the UK pub scene for 180 years and now has 1500 pubs, run by a team of 12,000 staff.

The Payment Choice Alliance is delighted that Marstons have confirmed to us that they are committed to accepting cash at all of their pubs.

Wetherspoons - their customers are NOT compelled to use an App!

Wetherspoons - their customers are NOT compelled to use an App!

J.D.Wetherspoon was founded as recently as 1979. However, their busy pubs can now be found in most towns in the UK. Founder Tim Martin is considered a maverick by some - and is probably pleased about that - but he is certainly a staunch and unapologetic supporter of all-things British, including our £! A man with such views was never going to allow cash to be pushed out of his pubs.

Wetherspoon have their App but it operates in tandem with their acceptance of cash. Digital and cash working alongside one another - Perfect Payment Choice!

Punch Taverns

Punch Taverns

Punch were founded in 1997 to operate pubs previously operated by Bass.

Clive Cheshire, the Punch CEO, has written to the Payment Choice Alliance stating :”We do not have a central policy discouraging or banning the use of cash. I am unaware of any of our pubs which do not accept cash.

The Alliance welcomes Punch as a Payment Choice Hero!

Samuel Smith

Samuel Smith

Samuel Smith was founded in 1758 in Tadcaster.

For over 250 years, their pubs ONLY accepted cash. Now, cards are welcome enough BUT cash continues to be the clear preference for Samuel Smith customers in most parts of the UK.

Samuel Smith is categorically a Payment Choice Hero!

Stonegate Group

Stonegate Group

Originally formed in 2010, Stonegate Group is now the largest pub group in the UK, with over 4500 sites.

Stonegate Group brands include Yates, Slug & Lettuce, Henry’s Café Bar, Walkabout and Zinc, to name but a few.

With so many sites – not too far short of 20% of the UK’s pubs – it is particularly important to the British public that Stonegate accept cash – and they DO!

The Payment Choice Alliance is delighted to welcome Stonegate Group to the ranks of Payment Choice Heroes!

Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells and Butlers was created in 1898. Today, the company operates around 1,700 pubs and restaurants across the UK. When the Payment Choice Alliance first started researching cash acceptance in the UK pub industry two months ago, we were concerned to find some Mitchells and Butlers pubs were not accepting cash, including The Southwark Tavern in London's Borough Market.

When we approached Mitchells and Butler about the acceptance of cash, they told us "We can confirm that we have the functionality to accept cash payments across our entire estate……so it’s not our intention to phase cash payment out while guests still wish to pay in this way. In around 20 of our businesses, the decision has been taken locally to request cashless payments …however, even in these locations, if guests are unable to pay in this way, if requested locally to bar staff we still have the ability to accept cash payments. Your [Payment Choice Alliance] enquiry has prompted us to put a reminder out to General Managers to ensure in locations where they prefer cashless payments, they will still allow guests when asked the ability to pay with cash.

So the Payment Choice Alliance returned to Mitchells and Butlers pubs, including The Southwark Tavern, to check out the companies claim that there would no longer be a problem to pay by cash.

We are absolutely delighted to report that cash is now again being accepted in ALL Mitchells and Butlers pubs, even the 20 that had previously preferred to be "cashless".

A massive pat on the back to Mitchells and Butlers for being true to their word. So many companies say one thing and do another but NOT Mitchells and Butler. They said cash would be accepted - and it was!

We are proud to welcome Mitchells and Butlers to the ranks of Payment Choice Heroes!

So, to reiterate, we have SEVEN Payment Choice Heroes amongst the Top Ten UK pub operators.

Greene King are one exception - and a particularly annoying one.

This pub group made a big song and dance about one of their pubs ceasing to be “cashless”, giving the impression that ALL of their pubs would be accepting cash from now on.

This turns out NOT to be the case. A Payment Choice Alliance Mystery Shopper found that a Greene King pub in London, the Anchor Bankside, continues to refuse to accept cash.

So Greene King have been thrown off our list of Payment Choice Heroes. It is surely time this Chinese-owned pub group realised that “cashless” is completely unacceptable in Britain.

Having dealt with Greene King, here’s what we know about the other two Top Ten pub groups that have an unacceptable attitude towards cash.

Wellington Pub Company: basically informed the Payment Choice Alliance that they don’t know if their pubs, which operate on a “Free of Tie” basis, accept cash or not. The Alliance has informed them that ignorance is NOT bliss and suggested they find out - and quickly.

Star Pubs & Bars: no response to the Payment Choice Alliance questions. The Alliance will chase CEO Lawson Mountstevens until we get an answer.

The War against “cashless” continues!

The Payment Choice Alliance will NEVER stop working for the British public!

Read this article in the Sunday Times to learn more about the success the Payment Choice Alliance is having driving “cashless” OUT of British pubs.

However, the Payment Choice Alliance needs YOUR help.

If you know of pub group or individual pub that doesn’t accept cash, please let the Alliance know.

Drop the Alliance an email at and we will contact the pubs concerned about again accepting cash.

With your help, EVERYONE in the UK can enjoy the Payment Choice they need - and want.

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