LSC, campus retail dining go cashless to streamline service


Collegian | Garrett Mogel

Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center goes cashless, March 5.

Piper Russell, News Reporter

A number of retail dining operations in Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center no longer accept payment in cash. The coffee shops Morgan’s Grind Cafe, Sweet Temptations Cafe and The Bean Counter have also gone cashless.

Geoff Valdez, assistant director for retail operations at the LSC, said about half of the restaurants in the LSC are cashless. Panda Express went cashless late last fall. Other retail dining operations under the leadership of LSC dining, including Bagel Place, went cashless at the beginning of spring semester. 


“We thought this would be a good time to introduce our new system with a fresh start to the semester,” Celina Romero, one of three assistant managers at Morgan’s Grind, wrote in an email to The Collegian.

Colorado State University Lory Student Center goes cashless March. 5.
Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center goes cashless, March 5. (Collegian | Garrett Mogel)

Valdez spoke about how there has been an increase in Visa, Mastercard, Discover, credit and debit cards being used and a decrease in the use of cash. Valdez also spoke about how speed of service contributed to decisions to go cashless.

“We really had to look at some of our efficiencies, and we’ve been able to increase the number of customers that we can serve in an hour by eliminating cash,” Valdez said. “So it’s been good so far.”

Going cashless also has business-related benefits. Going cashless reduces costs associated with certain cash handling services, and Romero wrote that it streamlines operations and helps to speed up services. She also wrote that it’s made day-to-day operations more efficient.

“We (rolled) this out with an internal and external marketing plan so that not only our customers have answers right there at the point of sale but also our staff knows how to answer questions when customers ask why we made this change,” Valdez said.

As well as using credit or debit cards, students can use Apple Pay and RamCash. Romero wrote that the increase in accessibility of Apple Pay and RamCash for college students has a great impact on business.

However, students who only have cash still have options. Students can exchange cash at 12 deposit stations throughout campus for RamCash, and they can get a RamCash Express Card if they don’t have their RamCard with them. Students can exchange as little as $5. Valdez said they haven’t had to turn many students away. Romero also wrote about the cooperation of customers and employees during the change.

“I think that students now use tender types more aligned with a cashless system, and therefore CSU has noticed these trends and adjusted our systems to best fit,” Romero wrote. “Morgan’s Grind customers have been very flexible as we make a change new to everyone, and we are extremely appreciative of their support. Our employees have done a great job adjusting to this change, and over time they appreciate the streamlining in our operations.”

Valdez said they are continuing to collect data by talking to customers, receiving feedback and observing. He also spoke about plans to do in-depth interviews and focus groups over the summer to see how the changes worked and what changes they might make for the next academic year.


Reach Piper Russell at or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.