Is there a new change/cash shortage going on?

For the past few weeks the local McDonald’s has had a sign posted before the first window (the one you pay at) asking for people to use exact change if possible.

Yesterday they upped that to having the guy at the sign/give your order speaker location end the exchange by saying “Your total comes to $7.12 Please pay by card or have exact change.” Which resulted in some frantic searching in the bottom of purse/pockets/ashtray since we’d gone out with nothing beyond a few 20s from the last ATM visit and this refueling stop was unplanned. We managed to find the twelve cents, and apparently they were cool on giving us $13 in bills, it was just coins that were the problem

But we haven’t seen any similar signs or requests to use ‘exact change’ anywhere else, and three weeks is a long time for an organization like McD not to be able to fix a banking problem.

So is it really about coins? Or is this some push by McD to get as many people as possible to switch to using credit/debit cards or what?

This thread mentions that the coinstar still hasn’t been reopened.

I’ll keep my eye out, I don’t go to the grocery that has a coinstar often, but it’s about time for me to redeem mine anyway (not a huge stash, definitely under $10)

I don’t go to a lot of different stores or restaurants, but I have, indeed, seen a similar sign recently at my local McDonald’s – and they’re the only place where I’ve seen any mention of the shortage for months.

Anyone been to a physical bank branch recently? I wonder if they’re running on a skeleton crew and very limited hours still? That might explain the difficulty in getting change. Perhaps those McDonald’s restaurants have a lot more cash customers than other places do. Teens, the elderly or the unbanked.

The local branches of my bank (US Bank) are all now showing that their lobbies are open for walk-in customers; the last time I had looked, which was months ago, that wasn’t the case. It also looks like they are back to, more-or-less, their normal lobby hours (9-5 M-F, 9-1 Saturday).

That said, I haven’t been in a branch since early 2020.

Do you happen to live on the east coast? I don’t and I’m not seeing any signs at my local fast food joints. According to [this](Dollars & Sense: Are We Still in a Coin Shortage? | SouthEast Bank

In June of 2020, the Federal Reserve instated a temporary cap on coin orders from depository institutions, which they brought back in May 2021, as the demand for coins once again exceeded supply. These caps help to ensure coins are distributed fairly between the many depository institutions that need them to operate.

In addition to placing the coin order cap, the U.S. Mint has continued to work quickly to produce new coins and has increased production by 24% from 2019 to 2020. For consumers who want to help get coins moving again, the U.S. Coin Task Force recommends spending with coins and depositing them at financial institutions, like SouthEast Bank.

While we still have a long way to go to return coin circulation to its original levels, everyone can play a part, and taking a few simple steps can make a significant difference."

I think there is still a bit of a coin shortage on, especially given that relatively recent comment from the Coin Task Force. I imagine McDonald’s as a % of customers still has a lot of cash customers relative to other businesses, low menu prices and there’s just a bigger cultural norm of paying for fast food with cash, so they are probably just feeling it more than say, a supermarket where people often spend more than $100 and where paying with cash is much less common now.

Area convenience stores have "exact change please " signs. I asked about them, since the bank lobbies are open, and they said they have reduced service from the amoured car services, that might stop by only twice a week instead of daily as in the past.

Nope, suburban Chicago. And, as I noted, McDonald’s is the only place I see around here which is still asking customers to use exact change.

I can see why this might be a bigger issue for fast food places in general, but it sounds like this is a McDonalds-specific thing, not at other fast food places.

I asked a relative who just left a fast food job last week, it’s one step up from McDonald’s. No change shortage but impossible to get straws and lids. He estimates 75% cards and 25% cash.

Yes. Boston suburb.

When i lived in Corvallis, Oregon, several months into the pandemic, the local Chase bank was no longer willing to hand out more than one roll of quarters (I needed them for laundry). Around April or May of 2021 (a few months ago) this no longer seemed to be the case and I could resume buying two rolls. I haven’t seen any evidence of coin shortages since then either in Oregon or here in SW Washington where I now live.

The local branch of my bank is only open 2 days a week, unless I go downtown. I use the drivethru ATM anyway, so not a big deal. But I am surprised at just being open two days a week.

I haven’t noticed and have been to a fairly diverse range of cash-accepting spots: liquor stores, taco joints, hot dog joints, grocery stores, about four different Subway branches, local Chinese food joint, bars, etc.

Granted 2/3 of the transactions at the grocery store where I work are cashless, 1/3 of our transactions is still tens of thousands of dollars a day just for our store, and around Christmas we occasional hit six digits.

Paying cash for groceries and such might be less common, but in numbers it’s still pretty substantial.

Point of reference - our Coin Star machine is working just fine and gets serviced regularly.

Another point of reference - I’m in the greater Chicago area.

Another point of reference - we are unable to obtain nickels from our bank. All the other coins, sure, but no nickels We have received all of $20 in nickels over the past 4 months. The only reason we’re not out is that we built up a stash over the prior six months. That’s almost gone now. We might be giving out a lot more pennies in the future.

Not completely, at least. I’ve seen such signs recently at Burger King.