Published: Aug 17, 2010 9:23 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 17, 2010 6:23 PM EDT

NEW YORK - Cash only is the new trend at restaurants and bars working with small profit margins in tight economic times.

Restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman said cash only is becoming a more acceptable practice.

"You notice it more and more," Whiteman said. "When times get tough, restaurateurs look to cut costs."

A cash-only restaurant owner said about 5 percent of his gross sales had been going to the card companies for transaction fees.

"The fees the card companies charge hurt the smaller venue," the owner said. "But it's a gamble. You are going to annoy some customers."

Some cash-only venues place ATMs in their establishments so customers can withdraw cash, but the annoyance and the ATM fees are still a problem.

"I've actually gotten up and left places that are cash-only," New Yorker Christine Hanna said.