Credit cards - those pieces of plastic with magnetic strips or chips embedded in them that make financial transactions so easy - are now accepted at Bibou, the ne plus ultra French BYOB in South Philadelphia.

Many BYOBs run a cash-only operation. With each swipe of a card, bank fees nibble into a restaurant's already tight profit margin.

For patrons and staff at Bibou, though, cards can be more than a mere convenience. Bibou's set menu costs $100 plus tax and tip - among the highest in town - so it's also a safety issue. The news was first reported during Craig LaBan's weekly restaurant chat.

Charlotte Calmels, who owns Bibou with her husband, chef Pierre Calmels, has fielded gripes since the opening in May 2009. "Lots of clients complain [that] it was too much cash to carry," she said.

Customers were advised of the policy when making a reservation and during confirmation calls.

The Calmelses' Rittenhouse Square bar-restaurant, Le Cheri, accepts cards. At a bar, accepting cards is the only way to open a tab for a guest.

We're becoming a cash-less society. Your greenbacks are unwelcome at the salad chain Sweetgreen, which accepts only cards and electronic forms of payment.

Also on the same topic recently, Kanella Grill, the casual Greek BYOB at 10th and Spruce Streets, has begun taking cards.

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