How to Get Restaurant Credit Card Processing

Any new restaurant or any cash only restaurant can boost their sales and attract more customers by accepting credit cards. To do so, those places need restaurant credit card processing, but getting card processing can quickly get complicated. Knowing what to look for can make the process go more smoothly.

Types of Credit Card Processing for Restaurants
It may sound like common sense, but the first thing owners need to establish is what kind of restaurant they have. Fast food restaurants have different needs from full service restaurants.

Quick Service
Quick service merchant accounts are specifically designed for fast food restaurants. Any owner of a fast food restaurant knows that he or she needs to process every credit card transaction quickly and efficiently. Also, these transactions tend to be much more straightforward and rarely involve the need for tips or multiple bills for one customer.

Full Service
When running a full service dining establishment there are additional considerations to keep in mind. Credit card processing at a full service restaurant must include the ability to accept tips, combine bar bills with dinner bills, and separate a single bill for multiple credit cards. In addition, full service restaurants have to find a merchant account that will work with their point of sale software systems and equipment.

More and more, restaurants are using wireless credit card terminals that allow the waiter to enter the order as it’s being ordered as well as processing that order at the table. If you’re interested in this type of processing, you need to ask your merchant account provider if they offer that service.

Process More than Credit Cards
While many people use a credit card to pay for their restaurant bill, they have plenty of other options available to them. As an owner, you need to decide what other kinds of payment you want to accept and if they can be processed by your merchant account provider as well.

Debit Card
The most similar form of payment to a credit card is the debit card. While some debit cards can be processed as a credit card, some customers prefer to use their PIN. If you would like to offer this option to your customers, make sure your merchant account will accept debit cards and confirm that your terminal has a PIN pad.

Gift Card
Gift cards are a great way to generate business, but before you can offer them to your customers, you need to be able to process them. Most merchant account providers offer this service, but you will need a card terminal that is able to process that type of card.

Check Verification
Not everyone uses credit cards to pay their restaurant bills. Some people really do still use checks. To be prepared for that type of payment and to protect your business, get the proper check verification equipment and ask for check processing services from your provider.

Credit Card Processing Fees
Understanding the fees associated with processing credit cards will help you find the merchant account provider that is most affordable for your restaurant business. While it does vary by provider, there are some basic fees that you need to know.

Setup Fees
Some providers charge a setup fee when you initiate the account, while others waive that fee. You can save some money with a company that doesn’t charge such a fee, but don’t make a decision on the setup fee alone. Setup fees can also include an application fee.

Account Fees
Account maintenance fees can be a monthly charge, an annual charge, or both. Find out how much these fees are before signing on the dotted line.

Transaction Fees
Most merchant account providers charge two types of transaction fees. One is the discount rate and that rate is a percentage of every transaction. The other is the per transaction fee and that is a flat rate, usually in cents, charged for every transaction. These fees are very important as they can accumulate quickly.

Monthly Minimum Fees
If those transaction fees don’t reach the minimum set by your provider, you will end up paying that minimum amount every month. Make sure you know what it is.

Cancellation Fees
If you sign up for an account with a provider you’re not happy with, you may actually have to pay to end the contract. Read the fine print on any contract to find out if it involves a cancellation fee.

Credit card processing is important for your restaurant’s success, so it’s important that you understand what you need, how it works, and how much you’ll have to pay for it.  Once you have that information, you can open your restaurant merchant account .