As a restaurant owner, you know that customers like to pay for their
meals, along with their tips and bar tabs, with credit cards. Choosing
to be a cash only establishment could mean losing out on the customers
who keep your business afloat. To accept credit cards, the first thing
you will need is a merchant account, but as a restaurant owner, you
can’t get any old merchant account. Instead, you’ll need a merchant
account for restaurant owners that specializes in your specific needs.
The Merchant Account Features You Need
card processing for a retail store is usually straightforward. The
customer goes to the checkout counter with the items he or she wants to
buy, the salesperson adds up all of those purchases, and the credit card
gets swiped once for the total. But at a restaurant, that customer may
have a bar tab, a separate bill for dinner, and a tip to add to the
bill. And chances are high that the customer wants to put all of that on
one credit card. Before you sign up with a merchant account provider,
make sure they offer the solutions you need.
bar is a great place for customers to wait for their friends to arrive
or to wait while their table is being prepared. Many customers expect to
order drinks at the bar and then easily transition to dinner without
having to worry about a separate bar tab. Confirm with your merchant
account provider that your merchant account will offer that capability.
Confusing customers with multiple bills could prevent them from
returning or recommending your dining establishment to others.
Tips for Your Staff
it weren’t for the tips, many waiters and waitresses would leave the
profession and move on to something more lucrative. Your staff counts on
tips from your customers to supplement their income. If you can accept
credit cards, but you can’t take tips with those credit card payments,
many customers will tip less or not tip at all. Not only will your staff
miss that income, they may decide to work elsewhere. As a restaurant
owner, there is no question that your merchant account must be able to
accommodate bills with tips.
Terminals and POS Software
restaurants use specialized point of sale software systems to keep
track of reservations, seating arrangements, tips, and more. While your
merchant account provider may not provide that software, you do need to
confirm that your merchant account will work with that software. Smaller
restaurants may not need specialized software, but they will still need
credit card processing terminals. Again, make sure these terminals work
with a restaurant merchant account.(link to:
Other Considerations for Your Merchant Account
you believe you’ve found the right merchant account for restaurant
owners, be prepared to ask the provider a few more questions. As with
any product or service, always ask if there is a reliable customer
service team that can help you when you need it. Most restaurants are
open late into the night, so you need to know that you can reach a
customer service representative from your merchant services provider at
any time of the day and any day of the week. Also, be sure that you
thoroughly understand all the rates the merchant services provider will
be charging you. You don’t want to sign an agreement and then be hit
with charges you didn’t expect and can’t afford.
merchant accounts involve more than just the ability to process a credit
card transaction. Know what you need and thoroughly research all of
your options. Smooth credit card transactions are important to every
business, especially yours.