erchant Account for Restaurant Owners

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
Credit 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.

The Bar
Your 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
If 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
Many 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
Once 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.

Restaurant 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.