Restaurants Charging Bank Card Fees

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Operations, The Numbers

Ok, I know that most restaurants in the last 5 to 10 years are seeing more and more customers paying with credit cards. In fact, some restaurants are seeing customers paying with credit cards for as much as 80 – 90% of all sales.

Considering the average restaurant only make five cents to every dollar in sales, I know from experience how costly credit card discount fees can be to a restaurant’s bottom-line. That’s one reason many restaurants are getting setup to take customers bank cards.

While bank cards work the same as credit cards, there is one major difference. Credit cards may cost an operator 2 – 3 discount points on every dollar run through their account. If a restaurant is setup to take bank cards, which includes allowing the customer to enter their pin number, it may only cost the restaurant twenty-five cents, no matter how large the bill was.

This can mean considerable saving to the restaurant owner. I know most restaurants will never be able to do this because they can get the credit card terminal to the table side so the customer can enter their pin number. But there are many restaurants that are in the fast food or quick casual segments of the restaurant industry that can.

So here’s my bone to pick with those who can and charge the customer…

Yes, I agree with many of you who charge the guest the twenty-five cents you get charged to allow them to use their bank card. I really have no problem with that.

But those restaurants that charge the consumer seventy-five cents and actually make their credit card terminals a profit center, what the heck are you thinking? As a consumer, I’m like many people in my generation and younger…I just don’t carry cash. I use my bank card 90% of the time.

When I go to a restaurant that charges me to use my card, I think twice about coming back (and I understand both sides of the equation). But, those restaurants who charge seventy-five cents or more to allow me to pay for what I just ordered, I’m pissed.

If I get that way, and I understand how our margins are getting chewed up all of the time with greater expenses, how do you think the average customer feels.

Just food for thought: In an industry where we build our business one customer at a time. How fast are these restaurants building theirs or tearing the down.

Remember to keep smiling.

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