Don't go any further until you have read this on credit card surcharge programs. Stop being charged for credit card processing. These fees can kill a small business. Did you know there was a way for you not to get charged everytime someone swipes their credit card at your restaurant? Well you don't have to be charged you can make the customer eat the fee. Why should you be charged for them using their card?
Should Your Restaurant Have a Credit Card Surcharge
How many people reading this have a restaurant startup and are considering a credit card surcharge?
How many people reading this have had their restaurant open for years and are just now hearing about the credit card surcharge option?
I am the second scenario. When I was a restaurant startup I had no idea how much money I was going to be giving my credit card processing company. When my first bill came I was completely shocked. I never wanted to take another credit card ever again. I was charged right around 500 dollars. I thought to myself what the hell! How am I going to fix this?
Combat Rising Labor Cost
This is one way to combat the ever so rising labor cost that we are dealing with on a daily base. The surcharge option is when you pass the charge onto the customer for them using their debit or credit card at your restaurant. I heard about this option and I immediately jumped for joy.
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My First Credit Card Processing Bill
My first thought like I said was to never take another credit card as long as I owned my restaurant. Everyone knows that could never happen. How many people carry around cash anymore? Your right, not many people. I thought to myself well let's look at the bill, and make sure it was right first of all. Anyone that has owned a restaurant or any business that has taken credit cards knows that was a joke. I use co card as my merchant service processor. The only way I can think to explain it is like how you have insurance companies and then insurance agents. Co card is the agent for First Data. Now I have heard that Heartland’s bill is a lot easier to read but I have never used them.
You remember the first cell phone bills? When you looked at it you were like what the hell is this? It took the government stepping in and saying you have to make these bills readable. Well, the government has never stepped in to say that to the credit card processing companies. Each card type has a different rate and it depends on how much the bill is for, is what determines how much you are charged for that transaction. I averaged a couple of my bills out and it works out to be around $1.00 per swipe with all the fees and everything.
I called my processing company and basically had it out with them. I couldn’t believe how much I was being charged. I asked my rep if I could start adding a dollar to everyone’s bill. He said that was illegal by are state law. I was basically stuck.
Credit Card Surcharge Became Legal in my State
One day my agent called me up and said great news. It is now legal to use the credit card surcharge program in Michigan. I said great what it is it? He explained it to me basically instead of me being charged the $1 per swipe the customer was. Only they were going to be charged a percentage of the bill. The customers are charged .399999% of the total bill.
To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge your customers
Without even thinking I said sign me up. By this time I had grown to two stores and this was going to be saving me some money right? It did I saved about 800 dollars a month using the credit card surcharge program. I loved it. Some of my customers got a little mad, but I explained it to them, the whole story. Most of my customers understood. My sales never went down.
I kept on the credit card surcharge program until I got my P.O.S., point of sale, system. I researched my P.O.S. pretty good, but I overlooked one thing. I didn’t think it would be a big deal but I didn’t check to make sure it was compatible with the credit card surcharge program I was on. When I got my new P.O.S. system and they were setting everything up that was when I found out. Not only did I just put up a lot of money for the P.O.S. system but now I was going to be losing money on top of it.
Always check this if you are getting a P.O.S. system. Even if your not on the credit card surcharge program now doesn’t mean you won’t be in the future. It is something that is becoming more and more popular with businesses and will soon be the norm. My personal opinion is to go for it! I didn’t lose any business because of it but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Test it out first see if it is going to work for you.
*results may vary