How Any Restaurant Can Get a Leg Up on the Competition


It is a commonly held axiom that nine out of ten new restaurants fail in the first year. Now there is some research out there that purports that this may be a slight exaggeration, but anyone in the restaurant business can tell you that it is still pretty tough out there.

The restaurant business is a fickle industry. You can have the best location in town, the finest chef, and a menu that will have mouths watering just reading it and still fail.

How does this happen? Nobody knows. Maybe the tastes of the people in your neighborhood are just different. Maybe it is the ambiance or the décor. Maybe it is just a bad time to be opening a new business.

Though there are plenty of things that you can’t control about how your business succeeds, there are also a few things that can increase your business in a hurry. One way you can help to grow your restaurant is by signing up for a restaurant merchant services account.

A merchant services account that is tailored specifically to the restaurant industry can allow you to process credit and debit cards, electronic checks, and even gift and loyalty cards. Your focus should be on making the best food and the finest dining experience you can offer, not worrying about how you process payments.

There is no reason to turn away business because you are stuck in the antiquated “cash only” model. You might send your customers down the street to hit an ATM the first time they come for a meal, but you can also be sure that is the last time they visit your establishment. Your customers are savvy enough to realize that when you sign up for a merchant account, it is because you respect them and their business.

The first thing a restaurant merchant account can offer your business is the ability to process credit cards. One thing you will definitely need is a retail swipe terminal. This is the same type of thing you would see on the counter at any convenience store or retail outlet.

The nice thing about these swipe terminals is that they have very low fees, since studies show that fraud occurs far less when people pay in person. All you have to do is swipe their card. The funds will go through a series of complex transactions that your merchant account will take care of and the money will be deposited in your business account within a few days.

You can also process debit cards in much the same way. On your end, it all works the same. The only difference is that the funds will be deducted directly from the customer’s account.

There are other features of a merchant services account that are very specific to the restaurant industry. Your provider will make it easy for you to start a running tab for your clients if they want to have a few drinks at the bar before or after dinner. It will also be easy for you to combine the tab for the bar and for their meal if they move from the bar to a table with a server.

Another convenient feature of a restaurant merchant account is the ability to split a bill among multiple credit cards. People don’t carry cash as much as they used to, and they often expect to be able to hand you a stack of credit cards and say “Can you split this up for me?” In the past this could be difficult, but a restaurant account can make it easier than ever before. This is something your clients will surely appreciate.

You can also increase your business by utilizing wireless terminals. With a wireless terminal, your restaurant can start offering curbside pickup for takeout orders. They can just call in their order and give you a call back right from their car when they come to pick it up. All you have to do is send someone out with their food and you can swipe their card right at their car.

Wireless terminals are also convenient for expanding your delivery services. When someone orders delivery, it is usually because they don’t feel like getting in the car and going anywhere. So what do they do if they don’t have any cash lying around the house? They most certainly aren’t going to go out and hit an ATM. If they were going to do that, they might as well get some food while they are out. Nope, they are just going to call somewhere that can process their card with delivery. And with a restaurant merchant account, that delivery service can be you.

There are countless ways that a restaurant merchant account can help to expand your business. But the main way is simple. When you offer conveniences like these to your customers, they recognize that it is because you respect them. A respected customer is a customer who will return to your establishment again and again for years to come. That is how you run a business that is bound to succeed.