When running a restaurant or bar, staying efficient while maintaining clear views of inventory and movement of money across your business are integral to success. Normally when looking into foundational expenses of owning a restaurant, a point-of-sale system is the main focus, whereas processing services are ignored.
All restaurant owners need help with these kinds of products and services, and a merchant service provider is needed to help you run your business. But beyond accepting credit card processing services via your restaurant POS system, other important factors go into opening a restaurant merchant account to handle the processing side of your business.
The right merchant service provider makes the entire purchasing process easy while providing a wealth of tools and back-end systems to make managing your restaurant easier. But not every provider is experienced with restaurants, and choosing one that has processing rates suited for your industry is important. Let’s look at what traits to look for to help you find the best providers for your needs.
Why Do You Need a Restaurant Merchant Account?
A merchant account is a specific bank account used by your restaurant to make and accept customer payments. It is different from other accounts in that it utilizes a “payment gateway” to move transactions. The gateway is a tool or set of tools that process payments by communicating between the customer’s baking institution (for example, VISA) and your business bank account. These tools also link you with your merchant service provider and guard you and your customers against fraud.
The reason for making this industry-specific is for two reasons. One, you want to ensure the processing will work with your existing POS software, meaning it can take the correct type of payments as well as offer things like gift cards and customer loyalty programs. Two, you’ll want to make sure when your point-of-sale system or terminals have an issue, you’ll receive direct support from a team that understands both your POS system and your credit card processing.
Finding the Perfect Merchant Service Provider for Your Restaurant
A reliable merchant services provider offers a strong blend of front-end and back-end tools, customer service, the ability to service a wide range of bank processing companies, strong internal bank connections, and experience working for the restaurant industry. Let’s take a closer look at each element.
How to Choose a Merchant Account Provider for Your Business
The hardware and software systems used to complete customer transactions should offer a wide range of payment options via restaurant POS devices and access to back-end functions to aid your restaurant or bar.
A quality merchant services provider offers:
- Front terminals.
- Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and other mobile restaurant ordering systems.
- Online credit card payment services.
- Printers – both stationary and mobile.
- Specialty software to track and manage payments.
Another important consideration to keep in mind when you choose a merchant services provider for the restaurant industry is what the experience is like working with them. The best providers have:
- Clearly-defined terms of service and cost breakdowns. A clear contract agreement shows you are working with a reliable company when it has nothing to hide.
- Competitive pricing.
- Strong reputations as restaurant POS providers.
- The ability to offer a full range of product and service assistance from full systems to upgrades on current systems as needed.
- Prompt 24/7 customer service.
- Strong relationships with reliable banking institutions to use for your merchant account.
Features To Look For In A Restaurant Payment System
There are many merchant service providers on the market, but offering services for the restaurant industry requires experience in specific tools. Those familiar with restaurant POS systems know the most effective types of payments for restaurants today, and these are tools BNG Payments uses regularly. These include:
- Mobile payment on smartphones, tablets in restaurants, and around town if your business is mobile.
- Mobile printing for table-side receipts.
- Direct-to-kitchen ordering for faster order processing.
- Online ordering for an additional way of serving clientele.
- Delivery service linking for fast and transparent delivery readings.
- Order completion notifications for delivery teams and customers.
- Menu editing for easy edits for online orders, in-store menus, and delivery websites.
- Reservation systems.
- Gift card and special offer capabilities.
- Receipt notations for special thank you’s and individual offers.
- Customer histories for accurate records of custom orders.
- Easy tip and check splitting capabilities.
- Tight stock tracking to prevent theft and ensure all menu items are available.
- Employee performance data to ensure strong customer service.
- Back-end accounting for a close eye on all profits, losses, and overall business performance.
Customers should be able to easily pay by credit card, cash, check, or with contactless systems like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, and others. Some other traits to look for are special payment services like:
- Check guarantee and check conversion services.
- Automated clearing house check drafting and payment services.
- Merchant cash advances.
- Electronic benefit transfer programs like food stamps.
How Do You Choose the Best Restaurant Merchant Services?
Who is the best merchant credit card service? There may be many companies that service your area, but the best providers offer a blend of benefits. Look for ones that offer today’s full list of advanced tools to boost your restaurant performance. At the same time, consider the pricing against their competition and their reputation in the marketplace. Note that in many cases, excellent pricing can end up becoming an expensive hassle due to loss of funds or system breakdowns.
Another trait to look for is overall customer service. A regular and clear flow of transactions and immediate assistance with payment issues helps boost profits. Waiting on tools that have broken down can cause havoc on your business performance and customer retention.
When it is time to choose your merchant service provider for your restaurant or bar, look for the right blend of price, industry experience, restaurant offerings, and customer service to keep your business moving. BNG Payments is here to help. Contact us to find out what we can do for you.