Best Restaurant Credit Card Processing and Merchant Services

Cody Cromwell
Written by
Last update:

How to Choose a Restaurant Credit Card Processor

Customers of restaurants are usually mainly looking for delicious food and superb customer service. They also care about the cost of their meal. It is vital that your restaurant boasts high quality food, fair prices, and friendly customer service.

However, if you have a high-volume operation, your pricing also needs to be competitive.

On the other hand, you may have a smaller restaurant, with fewer workers, and not much need for point-of-sale software. You have the flexibility to manage your restaurant by using cash and paper.

In such cases, you do not have the need of a full-service merchant account. Instead, you can use a merchant account that has a limited or off-site feature.

Pro tip: To ensure that your cash outflow does not exceed your in-flow, it is vital that you carefully observe your account and make a note of your total incidentals.

The Best Restaurant Credit Card Processor

If you are analyzing all your potential options, it is important to make a list of questions. You must be clear about the following items.

Dharma Merchant Services: Best Overall Restaurant Credit Card Processing

Dharma Merchant Services Pricing

Dharma Merchant Services is a virtual terminal that helps small business to accept credit and debit cards with merchant discount rates from major card processors.

Dharma Merchant Services offer a low flat rate fee for providing credit and debit payment processing to small businesses. Credit card processing fees through e-check services with Dharma Merchant Services is about 2% of the payment.

Dharma Merchant Services offer a wide selection of payment options for small businesses. Most of the merchant processing solutions offered merchant solutions are compatible with major credit card processor.

Dharma Merchant Services offers Check services and online payment plan. Other major credit card processors that Dharma offer merchant processing services are Veridian year, Mactran, Teladoc, Brand4Me, Journatic, Dwolla and PayPal. Other merchant processing services provided by Dharma are SwipeIt, ePay and PayOnGo.

Available payment methods for electronic check services with Dharma Merchant Services:

Electronic check, Check by phone, Fund Transfer from bank account and Pay by e-check.

Dharma Merchant Services also provide mobile payments for both Android and Blackberry.

Dharma Merchant Services offers electronic check and SwipeIt service at flat fee per transaction. SwipeIt flat fee is No. 1 percent of the total amount of payment. While the fee for electronic check is roughly 2 percent of the total amount of payment.

Dharma Merchant Services Features

Merchants that have over 3 sites operating will get their fees waived for up to 3 businesses and no transaction fees. They also have special rates for students, artists, and small businesses.

A transaction fee of 2.95% per transaction is the lowest transactional fee available. They are not a true zero cost payment gateway since they do assess transaction fees. However, their transaction fee is lower than most processors and is often waived when paid in full.

What Dharma Merchant Services Is Missing

Payment Depot: Best for High-Volume Restaurant Payment Processor

Paying out for your restaurant can be a daunting task … even if you’ve got a good system set up. But take a load off your shoulders. Payment Depot’s got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the top payment processors for restaurants, allowing you to choose a solution that’s right for your needs.

Even with the best system, handling restaurant payments can still be time-consuming and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. With Payment Depot’s top-of-the-line solution, handling restaurant payments has, well ….. . almost become a breeze. With numerous other by-the-minute and flat-fee payment options, you can find payment processors that fit your budget and your needs. Plus, we offer you one of the best returns on your investment, so you can be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth whenever you choose Payment Depot’s highest quality processing solution.

Payment Depot Pricing

In this page you will find a detailed guide on what is our general pricing for each plan: Restaurant, Food Truck, General Store, and more, if needed custom solutions are done on site for exactly $ your company needs. Without this guide your restaurant might be overcharged or undercharged. The Payment Depot also offers various payment plans tailored to your needs with competitive rates. We can setup your account and start accepting credit card in about 90 minutes. We have several locations nationwide that are only a phone call away or visit our Payment Depot website for more information.

Payment Depot Features

Payment Depot has a range of merchant services that will help take the hassle out of accepting credit cards. We’re confident that our merchant services will help your restaurant or bar be more convenient for customers.

Our merchant services include credit card processing, payment gateway services, electronic funds transfer (EFT), mobile payments, money transfers, chip and PIN, EMV and Chip-and-Signature. Our merchant services improve sales and improve customer experience.

One more benefit with Payment Depot’s merchant services is that all our merchant services are available in an all-in-one package.

Here are more details on Payment Depot’s most popular merchant credit card processing solutions for restaurants and bars:

Credit Card Processing

Credit card processing helps you accept more credit card transactions. The credit card processing services help cash in on the millions of customers who prefer to pay with credit cards rather than cash.

Payment Gateway

The payment gateway services help you accept any form of electronic invoices from online merchants. With the help of the payment gateway services, you can accept funds through electronic payments, such as EFT, ACH, electronic top up, E-money and mobile payments like Apple and Google Pay.

What Payment Depot Is Missing

Want to accept all major credit cards?

How about ATM and phone payments?

What about your own reporting?

We can help!

All of these capabilities are offered on the most popular payment processing solution in the world, Stripe!

Stripe offers highly accessible, secure and reliable payment processing both online and in the cloud. The Stripe API is the same payment handling software you use to accept credit card payments at your website, all over the globe.

With more than 2,000 small and medium sized businesses across 18 countries runying on the Stripe API, we’ve got a lot of experience processing payments. So rest assured you’re getting the very best of the best when you choose Payment Depot…

CDGcommerce: Best Small to Medium-Sized Restaurant Payment Processor

CDGcommerce is a very well-known company with the highest customer service level in the industry.

They have been providing high-quality merchant account services to small businesses and restaurant owners.

CDGcommerce provides restaurant card processing from start-up to the current credit card terminals.

AD Zero: Best Equipment Merchant Account Provider

AD Zero is another well-known company that offers the MicroNet Payment Gateway, MasterCard PayPass, American Express and Visa EMV solutions.

They’re also well-known for their 24/7 customer support.

Totango’s Merchant Services: Top Merchant Account Providers for POS Terminals

Totango’s merchant services are solely aimed at helping US-based restaurant and hospitality merchants receive EMV cards.

They’re recognized by various local government agencies and have a 30-year proven track record. They’ve also been the preferred payment processor of many large restaurant chains.

Sherpa: Best Overnight Processing Company

Sherpa’s merchant services are similar to that of Vogogo’s.

They’re a renowned company with exceptional customer support.

Their services have recently expanded to the United Kingdom.

Cirrus: Best Merchant Account for POS

CDGcommerce Pricing

CDGcommerce has a standard set rate on all fees – our price list is real and includes no added charges. Our standard rates vary depending on the details of your order.

CDGcommerce Features

What CDGcommerce Is Missing

The most lucrative market to build a business on is by working with small businesses as a supplier. Not only do small businesses grow faster than any other type of company, they represent the biggest opportunity to grow your business. However, building a sustainable business in this space can be elusive. In this how-to post, you will discover the top three reasons why CDGcommerce is and most likely will never become your business’s best and only option.

Fattmerchant: Best Restaurant Merchant Services for Cashflow

If you are a small or medium-sized restaurant owner, only having cash flow can throw everything off.

For example, if you’re lucky, you can afford to hire a part-time front-of-house manager, but what about finding someone to help with the cleaning and serving? Likewise, if you’ve got a great chef on your hands, but the kitchen staff is poorly trained, you might want to look at hiring a new kitchen lead but how do you finance it?

Finding the right person is one of the toughest parts of running a restaurant. It’s often too expensive or difficult to find new employees unless you get lucky. Relying solely on an employee referral system can be a tempting idea, but chances are that your employees aren’t the best hirers of new staff members. Yet, it’s usually a good idea to have at least one employee who is capable of hiring and firing.

Getting overwhelmed by hiring the right staff member is reminiscent of a problem faced by many small business owners. They don’t have the capital to take on paying their staff rediculously high taxes or health insurance. Growing a restaurant too fast, and consequently not having enough cash flow to cover your payroll and taxes, can be a deadly combination.

Fattmerchant Pricing

Fattmerchant’s pricing structure was designed to be fair and affordable for both businesses and customers. We believe that everyone should be able to provide a service that provides them with a fair living.

Fattmerchant Features

What Fattmerchant Is Missing

I often get asked what Fattmerchant is missing and what features do you want to see?

First off, there are only so many things that a merchant can offer in a restaurant in the way of services. So from an Fattmerchant perspective, our goal is to provide services that the merchant needs to run the business more efficiently and effectively and in a more cost effective and a more efficient way.

And just like any new venture or business, they often have to go through some growing pains before they are able to settle in and provide a balanced and satisfied customer service.

So now that we’ve digested the Fattmerchant difference and there may be some features take some time to appreciate the service we provide to our customers and how well it has been received by them.

And there have been quite a few features inside and outside the restaurant industry that have been well received by our customers. Some that come immediately to mind are;

Square Payments: Best Payment Processing for Small Restaurants

Any restaurant that provides food or service to the public should have a method of payment available. Almost every small business owner or restauranteur accidentally runs into the problem of not being able to accept credit card payments.

Square is the one of the best payment processing options that your business could use for processing card payments. Square is a hardware device and card reader that plugs into a standard USB port. It reads credit and debit cards and connects to a sales processing software on your computer, making it a great choice for small businesses with mobile POS (point of sale) devices and card readers.

Mini-Fridge and Small Drinks Dispenser: Best Restaurant Equipment for Customers

Margaritaville is known for its wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including frozen drinks, coolers, hot coffees, and smoothies. Its drinks and ice creams may be called warm, but little is left to debate – because it boasts a variety of frozen, cool, and frozen drinks, small drink dispensers have emerged as the most practical small business restaurant equipment. These dispensers are used to place ice creams, frozen drinks, and cold coffees.

This type of small dispenser is mostly used in small food establishments. Small drink dispensers are the perfect equipment for small and medium drinks bars. They make it possible to serve soft drinks and cold coffee to several customers.

Square Pricing

The Square swiper is a device that plugs directly into a standard headphone jack for an iPhone or USB jack for an Android smartphone. It is the simplest and most common way to run a credit card terminal. The Square allows a business to accept credit card payments through their website or using the Square swiper. It’s possible to run a payment through Square for free for $.25 plus each additional payment. The pricing structure tends to fluctuate, but the best way to go is to run it as a swipe fee, because the business will receive this fee immediately.

The following are the fees that Square charges:

  • When the money goes through and the card is not declined.
  • If you lose the signature in the terminal, which is highly unlikely.
  • If you swipe the card through a denied terminal or one that doesn’t match the signature.

Square Payments Features

The Square system has grown rapidly over the years, and they now offer a wide variety of products to help businesses quickly and efficiently accept credit cards. Although not necessarily intended for extremely large merchants, Square is rapidly growing in acceptance due to its ease of use and stability, as well as its low processing rates.

One of the unique features of Square is the large touchscreen taken from the existing credit card reader, which is usually dependable and can be used by both the salesperson and the customer. If you are wondering which the best card readers are, this is an excellent resource. You can review multiple options in terms of pricing, ease of use, and customer response.

Processing in the Square system is simple. You can connect your credit card machine to the Square device to accept credit cards. You then instruct the Square system whether or not the credit card is declined, and when the transaction is complete, you enter the amount in the system and the deposit is deposited directly into your Square account. The payments can also be tendered on a monthly basis. This is beneficial for businesses that might want to soften the blow for a small loss in a month, but do not want to lose out on the income for a complete month.

What Square Payments Is Missing

Your only really risky move is to sign up to accept credit cards” are the words that immediately made me sit up and pay attention. I’m a blogger, writer, and hispanic foods lover, and people often ask me for restaurant recommendations. I’m always on the lookout for delicious options when I’m in the city, and Square open up a whole new world for me.

Square integration with Instagram is definitely more personal then the apps I’ve tried before, and I love the all-in-one approach. And although I understand that in order for Square to allow payment directly from Instagram, they have to take a cut of the transaction, I personally believe that it’s totally worth it since Square gives you the chance to create a unique user interface”something that’s much more personal than a pop-up window on your page.

Having to wait until someone checks out is sometimes annoying, but that’s just because I’m used to other payment processing apps. I got used to it and I know that’s just the way it is.

Toast: Best Built-In Restaurant POS Credit Card Processor

POS for restaurants has taken a big step forward in the past few years. There are many options now including virtual terminals, iPads, and mobile terminals. While most of these are moving in the right direction, Toast has still excelled with a fun, flexible, and functional solution.

One of the most appealing aspects of Toast for restaurant owners is that there are no monthly fees. Yes, that’s right, you can start using Toast and start raking in the cash without paying a penny.

Toast is more than just a software solution. It’s a complete furniture system. There are no hardware costs and the terminals are compatible with any major credit card processor. So when it’s time to replace them due to wear or to update, you can just upgrade the cards and they’ll work as normal.

This means that you can get your restaurant’s POS up and running in as little as two days with complete customization. If you want to tweak the POS for better results, Toast’s Look & Feel Tool makes it easier than ever to tweak your POS.

Toast Pricing

Toast Features

The Toast Restaurant Software Solution is built with the restaurant owner in mind. SharpDash will help you streamline your operations and minimize the impact on your kitchen staff and front-of-the-house during peak times.

It’s a free app for both iOS and Android devices that allows operational managers to create and modify their own tools, queue, and staff management functions quickly and easily in an intuitive, user-friendly environment via a web browser.

What features does the Toast Restaurant App Premium Offer include?

The App’s Job Scheduling Tool enables managers to fully automate operations by taking a snapshot of the job queue. When a customer orders a meal, it automatically places that job into the queue. The customer’s meal starts cooking and is ready to serve, in spite of jittery service.

The Job Queue Tool is organized by station and is easily searchable. Managers find and select jobs they need to do, then view and edit the meal prep process. For example, they select the dish they’re preparing and decide if they’d like to cook it in the oven or use the grill. And, if they’re using a main kitchen station, they assign a cook, mixer or server to that job. All of these little details provide more efficient kitchen labor.

What Toast Payments Is Missing

Today I found an amazing plugin for WordPress called Toast by JibJab, which makes creating and embedding your own website/app visually impactful. The Toast Payments description basically says:

“Create a custom payment button for your website visitors, including credit card, PayPal and Apple Pay. With Toast Payments for WordPress, you can accept credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay on any WordPress website. Developed by WordPress for WordPress, Toast was built as a responsive, fast, low-code solution that lets you add payment buttons to any website in just a few minutes.”

So it’s basically a plugin to embed very detailed and customizable payment buttons in your WordPress site or app.

The only issue that I’m facing in any of the payment options supported by the plugin, like PayPal, is the lack of Google cloud payment APIs.

It seems that the iOS and Android browsers don’t get the usual “Remitly” payment feature. All you can do is connect a card via a browser, and all the other steps are controlled by the browser.

So I’m unable to test this functionality with Toast, and here is why:

Restaurant Payment Processing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Many people think of processing payments for restaurants as boring and mechanical. But this is not the case. Today there are many aspects to consider when setting up a restaurant payment processing option, and you need to be prepared for a lot of questions to determine your best path forward. The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that can help guide you through the process of selecting the best restaurant payment processing option for your business.

Who uses restaurant payment processing?

Restaurants, Hotels, and Bars are the most frequent restaurant payment processing customers. Hotels in particular can use a restaurant payment processing company because they may have many different rates for different hotel rooms, guests, and travelers. Other industries that use restaurant payment processing include retail, medical, and non-profit organizations.

What type of businesses use restaurant payment processing?

Restaurant Payment Processing allows a business to accept credit cards or billing. Prepaid and debit cards can be accepted as well. The business only needs to submit a copy of its merchant agreement to the Payment Processor to start accepting payments.

How much do businesses pay to use restaurant payment processing?

What does ‘interchange plus’ mean?

Generally, when you make a purchase, you’re charged an ‘interchange’ fee by the bank that processes your credit card. The interchange fee works like a tax which the credit card brands

Receive from the issuing banks so that they have the resources to maintain the network and handle fraud.

In a nutshell, the smaller the interchange fee, the better!

As you may have guessed, one the easiest ways to get lower interchange fees is to get lower rates from credit card processors. And since these rates can differ between processors, the next most important factor is choosing one with transparent pricing.

Next, look for one with a low barrier to entry. This means that you won’t have to work hard to integrate the processor with your POS system. Instead you should be able to just plug in the card reader and start accepting credit cards.

For more information, check out this guide to choosing a credit card processor.

Why do online payments have a higher processing rate?

A Shopify merchant has a credit card payment option integrated into their store pages to make accepting card payments easy. When a customer makes a purchase using that payment option, Shopify will ask the payment gateway to process the payment. This payment gateway will then initiate the card company directly such as Visa or MasterCard to make the payment on their behalf.

Before the payment gateway can complete the transaction, the card company will start an approval process. In a nutshell, the payment approval process checks if the customer has enough funds in their account … and if the customer has enough cards that can be used as payment. This process is called authorization.

You can think of authorization as similar to a phone call to the customer’s bank. The bank may tell the payment gateway that the customer has enough money available and that a payment can be processed.

What some customers are not aware of is that online payments have a higher processing rate because the payment gateways must process multiple authorizations. This means that the payment gateway must immediately process the authorization request and then wait to receive the approval from the card company. The payment gateway may also have to process an authorization for each card that you have accepted. That’s why a few weeks after you applied credit card payments, you may see a higher chargeback rate for your website.

What are ‘hidden fees’?

Hidden fees are su