The most successful restaurant businesses rarely generate their revenue from cash transactions alone. On the contrary, most of the restaurant revenue is collected using credit cards. The ability to accept credit cards begins with the best point of sale for restaurant businesses. Any restaurant can get started with an effective point of sale solution today to increase their profits and speed up their collections.
Research Merchant Account Providers
The ability to accept credit cards involves another party known as a merchant account provider. Fortunately, there are plenty of merchant account providers that are willing to help out various businesses, including restaurants. Restaurants should use caution before initiating an agreement with one of these merchants. Not all merchants are created equally, and certain merchants may be better suited for the needs of the restaurant. Finding the right merchant usually involves a little bit of research. Although this research takes time and patience, it will benefit the restaurant in the long run and enable them to make an informed decision.
Select A Merchant Account Provider
Once research has been completed on the various merchant account providers, the restaurant should be able to choose the right provider for their business. A good merchant should possess the following characteristics.
• Merchant account providers should be honest and open about their fees.
• Fees charged should be reasonable and similar to the industry standard.
• One-time fees should be disclosed ahead of time.
• The merchant account provider should provide customer service and technical support.
• Businesses should be able to accept all credit cards with the help of the merchant.
• A money back guarantee should be in place to protect the business entering into the agreement.
• There should be no term contract.
These characteristics are industry standards and can be expected by the restaurant. However, there are other personal factors that the restaurant needs to consider when choosing a merchant. For example, the restaurant will need the right equipment to operate effectively. The best point of sale for restaurant should provide this equipment at a minimal cost.
When evaluating equipment, it is important for the restaurant to assess the quality. Certain merchants provide equipment that is old or slow. Busy restaurants cannot perform with subpar equipment that doesn’t function quickly and effectively. For this reason, they sometimes prefer to invest in their own equipment. This is the more expensive route, but it may be the right decision. Before a restaurant spends this money, they should talk to other individuals in the same business to determine the best solution. In addition, they can also talk to the merchant account provider about the performance they should expect out of their equipment.
Good Point Of Sale Setup
Once the equipment has been secured, the restaurant can focus on the point of sale set up. The set up will largely depend on where the transactions will take place. Many people assume that the best point of sale for restaurant is one that is hidden. While this may be true for a sit down restaurant, it is definitely not the case for fast food restaurants or restaurants that require customers to pay as they are leaving. Also, many restaurants need multiple point of sale areas. This is particularly true of fast food restaurants with more than one cashier and a drive thru. It is important for restaurants to plan ahead of time to determine how they will setup their point of sale to facilitate the needs of their restaurant. Remember, there is no right way to setup. However, there is an ideal way for each individual restaurant.
Protocols For Accepting Credit Cards
In addition to establishing a proper setup, restaurants need to determine their protocols and guidelines for accepting credit cards. These objectives will need to be communicated to cashiers and waiters who will be accepting money. Standard protocols involve the following decisions:
• Restaurants need to determine how they will present the bill to the customer – in person, at the cash register, on the drive thru screen, etc.
• Restaurants need to determine how they plan on accepting tips.
• Restaurants need to establish policies for credit card identification to minimize theft.
• Restaurants need to determine who will be responsible for charging credit cards.
Once these protocols have been determined, the restaurant can move on to proper training. Although the training will cover these standard protocols, the majority will focus on operation of the pos system. This training objective will minimizes error and allow the restaurant to collect their money in an organized fashion. Since this training is vital to the success of a business, it is usually best to have it during off business hours. In doing so, the restaurant can avoid distractions that occur with customers and answer any questions their employees may have.
It is also important to understand that the money collected from these charges needs to be allocated for tax purposes. This is where accounting comes in. Accountants will work with the merchant account provider to assess the credit card revenue and fees that are associated with it. Good accounting will allocate the fees properly so that they do not overstate the revenue of the business. Restaurants need to make sure that they know who is in charge of this process. It is not something they should put off until tax time.
Communication to the Customer
Finally, every restaurant needs to clearly communicate their point of sale to the customer. A point of sale is ineffective when it is not understood. Customers need to know where to pay, when to pay, and what they can pay with. If the restaurant only accepts certain credit cards, the customer should know. Good communication prevents errors in the point of sale processes and ensures that the customer will not leave before paying. In addition, good communication goes hand in hand with customer service.
Those restaurants looking to succeed should setup a good point of sale today that will allow them to charge credit cards and reach more customers. Setting up a point of sale is easy and makes a big difference in the restaurant business.