For 10 years, Tony dreamed of owning his own restaurant. He knew exactly what the menu would look like, he planned out the lighting and table settings in his head over and over, and he also knew exactly which credit card processor and restaurant POS to choose.

… Okay, so maybe he didn’t have that last decision played out in his dreams. But nonetheless, it’s a decision that restaurateurs have to make before they can accept payment and make a profit. When it comes time to choose your credit card processing and restaurant point of sale system, do you have a plan of action to make the most of your investment?

Can Credit Card Processing Become An Investment?

We recently had a panel of experts, including Matthew Mabel of Surrender, Inc. and Marc Thomas of Upserve, discuss the implications of credit card processing on your bottom line. Long story short, we wanted to know how restaurateurs could turn their restaurant credit card processing into an investment with added business value.

“You don’t start a restaurant because one day you hope to choose a credit card processor.” – Matthew Mabel, Surrender, Inc.

Starting a restaurant is all about diving into exciting new waters, and this Dallas-based restaurant consultant would know. Restaurateurs like choosing credit card processors about as much as they like to choose insurance companies and chemical suppliers, he points out. This is not the fun part of the business. They are so incredulous about increasing their profits, that they become obsessed with saving a quarter point, and all suppliers become a commodity that looks the same to them.

This is not the way to look at it, however. Your decision on processing can end up bringing you value far beyond the ability to accept a card — and it should — if you choose wisely.

“If interchange goes up or goes down, your pricing should not change. ” –Marc Thomas, Upserve

Fees for processing can eat up as much as 3% of the final bill. And Marc would know — a former credit card processing company owner himself. Understanding pricing structures, and the fees that come with them, is integral to making a decision that can impact your bottom line, he says. You have to choose a pricing structure that works for you. Challenge the company, he urges merchants, ask them how the fees are applied to your business.


“No one wants data just for the sake of data. Actionable insights are extremely valuable.” –Matthew Mabel, Surrender, Inc

What can your credit card processor do for you beyond a good rate? Restaurateurs are bombarded with technology that was never available to them before, or only available to chains, Matthew points out. All this is exciting if you can harness your management team and organize them to use all these pieces to increase revenue, profit, and employee and guest satisfaction. A processor should explain how their services fit in to making money and strengthening a brand, and what their point of difference is if they have one.

How can you get the data you need?

The better you can understand choices and options – the more you can determine how to only take in technology that you can use.  It is great having all this data but if do not know how to use it, or your tools are not matching your needs, then what you are paying for is useless and just a new added cost.

Want to hear more about what Matthew and Marc had to say about credit card processing and its added value? Watch the full on demand video here. 

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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.