Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees Explained

This Free Cheat Sheet Simplifies Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees

restaurant owner calculating processing fees

What You’ll Learn In This Guide to Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees:

  • The major players involved in credit card transactions
  • What happens behind the scenes with credit card authorization
  • What you’re being charged for with each processing fee
  • Credit card pricing models
  • Sample questions to ask potential payment processors
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This Free Cheat Sheet Simplifies Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees

If you’re looking up restaurant credit card processing fees, odds are you have a few questions about the statement you receive from your payment processor each month. What am I being charged for each transaction? What do all of the fees on my statement mean? How do payment processors set their rates? 

You’re not the only one wondering these things, which is why we created this free, downloadable guide to credit card fees for restaurants. Click the “Download Now” button for instant access to the cheat sheet.

Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees FAQs

If you feel like you need to refresh your credit card processing fees basics, read these FAQs before downloading the cheat sheet.

What Are Payment Processing Fees?

Payment processing fees are what payment processors charge merchants (i.e. restaurant owners like you) to accept card payments.

Payment processing fees include:

  • Credit and debit card processing fees: This percentage-based fee is paid to your payment processor, the card’s issuing bank (e.g. Bank of America), and the card network (e.g. Visa or Mastercard).
  • Flat fees: These fees account for things like statement, annual, batch, network access, and payment gateway fees.
  • Situational fees: You’ll have to pay these in the case of chargebacks, cancellations, monthly minimums, or international payments. 

Why Do Payment Processors Charge Fees?

Payment processors charge fees for the behind-the-scenes restaurant credit card processing services they provide after a customer taps, dips, or swipes their card on the card reader. This involves the payment processor forwarding your customer’s card details to the brand card network. After that, the network requests payment authorization from the issuing bank. Once the bank approves the payment, your customer has successfully paid for their meal.

How Much are Payment Processing Fees?

So, how much are payment processing fees typically? Merchants typically pay between 1.5% and 3.5% of each transaction’s value in fees to payment processors. This percentage can depend on a number of factors, including: 

  • Type of card: A student credit card with a lower credit limit will be cheaper to process than an international credit card with exclusive perks.
  • Type of payment: The more secure the payment type, the cheaper it is to process. For example, a chip and sign payment will cost less to process than a card-not-present transaction in which a customer shares their card number over the phone while placing a takeout order.
  • Type of retailer: Businesses with a higher volume of transactions can usually negotiate lower payment processing rates. So an independent restaurant will unfortunately have to pay more to process credit cards than an international chain like McDonald’s.

What are Average Credit Card Processing Fees for Restaurants?

Average credit card processing fees for restaurants are on par with fees in other industries: between 1.5% and 3.5%. So, a restaurant that generates $100,000 in credit card sales per month will pay between $1,500 and $3,500 in payment processing fees.

Knowledge is Power When It Comes to Restaurant Credit Card Processing Fees

When you understand your restaurant credit card processing fees and what goes into your monthly statement, you can be an empowered business owner. Knowing how your payment processor charges you and why can help you negotiate credit card fees or find a pricing model that better suits your business’ needs. 

Download our free cheat sheet to restaurant credit card processing fees today.

Disclaimer: All of the information contained in this downloadable asset is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, accounting, tax, or other professional or compliance advice. It is your responsibility to determine whether credit card surcharging is permissible in your jurisdiction. You are solely responsible for ensuring that your activity is compliant with the card network requirements and all laws applicable to you. Non-compliance may result in regulatory consequences or fines.

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