Running a bar, restaurant or nightclub provides unique challenges of monitoring inventory levels, product yields, number of guests served in a day and much more. The data gleaned from Point-of-Sale systems can be used for operational purposes to maintain a tighter control of your business. To simplify how important tracking is in your business, let’s say you sell draft beer sold in pint glasses. A keg should yield 126 glasses. If your keg is empty and your POS system shows that you sold 75 glasses, you can easily see that 51 glasses of beer were poured and never paid for.
While monitoring your inventory is certainly an important aspect of your business, your POS system is also tied to credit card processing and this is an area often overlooked when setting up a POS system. While you might not think of a credit card processor such as Chosen Payments as the ideal company to set up your POS system, we are experts at it because we work with hundreds of restaurants and bars. We can help you run your business. Beyond accepting credit cards through your POS system, there are many other factors that go into opening a restaurant merchant account to handle credit card processing.
Choosing the right merchant service provider for your POS system can make the entire purchasing process easy while providing the tools and back-end systems that will make managing your restaurant much easier. It is vitally important that your credit card processor has experience with food and beverage merchants.
What is a Restaurant Merchant Account?
A restaurant merchant account is a specific bank account used by your restaurant to make and accept credit card transactions. Transactions move through a “payment gateway” that is integrated with your POS system. The gateway communicates between the customer’s credit card issuer and your restaurant merchant account. The gateway also provides a link you with your merchant service provider and helps protect you against fraud. A POS system should be set up to accept all card brands as well as offer things like gift cards and customer loyalty programs that also integrate with your POS system.
Choosing the Right Merchant Service Provider
A reliable merchant services provider offers a strong suite of both 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. A great merchant services provider will provide chargeback assistance, data breach protection plans and personalized service.
Your merchant services provider should be an authorized dealer of POS hardware and software systems used to complete customer transactions.
A quality merchant services provider offers:
- Front of house credit card terminals.
- Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and other mobile restaurant ordering systems.
- QR Code payment options
- Online credit card payment services.
- Printers – both stationary and mobile.
- Specialty software to track and manage payments.
- 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.
Specific Features in A Restaurant Payment System
While there are thousands of merchant service providers, the restaurant industry requires very specific tools as well as knowledge of how food and beverage businesses operate. Make sure your merchant services provider is able to deliver the proper tools to make your restaurant and efficient operation. These tools include:
- Mobile payment on smartphones, tablets in restaurants.
- Mobile printing for table-side receipts.
- Direct-to-kitchen ordering for faster order processing.
- Online ordering for an additional option for customers.
- Menu editing for easy edits for online orders, in-store menus, and delivery websites.
- Reservation systems.
- Gift card and special loyalty program options.
- Receipt notations for special Thank You notes or customized individual offers.
- Easy tip and check splitting capabilities.
- Inventory management 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.
As the world evolves and we live in an increasingly digital environment, customers should be able to pay their bill by credit card, cash, check, or with contactless systems like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, and others. Some other offerings of a great merchant service provider include:
- Check guarantee service.
- Automated clearing house check drafting and payment services.
- Merchant cash advances.
- Electronic benefit transfer programs like food stamps.
If you need help with your POS system or Merchant Services for your food and beverage business, Chosen Payments can help you decide and implement the perfect system for your business. We are a proud dealer of Clover POS Systems and we are a recognized leader in credit card processing and merchant support for the food and beverage industry.