The Daily Rail: Should Your Restaurant Implement Credit Card Fee Surcharges to Bills?

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Celebrity Chef Recipes for Success

Whether it’s the excitement of a dinner rush or a love for cuisine, a chef’s recipe for success doesn’t only come from skill and experience. A chef’s inner passions have lasting impacts on the food they create and people they serve too. Looking at a few celebrity chefs’ career paths and their passions can help motivate and encourage others to accomplish their goals in and out of a restaurant.


‘Beyond Fried Chicken’ Sells Out

Earlier this week we wrote about how KFC is introducing meatless chicken to its menu in Atlanta. Well, Beyond Fried Chicken sold out in just five hours, and the line for it was long. It doesn’t mean KFC is going to roll it out nationally any time soon. They want time to go through the guest feedback. What it means for indie restaurants is that there is most certainly a market for good meat-alternatives that operators should consider tapping into.

 The Foodies of the US Open

While the US Open is known for its amazing tennis action, the food is not to go unnoticed. The USTA has realized the important of food to the fans overall experience, and have brought in some well-known chefs to help feed the masses. Here’s what’s on the menu as well as some tips and insight from their chef staff.

Windows of the World

Before September 11th, Windows of the World was one of the pinnacle restaurant spots of fine dining in America. Now a new book, The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World, sheds some new light into the restaurant’s history, the NYC restaurant culture over the decades, and more.


Why it matters to you: Applebee’s securing data rights from DoorDash is good news for you.

If you are working with a third-party delivery service then you should care about the deals Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands made with DoorDash and GrubHub. Both delivery giants will now serve any of Applebee’s franchisees and their company locations that opt in for delivery. What has kept many of the major chain operators suspicious of third-party delivery apps is data access. In fact, Seth Priebatsch, head of enterprise at Grubhub, said in a statement: “We worked closely to help Dine Brands build their online business while allowing them and their franchisees to ‘own’ their online diners.” This is a key difference between small chain/independent operators and an approximately 2000-unit restaurant system; they can demand to own the data from customers they create, not the delivery app. This is VERY good news for the rest of us. 

Sure, Applebee’s and other national operators have the leverage of their size to force the GrubHubs of the world to fork over data produced by their guest traffic, but it also means that finally these third-party delivery apps have cracked against that particular industry prohibition. To quote Greg Flynn, chairman and CEO of Cleveland-based Apple American, “Once you know the deal is there, why wouldn't you insist on it?” The more pressure applied to these service companies the more likely they will fork over YOUR customer data. And don’t kid yourself, the reason that data was withheld is exactly because it so valuable. With it you can direct market to your existing delivery customers or even build your own delivery system at your restaurant. Maybe it’s time you called your GrubHub rep and demanded they provide you with all the data on your own customers…just sayin’.

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]


Why it matters to you: Explore the balance between credit card fees and surcharges to mitigate them.

How often do you look at the fees you’re being charged by your credit card processor? Not that often, right? That’s because it’s a cost of doing business and feeling bad about it only gets you frustrated with a system designed to nickel and dime you to death with fees. Well, you may not know this, but in all but seven states (it’s a no in CO, CT, FL, KS, ME, MA, and OK) you are actually allowed to tack on a surcharge if someone uses a credit card for payment.

This infographic is a powerful review of the questions you have to ask before you embark on adding a surcharge to your guest checks. To start, almost 65% of consumers say they aren’t willing to pay extra for credit card convenience which is a fairly compelling argument. 

Consequently, do you really want to waste good will on a 3.5% discount on checks that pay with a credit card? Well, if you do, the infographic gives you some guidance on how to implement. First your maximum surcharge cannot be more than 4% or not more than the business’s processing costs, whichever is lower. There is also the alternative of offering a cash discount when someone opts to pay with paper rather than their credit card. This works as an inventive to pay with cash without penalizing your guests. Whichever decision you make, it requires you do some research. Take the time to ask some guests you trust and staff members how they think your audience will react. Maybe test out a smaller surcharge to see how people respond. Either way, with every expense rising a passive cost like credit card fees are definitely worthy of your attention and review. 

[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]