Local restaurants add fees for card payments citing pandemic and inflation
If you plan to eat at a local restaurant, you might want to stop at the ATM along the way.
With rising food prices and restaurants facing higher costs and lower revenues, some local restaurants are charging customers more for credit and debit card payments.
Waterfront Grill announced plans to offset expenses by implementing a credit payment surcharge in a Facebook post on February 22.
“Our menu now reflects spot prices,” the restaurant said. “Due to rising food, utility and labor costs, we have elected to implement a 4% charge on card payments instead of increasing menu prices. While we recognize the inconvenience, we hope our customers understand the need for it Thank you all for the continued support.
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The restaurant’s operating expenses have skyrocketed, said Waterfront Grill manager Jane Weems. Weems said even labor costs have gone up.
“You know, it takes more to hire people these days than it used to,” Weems said. “You have to pay people more, and you can’t go overboard on your menu prices, so you have to find a way to reduce some of the costs. It’s an operating expense that restaurants have always absorbed. credit card company, to process fees, like last year it cost me $53,000 on my bottom line to process credit cards.”
The Dawg House Sports Grill in Ruston instituted a 4% surcharge on all card payments just over a year ago, manager Alex Green said. Green said the basis for the surcharge was, in part, to help with rising food, utility and labor costs.
“It’s primarily for payment from the credit card processing company,” Green said.
Dawn Hardy, manager of Burger Grind in West Monroe, said the businesses have not yet instituted credit card fees, but are encouraging customers to pay for their orders in cash.
“With food prices going up, and then March 1, our credit card fees are going up again,” Hardy said. “If more people could pay cash, maybe that could offset and balance out a bit where we don’t have to go that route.”
Weems said the idea of charging more for using a card isn’t new.
“It’s no different than going online and paying your utility bill online,” Weems said. “If you use a card, they’re going to charge you a fee. It’s no different from gas stations where they say you have a cash price and a credit price.”
Weems said she has not raised menu prices since last year and that if customers pay for their food orders with cash, they will pay the cash price of the menu item.
“Now I don’t get that 4% anymore, I just don’t have to pay it,” Weems said. “It’s the processing company, the one that does it, that collects that 4%. They pay me exactly the price and instead of losing 4%, I get the real price of my menu.”
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