Thoughts on Credit Card Transaction Fees at Restaurants? Take a survey


One reader writes:

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Over the past month, I have had dinner with groups of family or friends several times and have been faced with transaction fees added to the bill for using a credit card ranging from $ 1 , 45% to 4%. We weren’t warned about it in advance and it wasn’t listed on the menu either. The cost of restaurant meals is skyrocketing with food and drink prices alone! Now add credit card charges. I think it will reduce the number of times people go to restaurants. As a frequent restaurant patron, I know this will impact my ability to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Restaurants were dead wrong in not informing customers of the charge, either with signs, a note on the menu, or preferably both. Also, since more than 80 percent bills in full-service restaurants are paid by card, these charges, if a restaurant feels it can no longer afford to absorb them, should be included in the prices. It makes more sense to offer a discount to those who pay cash, as is the case at McGeary’s Pub in Albany, among others. Gas stations have been offering cash backs for decades, so we know it’s a model that customers understand.

Having said that, I can’t practice on minimal fees for the convenience of not having to carry cash. On a $ 10 breakfast order, the additional cost to the guest is 40 cents; on a $ 50 dinner tab, $ 2; even a group of eight people spending $ 500 on dinner would pay only $ 2.50 more to cover a 4% processing fee. So while the reader rightly felt piqued at not being informed in advance of the charges, I doubt his claim that such an additional cost would affect his “ability to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner “. Anyone who can afford to spend, say, $ 200 a month on restaurant meals can afford the additional $ 8 to use a credit card.

In contrast, processing fees represent a huge expense for businesses. One restaurant owner in Albany, for example, tells me that these fees cost him $ 5,000 a month.

What do you think?

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