Many of today’s consumers expect to be able use a debit or credit card to buy almost anything that they want. This might include a small $5 sandwich or even your $3 cappuccino at your local cafe. And with this shift to a cashless society, some restaurant owners are needing to adapt to the changes of society.
Most restaurant owners have responded resoundingly: in fact, 92% of full-service restaurants now take cards, according to Euromonitor data. New technology lets even food trucks and tiny vendors in on the action. As a result, dining is rapidly becoming a cashless experience. Last year, 81% of the money spent at full-service restaurants in America was charged to debit, pre-paid or credit cards, up from 72% in 2006 and 66% in 2004. Usage of credit cards in dining is experiencing a profound surge in the numbers.
At quick-service restaurants, many of which only started taking cards in the early 2000s, just 37% of sales were charged in 2012, but the trend toward plastic is the same. At the same time, customers’ insistence that restaurants take cards has allowed companies like Visa, MasterCard and American Express to charge ever-higher merchant fees, leading some restaurant owners to question the value of plastic. These fees often range from 2% to 3.5% of the bill–a significant chunk to a restaurateur running a business with a profit margin in the mid-single digits.
The result of all of these fees – higher restaurant prices of course. But that is the benefit of advancement, they say