24 1 / 2013

Dining is rapidly becoming a cashless experience. Last year, 81 percent of the money spent at full-service restaurants in America was charged to debit, credit or pre-paid cards, up from 72 percent in 2006 and 66 percent in 2004. At quick-service restaurants, many of which only started taking cards in the early 2000s, just 37 percent 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 percent to 3.5 percent of the bill — a significant chunk to a restaurateur running a business with a profit margin in the mid-single digits

(Source: The Huffington Post)