Oct. 21, 2013

OTTAWA – The skyrocketing cost of accepting credit cards is giving Canadian restaurateurs a serious case of heartburn. A new survey by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) finds that:

  • 93 per cent of CRFA members are “very concerned” about rising fees on credit card transactions
  • 79 per cent say credit card fees have a “significant impact” on their bottom line
  • 72 per cent do not fully understand the merchant fees they pay.

“Credit card fees in Canada have spiralled out of control and are now among the highest in the world. Clearly there’s a problem when banks and credit card companies are making as much money on a restaurant transaction as the restaurateur is,” says Garth Whyte, CRFA President and CEO.

Survey respondents are frustrated by high, confusing and unpredictable card fees, and by the fact that these fees apply not only to the cost of the meal, but also to the sales tax they collect for government and the tips earned by their servers.

The credit card fees collected on sales tax in the restaurant industry alone add up to $40 million a year for banks and credit card companies.

“We received an incredibly strong response from our members on this issue, and the message is loud and clear: it’s time for Canada to rein in the Wild West of premium credit card fees,” says Whyte. “Many other countries have already taken regulatory action.”

CRFA is again calling on the federal government to regulate merchant fees and is meeting with stakeholders to push for other solutions to bring these fees back down to earth.

Click here for CRFA Survey on Credit Card Fees.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.


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