Update: A win for members! Visa and MasterCard announce plans to drop credit card fees on Nov. 4, 2014.
Skyrocketing credit card fees are taking a huge bite out of restaurant sales. In some cases the issuer is making as much profit as the restaurant operator! Restaurants Canada calls for action to cap merchant fees now.


A survey of our members found that:

  • 93 per cent of Restaurants Canada 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.  Our members 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.

Restaurants Canada is calling on the federal government to regulate merchant fees, as many other countries have done. We have also met with stakeholders to push for other solutions to bring these fees back down to earth. 

Our Members Say:

“The expense of credit card fees equates to 2.5% of our revenue. From our business alone they collected $50,000 in 2012. This is a lot for small businesses trying to make it in a struggling tourist economy.”

“All I know is the fees I am paying have doubled in the last six years.”

“Our combined credit card costs average $4,500 a month, as opposed to $150 for debit. That’s $4,500 straight off the bottom line in a very competitive business.”

“We will have to lay off some employees to save on costs as we cannot raise product price very often.”

“My share of profits is 2 to 3%.  I give 2% to the credit card companies. This is ridiculous if you consider how much work I put in every day.”

“How is it possible that we provide the service/business transaction and make less than the credit card provider?”

“They are taking away our ability to create jobs.”

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