Top Restaurant Merchant Account Providers

What to Know Before Getting Started

Starting a New Business?

Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.

Considerations For Current Business Owners

Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.

Find the Right Payment Processor for Your Restaurant

Restaurant credit card processing is an incredibly specialized industry addressing a wide variety of merchant needs. From one-register food trucks to national chains, the diversity of restaurant payment processing means that there is no single best provider for all restaurant types. Some locations may need a single iPad POS, while others might require hundreds of traditional countertop terminals. The sheer number of possibilities can make it tough for you to settle on a single option for your business.

Here Are Our Top Recommended Options

To help with your search, we’ve compiled the following list of the best restaurant credit card processors. These providers offer restaurant POS software and hardware in addition to fair, transparent pricing and positively reviewed customer service. Some of them are ideal low-cost choices for small mom and pop locations, while others offer scalable options for large and growing food service enterprises. Be sure to check out each company’s product and service offerings before giving them a call to make sure they’re the best fit for you.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers


Best Overall Option

Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services for restaurants include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, tablet-based POS integration for food trucks, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, and an integrated dashboard for all payment methods. Fattmerchant is the exclusive payment processing partner for Dining Alliance, RestaurantLink, and Restaurant Purchasing Solutions.

Fattmerchant Pricing

Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates, but all of its plans charge a fixed monthly fee and a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, none of Fattmerchant’s plans charge a percentage-based fee on each transaction, meaning that merchants will not pay more to process a large transaction than they will a small transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

For more information, visit the Fattmerchant website, or call (866) 397-9826.

Host Merchant Services

Dine-In & E-Commerce Option

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most business types, including restaurants. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services also offers a wide array of e-commerce solutions for restaurants that cater to special events.

Host Merchant Services Pricing

Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. The company offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 727-4538.


Accepts All Business Types

Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving restaurant businesses of nearly any type. This includes “high-risk” dining establishments such as new and experimental restaurants. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account.

Custom Pricing Plans

The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”

For more information, visit the PaymentCloud website or call (888) 506-7859.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Other Merchant Account Options

The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.


Shopify is an e-commerce merchant services provider that also offers a robust POS option for brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants. Shopify’s POS solution includes features like check splitting, gift card management, legacy terminal compatibility, offline processing, custom payment types, discounts, mobile checkout on iPad, cash float, QuickBooks integration, customer relationship management, inventory tracking, and add-on apps and plugins for a custom solution.

Restaurant owners should be aware that, as of this update, Shopify’s in-store POS solution does not support tipping. For this reason, it is best for restaurant locations that do not have a tip-based service element. Shopify currently has an “A” rating on and an “A+” rating with the BBB.

For more information, see the Shopify Website.


Founded in 2007, SalesVu is an Austin, Texas-based software provider that has partnered with Mercury Payment Systems and Century Payments to offer a full POS system for iPad and iPhone. SalesVu’s free POS app comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, labor tracking, social media promotion, recurring billing, barcode scanning, automated discounts, tip adjusting, split checks, and invoicing. The company’s service also comes with a free, customizable e-commerce website and telephone support. Merchants can either open a new merchant account with unique pricing through Mercury or Century or receive a match with their existing rates through SalesVu.

SalesVu currently receives an “A+” from, and although the company does not have a Better Business Bureau profile at this time, the BBB profile for Mercury Payment Systems is showing an “A+” rating.

For more information, see the SalesVu Website.

Payline Data

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving merchants of all sizes and types, including some high risk business industries. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for any restaurant, from small, single-register locations to large, enterprise-level chains.

In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”

Dharma Merchant Services

Based in San Francisco, Dharma Merchant Services is one of the highest-rated providers on and is an excellent processor for most restaurant types. Dharma offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees, annual fees, or monthly minimum fees, and it has consistently received positive testimonials from merchants since we first reviewed it in 2012.

To serve its restaurant merchants, Dharma is partnered with ShopKeep POS, a cloud-based iPad point-of-sale system that currently has an “A” rating on ShopKeep’s features include direct tableside service, order notes, check splitting, inventory management, employee management, customer relationship management, QuickBooks integration, and detailed reporting. By combining a Dharma Merchant Services merchant account with a ShopKeep point-of-sale system, you can enjoy excellent customer service and robust point-of-sale features at a very low cost. Our review of Dharma currently awards the company an “A+” rating, and the Better Business Bureau also assigns Dharma an “A+.”

For more information, see the Dharma Merchant Services Website or call (888) 404-1237.

If your company provides merchant account solutions for the restaurant industry, let us know in the comment section below or through our Contact page.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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