Restaurant Payments

Is Square the Best Payment Processor for Restaurants?

Ever since the introduction of the original Square Reader – the small, white plastic magstripe reader that plugs right into the headphone jack of a smartphone – Square has been a widely recognized brand name among small businesses and entrepreneurs. There is no question the Square Reader was revolutionary for pop-up shops, mobile businesses, and hobbyists, but for all the convenience it offers to small retailers, the question remains as to whether it’s the right choice for larger, fixed-based businesses, including restaurants.

While Square certainly can be used as a restaurant payment processor, when compared to some other merchant services and payment processing providers, including BAMS, Square and its third-party peers like PayPal and Stripe have some notable drawbacks that make them less than ideal solutions.


While cooking and providing a great dining experience are the passions that drive every restaurant, businesses exist to make money, and with the industry’s notoriously high short-term failure rates, it’s imperative that restaurant owners do everything they can to keep costs to a minimum. One area in which restauranteurs can easily squeeze out extra profit is card processing fees, where even a savings of a fraction of a percent can go a long way towards maximizing long-term profitability. 


Square uses a fixed-rate fee structure that charges 2.65% per transaction and an additional ten cents for every Interac Flash tap. That’s actually a pretty reasonable fee compared to some of the major competitors like Stripe and Paypal, who charge 2.9% plus $0.30 on all transactions. But it still can’t measure up to BAMS. 

BAMS uses interchange-plus pricing, meaning the pricing is based on the interchange fee of the given card plus a small fee added on by the processor. That pricing model enables BAMS to offer lower rates, and in the restaurant industry, the effective rates are often as low as 2.5%, all-in. 

Online Orders

In today’s digital world, consumers expect the option to order and pay online for delivery or pickup in-store. Unfortunately, restaurants using Square for payment processing see a jump in their costs whenever they process a transaction over the web. Square’s online payment processing falls right in-line with PayPal and Stripe at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. 

BAMS, on the other hand, offers the same interchange-plus pricing model, and while card-not-present transactions do carry higher interchange fees, the BAMS pricing model still offers average rates consistently lower than what Square or any of the other third-party processors can offer. 


Square made its name with its original Square Reader for magstripe cards, which first made it possible for small businesses to take payments right on their smartphones. The company now offers a few different hardware products, including a new contactless-chip reader and even a small stand that can house an iPad or Android tablet. But despite the new offerings, one thing remains the same: square’s hardware has always been geared towards the smallest of businesses. 

BAMS, on the other hand, offers clients a wide variety of EMV compliant terminals and pads, so that regardless of whether a restaurant needs a single card reader, a stand-alone terminal, or a full point-of-sale system, BAMS will be there to help. BAMS also integrates seamlessly with some of the industry’s most popular mobile and fixed POS systems, ensuring an easy transition for restaurants already setup with a POS provider. 

Since 2006, BAMS has been providing payment processing and other merchant services to the restaurant industry among countless others. Our unparalleled experience and expertise, combined with our interchange-plus pricing, make BAMS the ideal payment processing partner for restaurants of all sizes and tenure. At BAMS, we don’t just say our rates are lower; we prove it to you. Contact us today to start our unique five step price comparison, in which our team does a line-by-line analysis of the rates and fees you’re currently paying, to show you where and how we can save you money.