Bill S-215 on credit card fees tackles key concern of restaurant operators

OTTAWA, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian restaurateurs are concerned and frustrated by the rising fees they are being charged by credit card companies on each customer transaction. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is calling for more government action to put the brakes on runaway fees, which in many cases exceed the profits on a typical restaurant transaction.

Visa Canada's recent notice that they plan to significantly increase credit card fees and introduce a new super premium card next year has highlighted the need for action.

"If the cash-back offers, travel awards and other bells and whistles that come with credit cards seem too good to be true - it is because they are," says CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte.  "Financial institutions are off-loading these costs onto merchants through higher credit card fees, and through the process raking in handsome profits. Restaurant operators are getting squeezed and all consumers end up paying more."

Adding insult to injury, restaurant owners must pay credit card fees on the tax they are required to collect for governments.  When you include the credit card fee on the tax and tip, the credit card companies' take at the end of the day is higher than the restaurants'.

"Our members are asking for help from government to bring some fairness to this unbalanced dynamic," says Whyte.  "The Senate bill introduced today brings some much-needed attention to this important issue."

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

SOURCE: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

contact CRFA Communications:  Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, 416-649-4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca;  Jill Holroyd, 416-649-4217 or jholroyd@crfa.ca

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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