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Many restaurants are moving away from traditional merchant card processing services and turning to Square to process their credit card transactions. While traditional credit card processors charge multiple fees for the privilege of accepting credit card payments, Square charges one flat rate per transaction. A flat rate means you know exactly how much you’re spending to process credit card payments, and can boost sales without taking a financial hit. The key is knowing how to use a Square POS system to maximize revenue.

Understanding the Costs

Square charges three fixed rates for various types of transactions. These include:

  • A flat rate of 2.75% for in-store transactions
  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for online purchases
  • 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed in transactions
Unlike other vendors, Square does not charge monthly fees or demand a mandatory minimum of transactions. This keeps the guesswork out of what your monthly fees for credit card processing will be.

Getting Started with Square


1. Sign Up

To get started, create an account with Square. You’ll be asked some standard questions about your restaurant:

  • Type of business
  • Business category
  • Business name
  • Estimated annual revenue
  • Number of employees
Square will also ask you to verify your identity by providing your date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number. Once Square has all of the relevant information, they will require a business bank account number to issue payments. Square deposits credit and debit payments within 1-2 business days.

2. Choose a Credit Card Reader

With Square, you have the choice between a free Magstripe reader or a $29 Square reader that allows for contactless payments (e.g. Apple Pay) and EMV chip cards. Since credit card companies penalize businesses for fraudulent charges due to not having a chip reader, it is best to pay the $29 (your customers will love being able to pay with their phones, too).

3. Download the App and Configure Your Settings

Before you can process payments, you will need to download the Square POS app to a phone or tablet. Once downloaded, you can configure the following settings:
  • Personal and business information, including address and phone number
  • Bank account for receiving deposits
  • Deposit timeline — restaurants can spend an extra 1% to receive instant deposits rather than waiting 1-2 business days
  • Physical location(s) of restaurant(s)
  • Pricing and subscriptions. Square offers various plans and deals for loyalty customers, which is ideal for restaurant chains with numerous locations
  • Receipt customization including colors, text, and logo
  • Device syncing and codes so you can access the app from numerous devices without having to log in every time
  • Purchase additional accessories such as more card readers or a tablet stand
  • Configure tax forms to report online revenue

4. Conduct Your First Sale

Once you’ve configured the app and given it permission to access your restaurant’s device, you’re ready to process payments.

Running a card is as simple as entering in the transaction amount, clicking the charge button, and selecting the appropriate payment option. If necessary, Square will compute tip amounts as well. Next, select the type of receipt the customer wants: text, email, or none.

Additional Features

Manually entering every sale can become tedious over time. This is why Square lets you input inventory items and keeps track of inventory and adjusts when an item is purchased. If you have only 10 cakes in your inventory system, Square will keep track of how many are left so that you don’t oversell.

Square also provides analytics to allow you to generate reports for sales by employee, payment method, and item. You can request reports by the hour, day, week, month, or year for comparative analysis. Square POS System also synchronizes with numerous accounting platforms, including QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, Xero, Kashoo Accounting, OneUp, TaxJar, and more.

Small or new restaurants need simple solutions for processing their credit card payments. Square is an easy-to-use application that can also help keep track of inventory. MarketMan’s inventory management system is the perfect complement to Square’s POS. MarketMan’s turnkey Square integration can help you streamline food costs and optimize your ordering process. Request a free demo today !  

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