Foodservice Equipment Reports

Operators To Reap Rewards From Financial Reform Bill

The team won one for the tipper, or so it seems from the foodservice industry’s reaction to President Obama’s signing of the financial reform bill last week. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act includes the interchange fee provision long championed by foodservice operators and other retail merchants. The bill authorizes the Federal Reserve to issue regulations ensuring interchange fees imposed on debit-card transactions are “reasonable and proportional.” In addition, it allows merchants to set minimum amounts ($10 or higher per transaction) for credit-card usage and offer customers discounts for use of cash, checks, and debit cards, directly passing on the savings to consumers.

“Interchange fee reform has long been a priority for the restaurant industry,” said Scott DeFife, exec. v.p. of Policy & Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Merchants pay about $48 billion in interchange fees every year. For restaurants, interchange fees are often the third greatest operating expense, behind labor and food costs. We are pleased that Congress recognized the need for fairer debit-card interchange fees and more flexibility for merchants in credit-card practices.”

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