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How Burger Chef launched their business using Zero Cost EFTPOS

Burger Chef is a newly opened burger shop in Newcastle. The owner, Dorrian used to run a pizza business 5 years ago. Back then he used to pay $800 a month in merchant fees across his 3 stores. He realised with a tighter margin, his new business should not be absorbing those fees.

Dorrian decided to go with Zero Cost EFTPOS, which allows him to automatically pass the transaction fees to his customers through a low automatic card surcharge. This Zero Cost EFTPOS solution enables him to keep prices down and invest in local area marketing to grow his new business.

close up of burger meal

Tell us about your business.

It’s a burger shop – Burger Chef. We’ve been operating just over a month. Business is going good – definitely not complaining. We’re exceeding expectations for where we thought we’d be.

How did you hear about Zero Cost EFTPOS?

A friend of mine, an old boss, rang me up one day as he knew we were opening soon and he suggested I give it a go. My old boss pays $70k a year in EFTPOS transactions so for a big business like that it’s insane. He saw the counter cards for Zero Cost EFTPOS in a cafe in Coffs Harbour. When he paid, he saw how the terminal added a surcharge automatically and it came out separately on the receipt. He talked to the owner about it and he was happy and saving $20k a year in transaction fees. There was no risk for us because we weren’t changing anything given that we were just starting up.

What were the challenges with your previous EFTPOS solution?

About 5 years ago we had EFTPOS with another business. It was an old clunky machine and we had to have a seperate Pay Pass thing.

Close up of burger meal and drink

“I used to pay $800 a month all up in transaction fees across 3 pizza stores. When I look back that is probably why the business didn’t work as that’s a week’s salary for someone – a lot of money.”

-Dorrian, Burger Chef

Transaction fees really chew away your bottom line in a business like this. The cost of food then was 20% – now it’s 40% so margins are a lot tighter. Back then it seemed like a risk to add more on to the cost of a pizza, but now it’s becoming the norm.

How have your customers reacted to paying a card surcharge?

I haven’t had any push back at all. I’ve had two people bring it up. One said ‘did you remember to add the surcharge?’. The other simply said, “Oh, is there a surcharge.” The bigger thing for us is that it enables us to keep our prices lower. Because we are starting out we need to be cheaper to get a bit of exposure and penetration.

We no longer need to pay for the privilege of someone paying with debit card so I can keep it cheaper for everyone else – the 30% still paying by cash.

We got the terminal a week and a half in to opening, as I didn’t want to sign up until our lease was sorted. We noticed an instant sales lift – people came in and asked if there was EFTPOS, we’d say no it’s still in progress, and they’d walk away. We noticed a 30% bumped in sales as soon as we got it. We’re running 80% of transactions through EFTPOS on some nights so it’s a huge deal.

How did you find the process of getting set up with Smartpay EFTPOS?

Easy – plug it in and away you go. I thought you’d have to set it up but it was all ready to go.

The sales person was very helpful. I had my doubts as I hadn’t heard of the brand Smartpay before. He was very helpful and explained everything thoroughly. Our lease was taking forever so the minute we signed the lease we were straight on to the sales rep. We had the terminal within the week.

“Another thing we didn’t realise, was that we didn’t have to set up a different bank account.”

-Dorrian, Burger Chef

I assumed you’d have to set up a bank account with Smartpay. But it can just go into your normal bank which is awesome! Otherwise it gets messy having to transfer the money around.

How are your staff liking the EFTPOS terminal?

We have 2 staff members plus my partner working in the store. Our terminal is standalone so we manually enter in the price. It’s very easy to teach. I just had to show them once. Just press in how much and press OK and away you go.

How much are you saving with Zero Cost EFTPOS?

I would be saving around $200 a month now, and sales are growing so in 4 months time I believe we’ll be saving about $400 a month.

Close up of three burgers

“It means I can spend more on advertising. To us that $200 or $400 pays for leaflet distribution for our whole area, and keeps our prices lower, which everybody is happy with.”

-Dorrian, Burger Chef

What would you say to other merchants considering getting Zero Cost EFTPOS?

Definitely do it. Well worth it.

Want to know more about surcharging?

If you’re keen to learn more about how surcharging on EFTPOS works, or what you could save, find out more about Zero Cost EFTPOS. To talk about how surcharging could work for your business, get in touch with the team at Smartpay.