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Why Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker Refuses To Accept American Express

Like most small business owners, Pok Pok owner Andy Ricker has a bad romance with credit card companies, particularly when it comes to their fees. In his review of the Thai restaurant, eagle-eyed Bloomberg restaurant critic Ryan Sutton noticed that, “somewhat appropriately, in a credit card-style fine-print font at the bottom of the menu,” Ricker states that he will not accept American Express credit cards at his restaurant.

This is weird, according to Sutton, since the majority of restaurants in NYC accept AmEx cards (and the loaded corporate diners who wield them). But as Ricker explained to Sutton’s blog The Price Hike, it’s a matter of knowing his clientele, not to mention American Express has some “outrageous” fees.

 We really don’t attract many corporate clients, don’t really have a space to do that type of business and have never had to take A.E. to maintain business, so we don’t. I’d rather not accept cards at all, but don’t want the grief of dealing with pissed off people all the time because of it. Long story short, restaurants operate on tight margin, and credit card feeds (which get taken off the top of gross receipts including tips) can really cut into the profits. It’s really disheartening to see how much they get for doing very little…In some case it can be close to 2-3% of gross receipts, and when you run with a 7-10% profit margin, that’s a lot.

The only thing that would make Ricker accept AmEx is if they “drop their fees to the level of a non-rewards Visa or [MasterCard],” but that’s never gonna happen in a million years, because, well, it’s Amex.

[h/t The Price Hike]

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