The association representing independent Little Caesars franchisees has endorsed Heartland Payment Systems Inc. for payroll and transaction-processing services.

Members of the of Auburn Hills, Mich.-based association are under no obligation to use Heartland for these services, but those that do will receive special pricing, Micah Kershner, Heartland director of national accounts, tells PaymentsSource. The association’s members operate more than 900 Little Caesars restaurants.

Pricing for transaction-processing services will vary, based on each merchant’s situation, Kershner says. He would not disclose what those factors might be.

The number of employees will be an important factor in pricing Heartland’s payroll services to the merchants, Kershner says. Heartland will market its services to the merchants via its direct sales force, he adds.

Long noted for its presence within the restaurant industry, Heartland signed in January a similar deal with the National Restaurant Association, whose members operate more than 954,000 locations (see story). 

Heartland says in its 2009 annual report that restaurants represented 27.4% of its merchant portfolio as of Dec. 31.

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