Public holiday surcharge?

frannjipani 11 October 2011 25

Was anyone else caught out with the “15% surcharge for public holiday” sign at cafes and restaurants today?

My better half wouldn’t let me say that it wasn’t legal to put up the sign and that they needed to have a menu indicating the public holiday price.

Outraged… it is not the first year of this law so why is Gaudi at Woden still trying it on…

We chose to only have a coffee, and eat elsewhere – wish I could have said something… boys??


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dvaey dvaey 10:42 am 12 Oct 11

ConanOfCooma said :

The problem is that the owners and managers simply don’t care. What?!? Are you going to report them? To whom? Then what will be done? Nothing.

Report them to dept of fair trading? I know in the past when Ive done this about wage problems, Ive gotten backpaid for what I was owed. They might not get a fine or any other penalty, but at least their employees might get what they deserve.

dvaey dvaey 10:32 am 12 Oct 11

pezza said :

I’ve always been paid double time on public holidays.

Well, youre one of the lucky ones. Enough people werent being paid their penalty rates that the workplace ombudsman and governments got involved.

I dont have a problem paying a surcharge, what I disagree with is when a business jacks up their prices by 10% to cover a public holilday, but pays their employees standard rate.. if what Im paying in surcharge goes to the employees who are giving up their time, thats all good.. if its going to the business owner who sees a public holiday as a good chance to make an extra couple of hundred bucks for themselves, then they can sod off

I never got the separate menu legislation anyway. Surely as long as you’re informed of any additional charges before you make the purchase that should suffice?

And to the OP, would you have been more likely to order food if the 15% surcharge had silently been listed in the menu once you sat down instead of advertised before you enter the premises?

Even with our separate menu we get people complaining. If you want me to give up my day off so that you don’t have to cook dinner, then how about you compensate me for that.

taninaus taninaus 7:39 pm 11 Oct 11

pptvb said :

davo101 said :

The requirement to have separate menus including any surcharges is being quietly dropped. None of the cafes I go to in Canberra, that charge weekend surcharges, bothered to print separate menus anyway.

So, what is the current legalities?
These are proposed changes….have things changed back?

Sorry davo101 they can’t ‘quietly drop the separate menus without breaking the law in Canberra. Frannjipani – I would have been up for challenging them – your other half is too nice – , hopefully it is ignorance rather than blatant disrespect for the law.

dungfungus dungfungus 7:02 pm 11 Oct 11

BimboGeek said :

Well they’d be reported to Fair Trading ACT and would be in a world of pain. People can be banned from ever running a business again if it turns out they are deliberately misleading their customers. Not sure if that’s actually happening here but there are still some nasty penalties for doing the wrong thing.

I tried to contact Fair Traiding on Monday to complain but apparently they were not working. I think there was a public holiday unique to Canberra to double up on the one 7 days previously and those who had to work were paid triple time!
What a great country we live in. Soon nothing will be open at weekends or public holidays.

MissChief MissChief 5:22 pm 11 Oct 11

15% surcharge at Coffee Club in DFO the Monday before last, 3 Oct. Advertised prices were the same as normal. The surcharge was added at the end of the bill, so the $33 total ended up being $38.

BigDave BigDave 4:33 pm 11 Oct 11

djk said :

Morgan said :

I have never understood why certain parts of the hospitality industry think they can surcharge based on the days of the week.

Trousers dont cost more on Sundays
Schooners dont cost more on Sundays
Groceries dont cost more on Sundays
Train tickets often cost less on Sundays
Birthday Cards dont cost more on Sundays
Big Macs dont cost more on Sundays

Then why does the Bigbreakfast with a Long Black cost 10% more? I know that staff costs are higher on Public Holidays, but surely the patronage is also higher? Why is it only hospitality which gets away with this?

+1. Same with bus fares, hair cuts or most other services – it costs more to pay the staff on those days and we don’t get slugged with a surcharge.

I agree with the “if you don’t like it, don’t eat there” sentiment, but you have to ask why it is allowed to be charged in the first place.

Actually, Action staff are paid at the same rate on a public holiday as they are on a normal weekday so if anything Action Buses are saving money. There are also less shifts on a public holiday due to them being Sunday timetables so even less wages to pay out.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 4:09 pm 11 Oct 11

Well they’d be reported to Fair Trading ACT and would be in a world of pain. People can be banned from ever running a business again if it turns out they are deliberately misleading their customers. Not sure if that’s actually happening here but there are still some nasty penalties for doing the wrong thing.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 3:59 pm 11 Oct 11

Not all industries attract penalty rates on public holidays and weekends, but not sure on hospitality. I sure as hell know that at Perisher Blue we weren’t paid extra for weekends, late or night work.

But the law does state that the surchage has to be incorporated into the displayed price, not a side note that states “15% surcharge on public holidays”.

The problem is that the owners and managers simply don’t care. What?!? Are you going to report them? To whom? Then what will be done? Nothing.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 3:49 pm 11 Oct 11

My cafe staff (service staff, chefs, dishy, supervisors) get extra pay on Sundays and even more on public holidays, around time and a half for most of them. We have a Sundays and holidays menu and it’s entered separately in our computerised cash register.

Since we are overloaded with patrons most Sundays we don’t mind if our regulars prefer to come in on quieter days when service is cheaper or take advantage of our specials on the very quiet nights.

We wouldn’t dream of slugging customers with extra fees as it’s illegal and misleading. When the law changed, we just stopped charging the surcharge until we could get the menus reprinted. I had no idea anyone was still doing that.

mehedges mehedges 3:24 pm 11 Oct 11

I think it’s completely stupid especially at some of the cafe’s in garema place. I know for a fact most of those places don’t pay penalties for weekend and public holiday work.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 2:13 pm 11 Oct 11

Depending on the award, public holidays attract between double to quadruple the normal weekday wage. In most of Canberra’s electrical retailers, public holidays were the sweetest day to work cashier, earning those staff about double what the sales people on commission ended up getting.

sirocco sirocco 12:40 pm 11 Oct 11

djk said :

Morgan said :

I have never understood why certain parts of the hospitality industry think they can surcharge based on the days of the week.

Trousers dont cost more on Sundays
Schooners dont cost more on Sundays
Groceries dont cost more on Sundays
Train tickets often cost less on Sundays
Birthday Cards dont cost more on Sundays
Big Macs dont cost more on Sundays

Then why does the Bigbreakfast with a Long Black cost 10% more? I know that staff costs are higher on Public Holidays, but surely the patronage is also higher? Why is it only hospitality which gets away with this?

+1. Same with bus fares, hair cuts or most other services – it costs more to pay the staff on those days and we don’t get slugged with a surcharge.

I agree with the “if you don’t like it, don’t eat there” sentiment, but you have to ask why it is allowed to be charged in the first place.

Umm. Hairdressers usually aren’t open on public holidays and busses are run less often, requiring less staff. So, yeah, they do “slug” you in some way so as to cover the higher wage costs.

djk djk 12:30 pm 11 Oct 11

Morgan said :

I have never understood why certain parts of the hospitality industry think they can surcharge based on the days of the week.

Trousers dont cost more on Sundays
Schooners dont cost more on Sundays
Groceries dont cost more on Sundays
Train tickets often cost less on Sundays
Birthday Cards dont cost more on Sundays
Big Macs dont cost more on Sundays

Then why does the Bigbreakfast with a Long Black cost 10% more? I know that staff costs are higher on Public Holidays, but surely the patronage is also higher? Why is it only hospitality which gets away with this?

+1. Same with bus fares, hair cuts or most other services – it costs more to pay the staff on those days and we don’t get slugged with a surcharge.

I agree with the “if you don’t like it, don’t eat there” sentiment, but you have to ask why it is allowed to be charged in the first place.

pptvb pptvb 12:25 pm 11 Oct 11

pezza said :

dvaey said :

We ordered pizza last night and got hit with the surcharge too… I wonder if theyre paying staff penalty rates yet to justify the surcharge?

I’ve always been paid double time on public holidays.

I never got the separate menu legislation anyway. Surely as long as you’re informed of any additional charges before you make the purchase that should suffice?

And to the OP, would you have been more likely to order food if the 15% surcharge had silently been listed in the menu once you sat down instead of advertised before you enter the premises?

Even with our separate menu we get people complaining. If you want me to give up my day off so that you don’t have to cook dinner, then how about you compensate me for that.

I think the issue some people have here Pezza is that not all staff are paid penalty rates for public holidays & week-ends. It depends on their EBA’s or contracts.
In these cases it seems a bit greedy of the restaurants to charge the surcharge if their costs aren’t affected.

Innovation Innovation 12:08 pm 11 Oct 11

I have no problems with a surcharge so long as it is clearly advertised somewhere before ordering. If there isn’t a surcharge that might mean that customers outside holidays pay a premium for the business to stay open in the holiday. Charging a surcharge doesn’t stop other nearby businesses competing on price or penalties if they want to anyway. Also, I would much prefer a surcharge and more accurate pricing than being expected to guess what an appropriate tip is.

Henry82 Henry82 12:05 pm 11 Oct 11

Morgan said :

I have never understood why certain parts of the hospitality industry think they can surcharge based on the days of the week.

Staff get paid time and a half on sundays (usually).

Otherwise, yes i agree with you for every other day of the week,

Classified Classified 12:04 pm 11 Oct 11

Mummy, it’s not FAIR.

Canberra is already an expensive city, and the cafes here are no different. This is the case for no reason other than that people will pay.

Morgan Morgan 11:09 am 11 Oct 11

I have never understood why certain parts of the hospitality industry think they can surcharge based on the days of the week.

Trousers dont cost more on Sundays
Schooners dont cost more on Sundays
Groceries dont cost more on Sundays
Train tickets often cost less on Sundays
Birthday Cards dont cost more on Sundays
Big Macs dont cost more on Sundays

Then why does the Bigbreakfast with a Long Black cost 10% more? I know that staff costs are higher on Public Holidays, but surely the patronage is also higher? Why is it only hospitality which gets away with this?

pezza pezza 10:46 am 11 Oct 11

dvaey said :

We ordered pizza last night and got hit with the surcharge too… I wonder if theyre paying staff penalty rates yet to justify the surcharge?

I’ve always been paid double time on public holidays.

I never got the separate menu legislation anyway. Surely as long as you’re informed of any additional charges before you make the purchase that should suffice?

And to the OP, would you have been more likely to order food if the 15% surcharge had silently been listed in the menu once you sat down instead of advertised before you enter the premises?

Even with our separate menu we get people complaining. If you want me to give up my day off so that you don’t have to cook dinner, then how about you compensate me for that.

pptvb pptvb 10:33 am 11 Oct 11

davo101 said :

The requirement to have separate menus including any surcharges is being quietly dropped. None of the cafes I go to in Canberra, that charge weekend surcharges, bothered to print separate menus anyway.

So, what is the current legalities?
These are proposed changes….have things changed back?

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