Editorial: Surcharge fast losing its bite at eateries

By Kelly Makiha

1 comment

Thank goodness Rotorua restaurants, cafes and bars are ditching the idea of charging surcharges on public holidays.

A check of local eateries by our reporter this week revealed surcharges are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Of the 28 cafes we contacted, only one said it would have a surcharge today, two didn't want to comment, four would close for the day and the rest said they wouldn't add a surcharge.

When surcharges came in 10 years ago, many businesses immediately slapped a 15 per cent fee on total bills. Fair enough too. The surcharge was needed to cover the cost of hiring staff to work on public holidays after the then Labour Government made changes to the Holidays Act to ensure all employees were paid time-and-a-half for working those days.

It was a good move by the Government, especially for workers. They deserve more pay for working these holidays.

But businesses can't just pull this money out of nowhere. They need to pass that cost onto the consumers.

In saying that, there's nothing worse than heading out on a public holiday for a nice bite to eat with family or friends and finding yourself having to fork out extra.

You simply decide to stay home - and that's not good for business.

Thankfully many businesses now work those costs in to their annual budgets to spread the expense more evenly.

That way, everyone wins.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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