One of New Zealand's top vineyards will hit punters with a 20 per cent surcharge on Monday.

Waiheke's Stonyridge Vineyard and cafe sits at the pricier end of the scale for those looking to dine out on Monday - with the day being deemed a public holiday after the Mondayisation of Waitangi Day.

Stonyridge general manager David Jackson said a surcharge wasn't something he liked to do, but it was the "commercial reality" of having to cover the extra staffing costs.

"We take no pleasure in doing it," he said. "It is what it is ... we need it to cover the additional wage costs."


Typically restaurants add a surcharge of between 10 to 15 per cent though some choose to forgo it completely, whereas others charge as much as 20 per cent more.

Of the 26 companies the Weekend Herald spoke to this week, eight imposed a surcharge of between 15 and 20 per cent, 16 didn't charge any extra and two closed.

Of the fast-food chains contacted, Tank Juice Bar was the only one that appeared to charge more on a public holiday, adding 15 per cent to its prices.

A Tank spokeswoman said that had been the company policy, but it was under review.

"As with all businesses who charge a surcharge, it is to cover the greatly increased staff costs of time-and-a-half and a day in lieu. However, it is a policy we've been seriously reviewing over the last month."

Surcharges are businesses' response to the Holidays Act 2003, which saw anyone working on a holiday paid time-and-a-half as well as getting a day in lieu.

Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said surcharges needed to be "within reason" and questioned whether 20 per cent fell in that bracket.

"Businesses are paying more for staff, but they shouldn't take this as an excuse to charge excessive prices." While staff costs were more it was likely many businesses would see additional patronage on a public holiday, she said.

We take no pleasure in doing it. It is what it is ... we need it to cover the additional wage costs.


But Ms Chetwin said consumers always had the choice of finding an alternative place to dine if they were unhappy with the surcharge.

Mr Jackson couldn't quantify the cost of not imposing a surcharge, adding it was hard to tell, even with the surcharge, if the company would break even.

Nicholas Jones, owner of Mudbrick Restaurant and Vineyard, also on Waiheke, estimated the cost of not having a surcharge to be in the region of $25,000 a year.

But despite the hefty "financial hit" he'd made a call, just before the Christmas holidays, to forgo his usual surcharge.

"The more we looked at it, we just thought let's make our customers happy."

But Mr Jones said not everyone could afford to do the same.

Hospitality New Zealand national president Adam Cunningham said none of those charging more on a holiday were in it for the money.

"No one is trying to rip anyone off," he said.

"There is no way they can offset costs of being open on the day without making the money back somewhere."