Aussies could face an extra surcharge this long weekend.


It has been anticipated that restaurants and cafes across the country are likely to increase their costs throughout the long weekend.

Although it is normal to expect a 10% to 15% surcharge, some businesses will hike it as high as 20% on diners, as per one consumer campaigner.

In an interview, Fifty Up Club’s Christopher Zinn stated, “It might be a different surcharge on Saturday and then on Sunday, or 15% throughout the weekend. It’s incredibly confusing and bewildering.”

Can businesses legally add a surcharge?

It is legal as long as the customer knows that they have been subjected to surcharges on weekends and public holidays.

However, many businesses avoid opening up on weekends and public holidays as they are penalized for paying extra to the staff. However, some would add a surcharge to hide these additional costs.

As per the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), one of the rules in the business is that they can’t hide the surcharges on the menu.

“If they charge such a surcharge, they must include these words on the menu: A surcharge of [percentage] applies on [day or days],” the ACCC stated.

Is there a limit on surcharges?

There are no limits to imposing surcharges; businesses are at liberty to set their own public holiday surcharge rates.

As per Zinn, some businesses were imposing 20% surcharges; however, it was more “rare.”

“I see some businesses complain that even at 15% or 10%—which is more average—they lose money,” Zinn stated.

“One might say, ‘Why open if you lose money?’ But again, I suppose there is the expectation now from consumers that there is 24/7 service all the time, and if you don’t stay open, then your business might suffer more broadly.”

As per one Canberra business owner, “no surcharge [was] too high,” as businesses had to pay 150% more in terms of wages on Sundays and public holidays.

Zinn further conveyed that it was “fair enough” for businesses to impose heavy surcharges, but customers should also question it.

“I think it’s fair enough as consumers that we do continue to question whether that is fair and it is prominent, and we are prepared to pay it,” he stated.

- Published By Team Australia News

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