Eateries urged to slap on surcharges
Getting out on a public holiday for a meal is often up there with beach going and a country drive, but why are some eateries adding a surcharge?
Hospitality New Zealand national treasurer Tony Crosbie said bigger cities, including Wellington and Auckland, were ‘‘really hitting hard’’ with the holiday surcharge while operators in smaller cities were less inclined to charge extra or opting to close.
Closing in peak tourist time wasn’t ideal either, he said.
Crosbie said during visits to Kaiko¯ ura and Blenheim over the Christmas period, he saw 60 per cent of eateries shut for business.
‘‘It’s quite concerning because all the accommodation is chocka and a lot of people had nowhere to go.’’
He said eateries should be opening and passing on the costs to customers ‘‘where they can’’ to allow for the increased cost of wages.
Many cafes and restaurants around Nelson were split on hiking the prices. Nelson’s Lambretta’s Cafe Bar co-owner Rhys Odey said adding a 10 per cent surcharge, which was lower than the standard 15 per cent, was necessary.
In accordance with Employment New Zealand, staff working on a public holiday are required to be paid at least time and a half, and if the day falls on a normal work day for the employee, they are also entitled to another day off on pay (day in lieu).
But Odey said the 10 per cent surcharge didn’t come close to recovering the extra costs. ‘‘It’s the days in lieu that kill you.’’
River Kitchen Nelson opens nine out of the 11 annual public holidays and doesn’t increase the bill. Co-owner Clare Fleming said employers had to ‘‘suck it up’’.
‘‘Before we had a cafe, I just wouldn’t go to places that charge a surcharge. It just annoys me.’’
She said more than half their turnover on a public holiday went towards staff wages.