Cafes may face weekend surcharge listed on menu

Diana Tagget, owner of Zest Cafe in Goonellabah, refuses to charge her customers a surcharge on weekends. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Diana Tagget, owner of Zest Cafe in Goonellabah, refuses to charge her customers a surcharge on weekends. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

MENUS at cafes and restaurants may need to change next year to clearly inform customers of weekend and public holiday surcharges, according to a government proposal.

An amendment to the Competition and Consumer Regulation drafted for 2013 specifies that menus will need to include the words "a surcharge of (percentage) applies on (the specified days)".

The amendment also stated that the menus will have to be displayed "at least as prominently as the most prominent display on the menu".

The public and hospitality sector has until Friday, Janu- ary 18, 2013 to comment on the changes.

Zest eatery in Goonellabah Shopping Village is one of the cafes open all weekend in Lismore.

The family-owned business has been open for five- and-a-half years and offers six part-time jobs to locals.

Owner Diana Tagget explained she has never applied a weekend surcharge at her cafe.

"We are open on weekends to offer customers continuous service," Ms Tagget said.

"I have thought about a weekend surcharge but things are hard for the public just as they are for businesses, so I just thought I won't apply a surcharge."

Ms Tagget said she was aware that most cafes open on weekends in Lismore charge a surcharge of about 10% but she thought it better to sacrifice some profits to keep the customer base in the long term.

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