Can somebody please explain to me, why, oh why does the hospitality industry persist with their idiotic statutory holiday surcharge carry-on? Don’t get me wrong, I understand their reasoning. I manage a large team of staff in a 7 day operation and it’s certainly true that staying open [a voluntary act, remember] on a stat is far from cheap. You’re obliged to pay all staff working these days at time and half rate and if it’s their regular rostered day, they get a day-off in lieu too. So sure, I get it, pulling coffees on Queens Birthday costs management a low-rent king’s ransom. But what I don’t get is why these businesses only attempt to recoup the extra costs of staffing, on the actual day. We have a very funny approach to service in New Zealand per se, and this another great example. The surcharge- often 20%- just comes across as greedy and totally puts me off eating out at all on such days. It’s not that I can’t afford it- I just don’t see why I should. Lots of other businesses open on stats and they seem to get by without charging a stupid surcharge.
While I boycotted all of Devonport’s [mostly deeply mediocre] cafes yesterday, I did call in at the excellent Evergreen Books [a brilliant local second-hand book shop with a very decent food section www.evergreenbooks.co.nz ] and picked up some bed-time pulp for the week. Guess what? No surcharge! Later on I went to New World. Again, no surcharge. So what’s so bloody special about the hospitality industry?
By all means, recover the unquestionably steep costs of opening on a stat but do it incrementally across the whole year. In other words, charge a wee bit more every day rather than a big greedy lump a few times a year. And if you don’t like that, just don’t open! Nobody’s forcing you.
Then again, this could just be the ravings of a misinformed cantankerous git. Any café or restaurant owners should feel free to put me in my place right about now…