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Surcharges on menus and credit cards

Published on Apr 15, 2019

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It is quite common to see that a surcharge will be charged for Sundays and public holidays on menus in cafes and restaurants. But as a business are you legally allowed to apply a surcharge and if so, how much?


Yes, restaurants and cafes are allowed to charge a surcharge on Sundays and public holidays, as long as you clearly inform your customers of your intent. You don’t need to calculate the surcharge on the item prices, but you do need to include the words ‘a surcharge of (percentage) applies on (the specified day or days)’ on the menu.


The percentage of the surcharge is left up to the discretion of the business involved, with most opting for anything between 10 and 20 percent. At the end of the day, if as a business owner you charge more than people are prepared to pay they are sure to let you know one way or another.


In NSW all four days over the Easter long weekend are public holidays but this is not necessarily the case in all other states.

calculating surcharges

Surcharges and credit cards

Credit card surcharges were under scrutiny in recent years after some businesses charged excessive fees, or put limits on how much someone had to spend in order to use their credit card.


Both of these practices were cracked down on with business now only allowed to pass on the costs that they are charged for the transaction. This varies depending on the type of credit card.


In our increasingly cashless society this has been well received by consumers and in the end anything that makes spending money easier has got to be good for business.


Further information on credit card charges can be found at the ACCC website.

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