With three (or four in QLD) Public Holidays in the next week, labour cost can be a significant impost. A vexed issue for business owners especially cafes and restaurants, is whether to open on Public Holidays and whether there should there be a surcharge. There is a balance between wage costs against opportunities, and often this can be challenging for a business owner to determine.

Near our office, a local cafe has decided to close for the entire weekend, yet they have a functional takeaway window that could easily be manned by one person (and it should be the owner) even if on reduced hours. The opportunity lost is significant and it is difficult to understand their thought process. 

Failing to operate on a holiday weekend can mean the loss of regular customers, especially if they have a good experience at one of your competitors, equally convenience may make it choice for them to switch. 

Understanding the labour cost for the public holidays is important for businesses and making sure that you understand your break-even point is imperative to having a successful venue over the break. Rostering and ensuring that there is no overlap between shifts is equally as important, as costs on these days can blow out with poor planning.

If you are planning to shut over the break it is an opportunity to analyse your business. Having recently brought my 45 years of hospitality and accommodation experience to the team at C&D, I’m looking forward to meeting with business owners to help them to navigate such nuanced issues. I am working for the weekend and can be contacted at kevin@cdrta.au or call 1300 023 782.