Changes to surcharge displays for restaurant and cafés

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The federal government has today announced a cut to the red tape surrounding restaurant and café ownership – it will no longer be necessary to produce separate menus for weekends and public holidays when a surcharge may be applied.

Under the component pricing laws, the final price of a product must be displayed, including all fees and charges.

This meant that restaurants and cafes applying surcharges on weekends and public holidays had to create separate menus just for those days.

This exemption will allow restaurants and cafes that apply a surcharge on weekends and public holidays to do so without having to provide separate menus. The surcharge may instead be presented as a percentage disclaimer.

Restaurants and cafes will no longer have to:

  • print and distribute a different menu for weekends and public holidays; or
  • show two or more lists of prices on the same menu; or
  • undertake changes to the blackboard menu.

“The exemption positively impacts on small business,” Parliamentary secretary for small business, Bernie Ripoll said. “Restaurants and cafes are a valuable part of the Australian economy, so it is important that these businesses are not subject to any unnecessary red tape,” he added.

Australian Consumer Law gives consumers certainty about their rights when dealing with businesses, and these changes still ensure that consumers have protection and clarity when ordering from restaurant and cafe menus.

Businesses are still bound to the general obligations of the law such as not partaking in misleading and deceptive conduct when displaying and marketing prices and charges.

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