26th May, 2014

Changes to Sunday penalty rates a boost for the cafe sector

Sundays are a great time to visit a cafe, but with high penalty rates for staff employment, many cafe owners were unable to open on Sundays.

However, from the first of July, the penalty rate applied to staff working on a Sunday is dropping. The current rate of 175 per cent of usual wage is being replaced by a lower rate of 150 per cent.

With employees earning time and half on Sundays instead of time and three-quarters, cafes will be more inclined to open on this additional day and make the most of weekend traffic.

Restaurant and Catering Australia CEO John Hart pointed to the added convenience these changes would bring to cafe operators.

"This will provide labour cost relief for restaurant and cafe operators currently trading on Sundays," said Mr Hart. "Businesses that are currently shut on Sundays may re-consider closing – returning convenience to Sunday diners."

Mr Hart suggested that this change would save the restaurant and cafe industry $112 million a year. This doesn't take into account the gains in revenue from more cafes opening on a Sunday.

Opening seven days a week increases risk 

While opening on Sundays is a big opportunity for Australian cafe owners, there is still an added risk that comes with operating seven days a week.

For hands-on managers, opening seven days will mean delegating some management responsibilities for a couple of days every week. This may increase the opportunities for problems to occur – whether that is faulty machinery causing injury or any other dangers to staff and customers.

The solution for cafe managers and owners is to invest in comprehensive cafe insurance. This will give you peace of mind that, no matter how many days your cafe is open, any problems can be handled quickly and professionally. 

Author: Murray Bruce