1492060706637 - Customers must be told about surcharges before buying

Customers must be told about surcharges before buying

It pays to shop around for the best cafe deal over the Easter weekend as some plan to impose a surcharge for opening on the public holiday days.

The Commerce Commission said if food and drink establishments charged an extra fee for being open on Friday or Monday, they must clearly and accurately tell customers before they bought anything.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are the only public holidays over the Easter holiday period.

Wellington cafe Flight Coffee Hanger will be open everyday over the break and manager Anthony Blewman said his staff were getting ready for a busy weekend.

READ MORE: * Mihaere: I don’t have a problem with Easter Trading and I’m a Christian * Retail workers say opening on Easter Sunday robs them of a break

“We don’t have a surcharge. I don’t make the call but I think it does put customers off if we have one. It can be frustrating for customers if they get charged extra,” he said.

“I do understand when places do have a surcharge because they have to pay their staff time-and-a-half but that’s what you pay I guess to be open on those days.”

Cuba Street’s Midnight Espresso manager Hayden Jefcoate also said he didn’t see the need for a surcharge.

“No we don’t have a surcharge. We’re open right through and staff are paid time-and-a-half.”

Beach Babylon on Oriental Parade would charge a 15 per cent surcharge to cover the extra staff costs.

The cafe’s co-owner Lydia Suggate said one reason she would add on a surcharge was because it would slow down service.

“We’re so busy we need to slow it down. We do it so we’re not slammed,” Suggate said.

“We have a sign at the counter that tells customers about the surcharge. We’ve done it for eight years so people know.”

Her other cafe, The Botanist, which opened earlier this year in Wellington’s Lyall Bay would not have a surcharge because it was not as popular.

“It’s a tricky one. I do believe in charging a surcharge because you’re buying a service we don’t have to be open for,” she said.

“But we’re newly open and it could put people off.”

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