RESTAURANT and cafe owners have applauded a proposal to relax penalty rates paid to hospitality staff, calling it a “win-win situation”.
Clinton Dalzell, who owns Simply Nile with his wife Tania, said reducing the penalty rates made sense.
“We live in a seven day a week, 24 hours a day society, there’s no such thing as a weekend,” he said.
“It (penalty rates) is an antiquated system.”
“There’s increasing pressure on costs as far as running business, it’s hard enough to keep your head above water ... every week there’s someone with their hand out.”
Mr Dalzell said a reduction in penalty rates would encourage businesses to open on public holidays.
“At the moment the costs associated with opening on public holidays make it not worthwhile.”
Graze Brasserie owner Stewart Broughton said he already pays above award rates, however the application of penalty rates means he could be forced to shell out as much as $90 an hour for staff such as waiters, chefs and kitchen hands.
“I’d prefer to save money if I can and use it for staff training somewhere down the track.”
Mr Broughton said owners who no longer paid penalty rates would be able to drop weekend surcharges and open longer.
“It would be fantastic, a win win situation for everyone, places would be open on a public holidays and families could dine out more often.”
Scrumptious on Summer Cafe’s owner Suzy Glasby said she also supported the proposal.
“It will enable more places to open up on weekends and public holidays,” she said.