The restaurant industry is concerned about the implementation of new pricing rules which will oblige operators to have different menus for weekends and public holidays. This would involve listing the different price of each meal, not just the final surcharge.
The industry's peak body, Restaurant and Catering Australia, contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and asked that the new rules be applied in the more distant future. However, after receiving no response from the ACCC, they then contacted Federal Government ministers.
R&CA chief executive officer John Hart said the ACCC had failed to consult the industry on the laws or advise of the change before it came into effect. Hart said that the industry does not expect the law to be withdrawn but they would like some time to be able to comply: “We aren’t likely to get any relief from [the new rules], but what we are pushing for is an extension of the moratorium period to give restaurateurs some time to catch up,” Hart said.
“They went through a process of inquiring into the new legislation and we were told by the Government that we would have some clarification about where restaurants stood.
“That clarification never happened and the next thing we know the ACCC is coming out with threats to fine restaurants who have a surcharge. It is very harsh.”