Forking out

Passion is what gets a cafe started, but it's tough decisions that keep it going. I'm not talking about going green or changing coffee suppliers (we serve Coffee Supreme BTW); its workplace regulations keeping me up right now.

Last year we made a commitment to open on Sundays, with a 10% surcharge to cover weekend labour costs.  A surcharge clearly links the cost (the products and services provided) with the revenue earned on specific days. That way, during the week you are not subsidising the products and services others receive on a weekend.  I think everyone gets it, that penalty rates affect small businesses like ours. Regardless, Wangaratta's embraced Sunday's at Derailleur; we get a great weekend buzz. Thanks y'all.

There's nothing worse that working all week and finally, a public holiday; a free day to spend with friends or family... and all the cafe's in town are closed! Try us, we'll be open. Drum roll please... In response to customer demand, in 2016 we'll be open 364 days of the year - our team's only taking Christmas off.

I'll be upfront; to do this sustainably we'll be applying a 20% public holiday surcharge.

Let me explain as I know this is a contentious issue.  Penalty rates might have been introduced to compensate staff for working when others are with their family or friends, but they add so much to my wage bill that without a surcharge it's pointless opening the doors on a public holiday. On those days, we'd either just cover our variable expenses (food and wages) and there's even a chance we'd lose money.  A surcharge also allows me, as the business owner, to be with my family for some of the time over these periods without hyperventilating about the risk I'm taking opening on these days!

Of course you, the customer, are always right. Watch us over Easter - POP IN WE'LL BE OPEN! Afterwards, ask me how it went. 

This has been tough for me and there's been plenty of latte spilt making this decision. But that's business, it's 99% exhilaratingly great fun and 1% tough calls (or is it the other way round?) Have you had to make any big decisions so far this year?