How Aussie Eateries are Cashing in on Hidden Fees

January 23, 2024 2:29 pm in by

Hidden fees in Aussie eateries are causing uproar down under. Imagine this: You order a parma and a pint for $38. You’re feeling good. You tap your card, and bam the price shoots up to $41.80. Surprise surcharges have become the new norm, slapping an extra 5 to 20% on your bill for silly things like weekends, QR codes, and EFTPOS. Last year, 40% of cafes and restaurants were in on this ‘menu mischief’, up from 25% in 2022.

Why are they doing this? Well, businesses claim it’s the only way to keep up with rising costs. Experts, however, label it as ‘highway robbery’. Aussie law states that card payment surcharges must only cover processing costs. But where’s the fun in that?

Some good guys are absorbing the extra costs or subtly sliding them into the price. The real question here is: Should businesses be passing the buck to their patrons, or are diners getting the short end of the stick?

Article continues after this ad

Amanda Rose, the founder of Small Businesswomen Australia, thinks we’re missing the point. She claims that the real villains are the banks and merchants who are passing down these costs. She suggested that perhaps it’s time we considered a return to the good old days of cash payments. She quipped, “cash is king”, and perhaps she’s right. After all, who wants to pay more for their pint?