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Former cafe owner fined $20,000 for illegal holiday surcharges on menu

The ACCC continues to crack down on ‘illegal holiday surcharges’ on menus, with a cafe owner ordered to pay a penalty of $20,000 by the Federal Court for failing to provide ‘all inclusive pricing’ on their menus.

Services Sector Heather RidoutA.I. Constructions (ACT) Pty Ltd, the former owner of Babar Café and Bar (Woden) in the Australian Capital Territory was ordered to pay the penalty. In addition the court declared that A.I. Constructions breached section 53C of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by setting out on its menus a 10 percent surcharge for Sundays and public holidays without also specifying the single total price for menu items inclusive of the surcharge.

A.I. Constructions has since sold Babar Café and Bar (Woden) and it is important to note that the proceedings taken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission did not include the new owner of the business.

The orders made in relation to A.I. Constructions follows the ACCC obtaining orders by consent in the Federal Court on 2 November 2010 against two Sydney restaurants for similar conduct, requiring each trader to pay a penalty of $13,200.

“The penalties given to restaurants over the past two months for breaches of section 53C of the Act should act as a deterrent to any business contemplating hiding charges by not stating a single, all inclusive price for any good or service available for sale,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.

For more details on how to comply with the ACCC’s holiday surcharges requirements, visit our earlier article on the subject.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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