Price of Sunday trade keeping CBD eatery closed

TOOWOOMBA Phatburgers restaurant co-owner Richard May-Steers is waiting for the day staff penalty rates on a Sunday to fall in line with Saturday so he can re-open the CBD store to customers.

The Productivity Commission handed down its final report into workplace relations this week with a recommendation to reduce Sunday penalties to Saturday's time-and-a-half rate.

The report signalled a need for Saturday and Sunday rates to be aligned at the lower rate across entertainment, hospitality and retail industries to create a "weekend rate".

Mr May-Steers said the high cost of wages for workers was the sole reason the Ruthven St CBD store closed its doors on Sundays.

"It's not worth my while to open the doors on Sunday at the moment, but if the changes happen, we'll open it back up, 100 per cent," he said.

The Phatburgers store at Northpoint shopping centre currently opens on Sundays with a "streamlined" staff of two, half that needed in the larger city centre store.

"At this point we're prepared to just pay the rent on that day and not take a loss as well," he said.

"The council is trying to bring people into the CBD on the weekends and they're spending money to do that, but what's the point if the shops can't open?

"We've got massive growth happening in the city, the more we can do to stimulate it and get shops open is a win-win."

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the government would consider the final report and recommendations.

"If there is a good case for sensible and fair changes to the workplace relations framework, these will be clearly outlined and taken to the next election to seek a mandate from the Australian people," she said.


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