The hospitality sector is a strong job creator in Australia, however a number of regulatory and other business issues are hampering growth, according to research released earlier this month by hospitality point-of-sale provider Impos.

The survey of 652 hospitality business owners, managers and professionals Australia-wide, found penalty rates (71 per cent), credit card and Eftpos fees (48 per cent), and tax and GST compliance (46 per cent) to be the top regulatory concerns facing businesses. The top two issues have not changed since the survey was conducted last year.

Sean O’Meara, CEO of Impos said: “The recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time hospitality employees will enable business owners to employ more staff, open at peak trade days and times, and invest more in their business. If you consider a large proportion of sales are made over the weekend and on public holidays, and that the industry has dubbed penalty rates their number one issue for the second year in a row, it’s clear why this decision will be a welcome reprieve.”

Many are also hoping to see the anticipated cut in the corporate tax rate announced in the FY 18 Federal Budget. More than a third of businesses would reinvest savings into their venue, and nearly a quarter would repay business debt. However, a fifth stated the cut would have no impact on the business.

“The corporate tax cut would create a more competitive industry with business owners investing more in their business. It would also decrease the debt burden on small business owners if they are able to pay off loans quicker,” O’Meara said.

Outside regulation, findings show the top three business issues hospitality businesses face are the hiring and retaining of staff (54 per cent), increasing operating costs (52 per cent) and attracting and retaining customers (47 per cent).

Nearly three quarters of the hospitality industry found competition has increased in the last 12 months, with over half admitting this was the top reason for losing revenue over this period.

“Business owners can better prepare themselves for growing competition by marketing smarter through the data captured within their point of sale (POS) solution—which will help them define their key customers, build loyalty, and create differentiation through special promotions,” O’Meara said.



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