STAFF CARE: Nourish Cafe owner Judy Plath with valued staff member Josh Gaddes.
STAFF CARE: Nourish Cafe owner Judy Plath with valued staff member Josh Gaddes. Mike Knott BUN030718NOURISH1

The heartwarming reason this cafe is raising its prices

FEELING the squeeze as wages rose 3.5 per cent on July 1, a Bundaberg cafe has taken the time to explain why staying loyal to its staff has come at a small cost to customers.

Nourish Cafe owner Judy Plath said she valued her 10 experienced staff, most aged above 21, and didn't want to discriminate against them simply because it was cheaper to employ younger staff.

Ms Plath said she'd made the decision to inform customers she was instead raising her prices marginally, both with a social media post and an in-store information flyer.

In an emotionally honest post on Facebook, Ms Plath said the business simply couldn't absorb the pay increase - which it did when wages rose by 3 per cent a year ago - so in order to retain its valued team, was left with no option but to increase prices.

"We all as a society support Fair Work and we want to see people being paid correctly,” she told the NewsMail.

"I didn't want to take the path of letting go of older staff.

"Traditionally in the food industry as staff get older they lose hours - I didn't want to do that.

"We value all our staff and as they get older we didn't want to discriminate against them for having the misfortune of getting older.

"And I can only do that if I can pay them, so I needed to increase my prices to make that possible.”

Ms Plath said the feedback from customers had been positive and supportive of her position.

"They've appreciated that I explained it,” she said.

"You see on our Facebook post, lots of lovely comments.”

Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce president Yale Morgan said there had been conversations regarding wage increase filtering through the business community.

"It is particularly challenging for a lot of the small businesses,” he said.

"We encourage them to look at their productively levels with the staff that they have, talk to their suppliers to try and get better deals and look at their pricing.

"They may have to look at increasing prices - as long as they're still adding value for the consumer.”

On the flip side, Mr Morgan said the positives of a pay rise was more money in the pockets of customers. "As people earn more they tend to spend more within the community.”



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