Public holidays can be something of a double-edged sword for a hospitality business operator. There’s the promise of a bump in trade that comes with the public enjoying a free day off that can turn a typical Monday into a high-octane Saturday.

But to cover the impact of such a shift requires all hands on deck, and that costs money. And not just any money — we’re talking penalty rates. Compound this with an entire weekend of these days come Easter, followed a month later with Anzac Day, and we’re in for some big days.

And therein lies the rub.

With wages capable of growing up to 250% over the long weekends, and the extra inventory required to actually serve all of these customers, how do you strike the balance?

Let’s find out.

Prepare for this Easter long weekend by downloading Lightspeed’s free public holiday eGuide: 11 tips to reduce costs this Easter and ANZAC Day 


It’s fairly common sense that the more customers you have crossing your doorstep, the more staff you’ll need to keep up with that extra trade.

The trick here is to know just how many extra hands you’ll need to strike that crucial, delicate balance between having enough help at hand and ensuring your staffing costs don’t stray into prohibitive territory.

A useful way to gauge this would be to look back at your previous year’s trading to see how busy you were and build a roster around that.

This can give you some really useful insights into when your busy periods are, which itself presents an opportunity to squeeze every last ounce of efficiency out of your roster by introducing special trading hours. That way, you minimise the risk of paying your staff on their penalty rates to stand around when the trade drops off.


Another potential tightrope to walk presents itself when it comes to the amount of inventory you need to stock. 

Buy too little and you’re essentially turning down extra money with each item you sell out of. Buy too much and you risk holding onto a lot of stock until it inevitably expires, not to mention the space taken up by less-than-the-freshest items when you could order some new supplies.

Again, it’s a good time to delve deep into your ordering and trading history to see not only how busy you were, but also exactly what people were buying to ensure you stock the most profitable inventory only.

But there is a way to control this even further and that is with the introduction of a limited menu. By creating a scaled-down version of your menu, you can improve your workflow by offering items that can be prepped beforehand in bulk, or take little time to assemble when it’s busy. You only need to order certain ingredients and it can give you the maximum chance to earn the highest amount possible.

Public holidays: the good, the bad and the potentially lucrative

There’s never a more important time to get that delicate balance just right between over-staffed & under-staffed, walk-ins full of slowly decaying produce & bare shelves halfway through the weekend, and most importantly balance sheets showing profits & balance sheets filled with missed opportunities.

And there’s no better reading to prepare you for the oncoming onslaught than Lightspeed’s 11 Tips To Reduce Costs This Easter & Anzac Day

Download Free Guide