People eating outside at the Watery Mouth Cafe in Blenheim

Rabbits, Poppies and Planes: Holiday Hours For A Busy Month In Marlborough

This April will serve up some fabulous events along with two important holidays, starting with the Omaka Classic Fighters Air Show this Easter weekend and Anzac Day swiftly following towards the end of the month. We want to stay open for the events that surround these holidays as we love being a part of the excitement; it is a pleasure to ensure there is a place for guests and locals alike to find scrumptious food and coffee as they are out and about exploring all Marlborough has to offer.

Unfortunately, staying open during the holidays is not an easy choice for a business owner to make these days. Most would love to stay open, but the cost of operating on public holidays is significantly higher, setting businesses up to run at a loss on those days. Despite public perception, we are not busier on public holidays as a lot of our regular customers are local businesses. It costs more than twice the amount to operate on a holiday, leaving three choices: recouping costs by spreading price increases throughout the year (something we don’t intend to do); closing for those days (which we sometimes do and then our staff can enjoy the holiday too); or adding a surcharge while open on the holiday.

After much debate, we have chosen to stay open for Easter and Anzac Day, and we hope you’ll appreciate why. This wasn’t an easy decision to make and the staff – who are the ones facing the questions from the public about the surcharge – have given their full support. By remaining open, we are able to fulfil our commitment to representing Marlborough’s best to our guests and regulars. Omaka Classic Fighters is the biggest event in Marlborough with thousands of visitors flocking to the region. We understand that it won’t be everyone’s choice to dine out during these holidays, but we feel it is important to offer that option to our patrons and the happy faces worn by people who do pop in make it worthwhile. After all, our vibrant community is what makes Marlborough so special, and we’re thrilled to be able to give people a reason and location to go out and experience it. We hope to see you over Easter, and we hope you’ll understand the surcharge is a must for us to remain open on these days. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

We hope you all have a fantastic Easter. Our opening hours will be as follows:
Friday: 9am – 3pm
Saturday: (normal hours) 7am – 4pm
Sunday: (normal hours) 7am – 4pm
Monday: 8am – 3pm

To all of our wonderful service men and women, past and present, we will keep you in our thoughts this Anzac Day. There will be no surcharge for those in uniform on Anzac Day.

Anzac Day hours: 8am – 3pm

Noho ora mai
(All the best)

Juliet and the Watery Mouth Café team


What do you think? Is there a better alternative for businesses operating on public holidays? Do you think New Zealand should have a compulsory surcharge for all public holidays as they do in Australia with Sunday trading? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts.