Fast food, restaurants and cafés

Find everything you need to help understand your workplace rights and obligations in the fast food, restaurant or café industry (often called hospo or hospitality).

Tools and resources

Understanding awards

Awards are legally enforceable documents that provide employees with minimum pay rates and employment conditions. They cover employers and employees based on the industry they work in and the type of job they do.

The award that covers an employer and some or all of its employees may change if the primary nature of the business changes, or the primary nature of employee duties changes.

Employers should consider which award or awards cover their employees if the business or the employees' work changes. Find more information at I’m not sure which award covers my business.

Learn more about your award with our interactive tools:

Pay and wages

Employees have to be paid for their work in money. The amount an employee needs to be paid can depend on their age, duties and hours of work. Payment also needs to include any penalties, overtime and other award entitlements for that pay period, such as:

  • weekend rates
  • public holiday rates
  • allowances
  • overtime rates for working extra hours.

Casual employees are also paid a casual loading (a higher pay rate for being a casual employee).

For more information, see:

Salary payments and flat rates

An annual salary, or any flat rate, can't be less than the minimum amount an employee would have been paid under their award.

An award may allow an employer to pay their employee an annualised wage under an annualised wage arrangement that covers particular entitlements under their award. There are rules that need to be followed for an employee to have the benefit of an annualised wage arrangement. This arrangement is different to paying an annual salary under an employment contract.

The Hospitality Award and Restaurant Award both contain specific annualised wage arrangement rules. They outline how an annualised wage is set, recorded and reconciled. 

For more information about annualised wage arrangements and salary payments see:

Hours of work

An employee's hours of work (including their minimum hours, breaks and overtime) are provided by their award. These entitlements can be different for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

For more information about these entitlements, see Hours of work, breaks and rosters.

Pay slips and record-keeping

Employees have to be given a pay slip within one working day of being paid.

As an employer, record-keeping is important to keep your business running smoothly, and is required by law.

For information about pay slips and record-keeping, see:

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

Help for small business

  • Contact the small business helpline for quick and easy access to our advisers and workplace relations information. Call the helpline on 13 13 94 and press option 3.
  • Find tools, resources and information you might need in our Small Business Showcase.
  • Our Employer Advisory Service (EAS) gives eligible small businesses free tailored written advice on pay and entitlement issues. Learn more about this service at Employer Advisory Service – overview.