HOSPITALITY venues in Ararat struggle to balance trading hours with demand, business owners say.
While some are open seven days a week, others close on Sundays and Saturday afternoons - a situation that other business and tourism operators say makes Ararat less attractive to tourists.
Vines Cafe and Bar on Barkly Street is a husband and wife-run business that stays open on a Sunday to take advantage of tourist trade, but Esa and Amal Besheia have found trade to be slowing lately.
"When we first started opening on a Sunday it was very busy, but now it's not - there aren't many tourists," Mrs Besheia said. He said the slowing trade may mean they have to start closing on a Sunday too.
Fred and Bets Cafe does close on a Sunday and owner Hannah Cunningham said for her the issue was a lack of local patronage.
"We've tried opening on Sundays but the locals don't support it. When we are here on a Sunday we see the street and people aren't at the other places either, so we're not going to think there's a huge need for us to open," owner Hannah Cunningham said.
"We always open public holidays but it's not always viable because it's not supported. If you're going to pay extra wages, you have to be supported."
The cafe also faced weekend staffing issues.
"It's hard to get staff to work on a weekend because they want their weekends as well," Ms Cunningham said.
She also said that when the cafe was shut on a Sunday, it was to prepare for the week ahead and for catering jobs the cafe also does.
"We work seven days a week as it is. I work 100 plus hours. On Sunday we have to prep all of our homemade food for the week ahead. If we didn't do that we'd have to just be a buy-in cafe like everywhere else instead of having homemade food," she said.
Brian and Kim Gleeson run the Courthouse Bar and Grill on Barkly Street and say penalty rates are not a problem for them.
"Because we do most of the work ourselves we're in a position where we can afford to open on weekends," Mr Gleeson said.
"Being a tourist town we feel that there's a niche market there, especially on Sunday and Monday nights, to open. For instance, last Sunday night we did 42 main meals. It's the gateway to the Grampians and there is a lot of passing trade."