VANCOUVER, November 3, 2014 – Restaurateurs in British Columbia should be proud. Restaurants Canada forecasts the province’s foodservice industry to lead the country with a 7.5 per cent jump in total sales to $8.9 billion – the best sales growth in well over a decade.

This impressive performance follows years of lacklustre growth from the recession and introduction of the HST.

“The harmonized sales tax took a toll on restaurant sales, but that’s behind us now,” says Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada’s Western Canada Vice-President. “A healthier economy, a less tax-prohibitive business environment and pent-up consumer demand has put the province’s restaurant industry back on track as a top employer and economic driver.”

Since 2000, the province’s restaurants have created 21,000 jobs for British Columbians for a total of 170,000 jobs. This makes the restaurant industry the third-largest, private-sector job creator in B.C.

Despite this remarkable comeback, restaurants in B.C. continue to struggle with one of the lowest average pre-tax profit margins in the country.

“Our restaurants can only do so well, due to the above-average costs for rental and leasing, as well as labour,” said von Schellwitz. “Sales may be off the charts, but the cost of doing business in the province continues to be a challenge.”

Mark von Schellwitz will present more details about the industry’s current and future performance at the Connect Show seminar stage on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m., at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Members of the media are welcome.

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