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The 2024 Advocacy Strategy is Underway and Up First is Profitability

I hope you were able to find some down time over the holidays after what is always a hectic time of year for the restaurant industry.

As we move into the new year, you can be certain the Restaurants Canada Government Relations team has been busy putting together the 2024 advocacy strategy, enriched by feedback from members across the country. If you were able to provide your feedback, thank you. It makes a real difference.

As mentioned in my last note, profitability is our first priority. Concerns about the economy, CEBA loan repayment, immigration and sustainability regulations and readiness loom large and are stifling progress, recovery and successful operations for many.

Restaurants Canada’s list of policy asks includes four immediate, inflation-fighting requests:

  • Extend CEBA until the end of 2024.
  • Freeze the alcohol excise tax at the current level and forgo the 4.7 per cent planned increase.
  • Reduce or freeze EI premiums for the coming year.
  • Provide carbon tax rebates for the foodservice industry.
  • Allow restaurant meals to be an entirely deductible business expense.
  • Implement a dedicated immigration stream for the hospitality industry.

These strategies target select policies that will reduce costs for operators and provide relief from inflation. We have also revised our position on immigration and, together with industry partners, will be driving this issue forward. Stay tuned for the launch of our Immigration Support Toolkit launching in the coming weeks. This toolkit will support our members in navigating their way around a number of immigration options for our industry and highlights a variety of immigration pilot programs that are available to tap into.

You will see more specifics around our 2024 advocacy strategy rolled out in the coming weeks.

Despite best and intensive efforts made by Restaurants Canada in tandem with business advocates and partners across the country, the federal government has declined to extend the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) repayment deadline. We strongly encourage our members to look at all available options for their CEBA loan repayment. 

In the event your business is deemed ineligible for loan refinancing, you can contact your financial institution or call the CEBA call centre to get clarity:

CEBA Call Centre | TF: 1-888-324-4201

RC Show 2024 returns to the Enercare Centre in Toronto from April 8-10th, with the invigorating theme “Level Up.” The team behind the scenes is crafting a robust program designed to equip attendees with the essential information, cutting-edge business skills, and innovative tools to help energize and elevate foodservice.

Applications are open for the 2024 edition of the legendary Garland Canada Culinary Competition until January 12th at 11:59 pm. This competition offers a chance for organizations to support a promising chef from their ranks by helping them enter the competition. This unforgettable professional experience for chefs can help them further their skills and careers while building visibility and profile for their restaurants. The Garland Canada Culinary Competition places a focus on diversity and inclusion by reserving half of the spots for women competitors and emphasizing BIPOC culinary talent. Find details about the Garland Canada Culinary Competition here.

I hope the holiday season was a prosperous one for your business, though for many it undoubtedly brought a mix of success and stress. It’s your grit and resolve in these tough times that keep our foodservice community moving ahead. We applaud your hard work and the enduring spirit of your restaurants and the important role they play in your communities.

Restaurants Canada remains singularly focused on working to strengthen and unify Canadian foodservice for a vibrant, thriving future. We look forward to building it with you.

My best,

Kelly Higginson