FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2013

OTTAWA — The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is pleased the Competition Bureau will continue to pursue the issue of anti-competitive credit card practices, despite a recent ruling by the Competition Tribunal that it would not take action on the issue.

In a statement today, the Bureau noted that it won’t appeal the Competition Tribunal decision, but will “focus our efforts on identifying alternate means of addressing the competition issues in the supply of credit card services in Canada.”

“Skyrocketing credit card fees are one of the biggest issues facing our members today. They hurt business owners and the 18 million customers we serve every day,” said CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte. “We look forward to working with the Competition Bureau to seek relief through regulatory reform as recommended by the Tribunal.”

Background:

  1. With the advent of premium credit cards, it’s not unusual for the credit card merchant fee to exceed the restaurant owner’s profit on a meal.
    1. On a $100 restaurant bill, the owner makes an average of $3.70 profit, according to industry data compiled by Statistics Canada.
    2. If the customer uses a premium credit card, a restaurateur in Ontario will pay a credit card processing fee as high as $3.99 on that transaction (3% fee calculated on $133 ($100 + $13 GST + $20 tip).
  2. Because credit card fees are charged on top of sales tax, the restaurant industry alone pays $40 million a year in credit card fees on sales taxes.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.

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