Restaurants Canada welcomes today’s announcements from Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) and Ministry of Labour, which will help keep costs down for the province’s foodservice operators.
WSIB rates going down for employers
WSIB announced that employers in Ontario will benefit from a 29.8 per cent reduction in the average premium rate in 2019, thanks to its elimination of unfunded liability, almost 10 years ahead of its legislated schedule. The news is even better for foodservice employers in the province: their 2019 average premium rate will be reduced by 31.6 per cent, which will save the average operator $933 per year.
“This announcement puts $35 million back into the industry to invest in workers and safety programs,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada.
Minimum wage to stay at $14
Labour Minister Laurie Scott reaffirmed the Progressive Conservative government’s election campaign promise to keep the province’s minimum wage at $14 an hour, rather than raise it to $15 in January 2019, as planned by the previous Liberal government.
“This year’s sudden increase to the minimum wage caused unprecedented menu inflation and a reduction in hours for foodservice workers,” said Rilett. “By keeping their commitment, the Ontario government is giving restaurants time to adjust.”
Average pre-tax profit margins for Ontario’s foodservice businesses are only 3.1 per cent, the lowest in the country. Menu prices across the province have risen by 6.6 per cent so far this year, as foodservice operators have had to adjust to the minimum wage increase to $14 in January. This is the largest menu price increase the province has experienced since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax in 1991.
About Restaurants Canada
Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) is a growing community of more than 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant community. Canada’s restaurant industry is an $85 billion industry, directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs and serves 22 million customers every day.