British Columbia is providing a lifeline to bars and restaurants by making liquor available at wholesale prices. As announced on June 16, the B.C. government has approved wholesale liquor pricing for hospitality licensees, enabling bars and restaurants to purchase liquor at the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) wholesale price until March 31, 2021.
The first phase of the systems changes will be delivered by July 20, 2020 when hospitality customers will be able to buy at wholesale prices. Until July 20, 2020, all hospitality customers will continue to pay retail price. The second phase will be completed by Sept. 1, 2020 and will provide hospitality customers access to the wholesale price list through the fully functioning Hospitality Product Catalogue.
It is strongly recommended that hospitality customers register for their Hospitality Product Catalogue account as soon as possible in order to access the LDB wholesale price list starting July 20, 2020.
Details explaining the onboarding process for the Product Catalogue and step-by-step registration instructions are available on the BC LDB Wholesale Operations website.
Hospitality customers with Web Store accounts will have automatic access to wholesale prices via Web Store when they become available on July 20, 2020 and do not need to register for any additional accounts.
The Hospitality Product Catalogue will temporarily be unavailable until July 20, 2020 while the necessary updates are made to the system to incorporate the hospitality pricing change. From July 20 through to Sept. 1, 2020, a searchable wholesale price list file will be posted to the Catalogue as an interim measure to assist hospitality customers with their purchasing decisions until the Catalogue resumes its full functionality on Sept. 1, 2020.
Continuing to Raise the Bar in British Columbia
Restaurants Canada has long advocated for wholesale pricing for bars and restaurants. This reform was highlighted in both our 2017 and 2019 Raise the Bar reports as one that would go a long way to improve operations for licensed establishments.
Restaurants Canada commends the Government of British Columbia for acting on this longstanding liquor policy recommendation to help bars and restaurants survive the challenges of COVID-19.
We continue to be at the table, working toward a permanent wholesale pricing model that would remain available to licensed establishments beyond March 31, 2021.
If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6500.