British Columbia earns B grade on pandemic liquor policy report card

Published juillet 27, 2022

Restaurants Canada has just released a special COVID-19 edition of its Raise the Bar report praising British Columbia for exceptional progress on liquor pricing.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The grades are in: For the fourth time since 2015, Restaurants Canada has given each province a report card on how industry-friendly their liquor policy landscape is for bars and restaurants.

In this year’s Raise the Bar report, British Columbia’s grade jumped from a C to a B, largely due to the province implementing Restaurants Canada’s longstanding recommendation to implement a wholesale pricing regime for all liquor licensees. This was one of the most impactful policy changes the province made to help liquor licensees survive the pandemic and will certainly help the long-term recovery of British Columbia’s struggling bars and restaurants.

“After implementing major liquor policy changes recommended by the province’s Business Technical Advisory Panel, British Columbia has been able to significantly improve its ranking since our 2019 report,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “While Alberta still ranks highest for favourable liquor policy conditions, British Columbia has a fair shot at catching up if the province continues to cut red tape and reduce costs for licensed establishments. Bars and restaurants want a better process for ordering non-stocked specialty liquor products, a return of the liquor server wage, and the ability to purchase liquor products directly from other licensees.”

Here’s how British Columbia’s performance record on Restaurants Canada’s Raise the Bar report compares with the rest of the provinces:

British ColumbiaC+CCB
New BrunswickC-DD-B-
Nova ScotiaC+B-B-B
Prince Edward IslandB-B-B-C+
Newfoundland & LabradorFD-D-C+

How can British Columbia raise the bar?

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with the B.C. government to improve the liquor policy landscape for bars and restaurants. Here’s how the province can increase its grade by the next Raise the Bar report:

  • Continue to cut red tape and reduce costs for licensed establishments;
  • Re-introduce a liquor server wage;
  • Improve the process for ordering non-stocked liquor products; and
  • Permit licensee-to-licensee liquor sales.

Visit to download the full report and join in the online conversation with the hashtag #RaiseTheBar2022.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Before the COVID-19 crisis, British Columbia’s $15 billion restaurant industry was the province’s third-largest source of private sector jobs, typically employing at least 190,000 people. British Columbia’s bars and restaurants are still struggling to rebound from at least $6 billion in lost revenue and recover roughly 20,000 jobs in the wake of the pandemic.

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