British Columbia provides a lifeline to bars and restaurants with wholesale liquor pricing

Published June 16, 2020

Restaurants Canada applauds the introduction of wholesale liquor pricing for licensed establishments as an important step to help bars and restaurants recover from COVID-19.

VANCOUVER — Restaurants Canada commends the Government of British Columbia for acting on a longstanding liquor policy recommendation to help bars and restaurants survive the challenges of COVID-19.

“On behalf of the province’s licensed establishments, I want to thank Premier Horgan and Attorney General Eby in particular for their leadership in making wholesale pricing a reality for bars and restaurants,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “This comes at a much needed time as licensed restaurants are reopening under challenging restrictions that make it difficult to just break even. The wholesale liquor pricing announced today lowers the cost for all licensees and can make the difference for whether an establishment can remain viable in these challenging times.”

Wholesale liquor pricing for bars and restaurants has long been the number 1 liquor policy recommendation from Restaurants Canada; this reform was identified in the national association’s 2017 and 2019 Raise the Bar reports as one that would go a long way to improve operations for licensed establishments.

“Attorney General David Eby deserves credit for his leadership in creating the Business Technical Advisory Panel on liquor policy, chaired by respected liquor lawyer Mark Hicken, within days after the release of our Raise the Bar report in 2017,” added von Schellwitz. “Restaurants Canada would also like to thank Mr. Hicken and all of the panel’s liquor stakeholder members for their support in making wholesale pricing a priority recommendation, and to Attorney General Eby for his support and efforts to make this important liquor policy change a reality.”

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 start of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia’s foodservice sector was a $15 billion industry, directly employing nearly 193,000 people, providing the province’s number one source of first jobs and serving 3.4 million customers every day. British Columbia’s foodservice industry has since lost at least 100,000 jobs and is on track to lose as much as $7.5 billion in annual sales compared to 2019 due to the impacts of COVID-19.


For more information, contact:

Mark von Schellwitz
Vice President, Western Canada
Restaurants Canada
C: 604-809-5719
Toll-free: 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6500

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