Newfoundland and Labrador earns C-plus 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 calling on Newfoundland and Labrador to keep up progress on liquor policy improvements.

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND — 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, Newfoundland and Labrador’s grade rose from a D-minus to a C-plus. This was mainly due to bars and restaurants now getting a 5% discount on wines, spirits and ready-to-drink beverages at government-run liquor stores.

“The introduction of discounted liquor pricing has provided a much-appreciated lifeline for bars and restaurants in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” said Richard Alexander, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada. “Increasing these discounts and including beer and cider would go a long way to help licensed establishments successfully transition from survival to revival.”

Here’s how Newfoundland and Labrador’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 Newfoundland and Labrador raise the bar?

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 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

  • Increase licensee pricing discounts and include beer and cider;
  • Undertake a comprehensive re-write of liquor legislation to cut red tape and reflect changing market conditions;
  • Introduce a liquor server wage; and
  • Reduce liquor licensing costs for establishments with higher sales volumes.

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, Newfoundland and Labrador’s $1.1 billion restaurant industry was the province’s third-largest source of private sector jobs, typically employing nearly 17,000 people. Newfoundland and Labrador’s bars and restaurants are still struggling to rebound from at least $270 million in lost revenue and recover thousands of jobs in the wake of the pandemic.

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