The minimum wage in Ontario is set to rise on October 1, 2023 to $16.55 per hour. This represents a 6.8 per cent increase from the current rate of $15.50 an hour, an increase tied to inflation. But the cost of living increases and inflation is driving up costs for Ontario’s foodservice operators as well and debt is at an all-time high. The reality is that half of foodservice operators in Ontario are operating at a loss or just breaking even. Our restaurants don’t have the ability to absorb continued higher costs and passing these costs on to customers isn’t an option at a time when building back traffic is critical post-pandemic.
Since this time last year, the industry has lost approximately 5000 restaurants across Canada and Ontario is behind other provinces on the road to recovery for our struggling sector. Along with the rising costs of food they have seen compounding cost pressures across their operations including utilities, insurance, payroll and property taxes, carbon tax, rents, and interest rates.
We will work with our members in the time between now and October 1st to gather and share feedback and to consult with the government to look at solutions to offset costs and mitigate the impact of the increase and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure inflationary pressures are addressed with all levels of government.