Raise the Bar 2017 – Report Card on Provincial Liquor Policies

Published November 7, 2017

Restaurants Canada is stirring up change for licensees!

In every Canadian community, bars and restaurants are popular places for locals, tourists and visitors alike. These businesses may be popular, but they are far from profitable.

Outdated regulations and unfair pricing are making it difficult for many bars and licensed restaurants to stay afloat. The average profit margin hovers around 3% of operating revenue.

Are you being served?

Restaurants Canada has issued its second Raise the Bar report card as a call for change. The report card assigns a grade to each province based on four criteria: pricing and selection; licensing and regulation; customer sales; and political and regulatory activity.

The report doesn’t pull any punches. We call out the problems and propose reasonable solutions. But we also give credit where credit is due. Many provinces responded favourably to our first report card in 2015, and made positive changes for licensees. For example:

✓  Alberta cut red tape and made licensing rules more flexible for patios
✓  Saskatchewan is making progress on liquor retail privatization and access to liquor wholesale pricing
✓  Quebec cut the number and cost of required liquor licenses
✓  Nova Scotia now allows restaurants to serve a limited number of drinks without food
✓  PEI cut the waiting time for a liquor license by over a month

Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Are you being served? Check out the results for your province, and let us know what you think.

Read Our Press Releases

National (English | Français)
British Columbia
New Brunswick  (English | Français)
Nova Scotia
Ontario  (EnglishFrançais)
Prince Edward Island
Quebec  (English | Français)

Take Action

  1. Spread the Word: Share the Raise the Bar report card on social media using the hashtag #RaiseTheBar2017
  2. Share your Story: If you’re fed up with outdated regulations and unfair pricing, let your provincial officials know. Share a copy of Raise the Bar and share your story. Restaurants Canada can help you arrange and prepare for your meeting.
  3. Give us Feedback: If there are other licensee issues we need to know about, get in touch!
  4. Join Us: If you’re not a Restaurants Canada member, we’d love to tell you more about Raise the Bar and all the other benefits of joining. Together we can bring about real change for our industry. Let’s connect!

To share your story, give feedback or learn more about membership, please contact our Member Services team at 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4245 or members@restaurantscanada.org.

Cheers to Canada’s Bars and Licensed Restaurants

48,000 local businesses
560,000 direct jobs
$8.2 billion a year in economic activity

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