Some welcomed news, but more needs to be done to help Ontario’s struggling restaurants
Restaurants Canada is pleased to see several welcomed initiatives announced in today’s Ontario Budget, in particular the Province’s bold commitment to review its taxation system. Restaurants Canada also welcomes actions to address labour shortages in the skilled trade and healthcare sectors and looks forward to working with the government to ensure that labour gaps in the foodservice sector are also addressed.
“The past few years have been beyond difficult for the restaurants in Ontario, one of the sectors hardest hit by the government’s response to the pandemic. Nearly half of Ontario’s restaurants are operating at a loss or just breaking even, while facing insurmountable pandemic related debt and compounding rising costs,” said Tracy Macgregor, Regional Vice President for Ontario. “We do welcome the budget announcement of a review of Ontario’s tax system – this has the potential to result in meaningful relief for restaurant operators and the potential to help make restaurant dining more affordable for patrons,” added Macgregor.
Like many sectors of the economy, Ontario’s restaurants are struggling to find workers. Pre-pandemic, there were 60,000 job vacancies in the foodservices sector. Today, that shortage has grown to more than 170,000 vacancies across the country. Restaurants Canada commends the government for its effort to invest in skills training and for bringing more workers to Ontario. While these actions are welcomed, more support is necessary to help the struggling restaurants sector fill job vacancies that are impacting economic recovery. There is an opportunity to continue to work with the government for dedicated programs and sector-specific support to address these challenging labour issues.
About Restaurants Canada
Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit member-based trade association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Ontario’s foodservice sector is a $38 billion industry with $13 billion in food and beverage products purchased every year. As the fourth-largest private-sector employer, Ontario’s foodservice directly employs 416,100 people, and indirectly supports another 95,600 jobs in related industries. www.restaurantscanada.org