TORONTO, October 13, 2022 – Today, Restaurants Canada is launching “Restaurants Have A Lot On Their Plate”, a national campaign aimed at government stakeholders, with the hopes of driving awareness of key policy recommendations needed to revive the foodservice sector post-pandemic. The campaign highlights the three largest challenges facing the industry today as it looks to recover from COVID-19 – mass labour shortages, debt, inflation & supply shortages.
Restaurants and the many small and medium-sized businesses that make up the Canadian foodservice sector are the backbones of our society; employing thousands, feeding millions, and nourishing communities by serving as a place for people to gather, celebrate, laugh and share.
The restaurant industry is the fourth-largest private-sector employer, directly employing more than one million Canadians, keeping 98,000 businesses alive, and feeding Canada’s economic recovery. The foodservice industry indirectly supports another 290,000+ jobs in related industries, with $32 billion in food and beverage products purchased every year.
“Right now Canada’s foodservice industry is at a crossroads. Without support from our government we are at risk of losing one of the most valued sectors,” said Christian Buhagiar, President & CEO, of Restaurants Canada. “This campaign is about more than driving awareness it is about creating change. Today we ask decision makers to listen and bring forth what’s needed to build this industry back up to the economic pillar it once was”.
Government support is more critical than ever in ensuring the foodservice industry can transition into this post-pandemic environment. The following recommendations are just some of what Restaurants Canada hopes to achieve to shift its sector from surviving to thriving:
- Improve and streamline the process for immigrants who want to become residents, reduce application processing times, and make sure families of immigrants and/or new Canadians can join them;
- Create a new stream within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for the food sector
- Enlist a holistic approach to ensure plastics targets are attainable
- Implement a cap on credit/debit card interchange fees and the removal of merchant fees from the tax portion of restaurant bills;
- Consider greater CEBA / HASCAP and BCAP loan forgiveness.
Restaurants are more than just a place to eat, they are essential to our communities and critical to our country’s recovery. Let’s not add more to their plate.
For more details on the #OnTheirPlate campaign, visit OnTheirPlate.ca.