More than a third of Alberta’s restaurants are considering closing their doors

Published March 25, 2019

EDMONTON — More than a third of Alberta’s foodservice businesses might close their doors if the realities of running a restaurant in the province don’t improve, according to new survey results from Restaurants Canada.

In a recent survey of foodservice operators across Alberta, an alarming 35 per cent of respondents said they have considered closing up shop following recent changes to provincial labour legislation.

When asked how they have adjusted to the minimum wage increasing sharply from $10.20 in 2015 to $15 per hour in October 2018, respondents said they have resorted to the following actions to keep their doors open:

  • 94 per cent have increased menu prices
  • 88 per cent have decreased staff hours
  • 61 per cent have hired fewer youth for entry-level positions
  • 46 per cent have laid off staff
  • 26 per cent have explored self-service solutions like touch pads and kiosks

“When restaurants struggle, so do the communities they serve,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “With a provincial election coming up on April 16, we look forward to hearing how each of Alberta’s political parties plan to help foodservice businesses survive and thrive.”

Restaurants Canada shared 16 policy recommendations with Alberta’s four major political parties on Jan. 14 in the hopes that they would be incorporated into all their platforms in the lead up to the next provincial election.

A complete listing of these recommendations can be found at restaurantrealities.ca, along with information on key issues facing Alberta’s foodservice industry and how to support the #RestaurantRealities campaign.

About the 2019 Alberta Foodservice Operator Survey

Results from the Restaurants Canada survey of Alberta foodservice operators were compiled from responses solicited between Feb. 12 and March 9, 2019. In total, 203 completed surveys were submitted, representing 1,350 establishments, including table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and other foodservice businesses, such as accommodation, institutions and drinking places.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) is a growing community of more than 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. Restaurants Canada connects its members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant community. Canada’s restaurant industry is an $89 billion industry, directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs and serves 22 million customers every day.

Marlee Wasser

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