November 2, 2015, EDMONTON – Alberta has the most bar- and restaurant-friendly liquor policies of all ten provinces, earning it a B+ on a new report card from Restaurants Canada.
Today’s Raise the Bar report card grades each province on its liquor policies and regulations. Alberta earned a B+ because of its wide selection of beer, wine and spirits at the best average price relative to other Canadian provinces.
The 2015 policy decisions to increase liquor taxes by a combined 15% and eliminate the liquor server wage differential in 2016 prevented Alberta from scoring even better – and could result in a lower mark next year.
In addition, the province needs to modernize several outdated laws, including one that prevents bartenders from infusing spirits. Business owners are also calling for a reduction in minimum case ordering requirements.
Restaurants Canada looks forward to addressing these issues as part of an anticipated comprehensive Alberta Liquor review next year.
“Alberta has the best grade overall, but it could have been better if not for a couple of 2015 policy decisions. There’s certainly room for improvement,” says Mark von Schellwitz, Vice-President Western Canada for Restaurants Canada. “These grades are a sign of how much – or how little – provincial governments support the small business owners that operate restaurants and bars in communities across Canada.”
The Raise the Bar report card is the by-product of a survey of Canada’s restaurant and bar owners who are frustrated with provincial regulations that control the cost and distribution of the alcoholic beverages they provide to customers.
Close to all (97%) surveyed members of Restaurants Canada want to see wholesale pricing for the products they sell in their establishments, and 72% believe the cost of purchasing their product (often from liquor distribution monopolies) hinders their ability to do business. Less than a third (30%) say they receive value from their local liquor or beer supplier.
The full report card results are available here.
Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.