(May 1/14)

TORONTO – Restaurants Canada is disappointed the Ontario government missed an opportunity to help the restaurant industry and thereby improve Ontario’s economy. The industry has been harmed by the government’s increased regulatory burden and high beverage alcohol prices.

“We were looking at this budget for a sign that this government understands the needs of our industry,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada’s Ontario Vice President. “What we got was more of the same, and a complete dismissal of our recommendations.

”Restaurants Canada had previously asked the government to address the beverage alcohol system that forces restaurants, bars and pubs to pay more than the public for beverage alcohol products. For example, the existing system allows breweries to charge licensees 30 per cent more than the public for cases of beer.

Restaurants Canada was also looking for evidence the government would address the worsening business climate for the industry. Statistics Canada data shows the foodservice industry in Ontario is dead last in terms of profitability at 2.8 per cent, when compared to its counterparts in other provinces.

“A 2.8 per cent margin does not leave much room for error,” said Rilett. “That profit margin is quickly eroded by minimum wage increases, new regulatory costs and decreased consumer confidence – none of which was addressed today.

”Ontario’s restaurant industry accounts for $25 billion representing 3.7 per cent of the province’s GDP. Our members employ over 425,000 Ontarians in every town across the province.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.

Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.


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