(Sept. 8/17) Big and small restaurateurs and foodservice companies took part in Restaurants Canada’s minimum wage forum on Sept. 6. It was a chance for foodservice professionals to discuss how

Ontario’s drastic minimum wage hike would affect their businesses.

Highlights

  • Restaurants Canada shared the mitigation measures it’s proposing to government. We want solutions that help restaurants stay in business and save jobs amidst this massive minimum wage hike.
  • President of the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, Paul Smetanin, told us the negative effects of the minimum wage increase are real. He gave foodservice companies options to address the $1.3 billion hole next year.
  • Our partners at Crestview Strategies are designing a portal to help you tell your stories directly to policymakers.

Missed the forum?

View the presentation to see what we discussed. (Login required.)

7 comments

7 responses to “Ontario minimum wage forum: What we learned”

  1. Mike Kashsni says:

    The Government of Ontario does not have any professional justification to increase the minimum wage to this level without knowing what is going to happen to the restaurant business!

  2. Dave says:

    I’m glad the Ontario Government is raising the minimum wage. If heavy industry and high incomes have disappeared, then Ontarians need this $15 wage. A low wage economy is not suitable for a first world economy. We are not Bangladesh. Canada is not.a sweat shop.

  3. Larry R Keen says:

    This would be a bold gesture; but elimination of the time and a half provisions on stat holidays would certainly help offset the burden that Ontario restaurants will face with the massive minimum wage hike.

  4. Rory MacKinnon says:

    Larry’s suggestion regarding the adjustment of statutory holiday pay makes some sense…rather than increasing the amount of statutory pay – they should look at making it fairer for employers that do open on holidays and are expected to be there for our guests.

  5. GGeorge Hoad says:

    The “Minimum Wage Hike” is a recipe for disaster. I’m all for equitable pay..but giving the lower tier a 32% increase will only serve to increase the prices of everything.Do you think that gov’t employees/auto workers plumbers etc are going to accept a 1 or 2% increase after a 32% is given to lower wage earners? Therefore, it will do more harm than good for the people it’s intended to help. Plus -add Trudeau’s plan to lower the B.A. level to .05% from .08% – I’ll be surprised if there is any restaurants left!

  6. Louis H Koutsaris says:

    TYPICAL GOVERNMENT STICKING ITS NOSE WHERE IT DOES N0T BELONG ! I HAD 300 EMPLOYEES AND YES A LOT WERE MINIMUM WAGE AND SERVERS WITH TIPS. I CAN SAY THAT I PAID BETTER WHERE IT WAS WARRANTED/DESERVED PRIMARILY THE KITCHEN AND NON GRATUITY STAFF. MY BEST EG: IS A DISHWASHER APPLYING FOR A DAYTIME POSITION ASKED ME TO PAY HIM THE WAGES OF A LINE COOK. HE CONVINCED ME THAT A MINIMUM WAGE DISHWASHER IS THE COSTLIEST PERSON IN THE RESTAURANT. WHY? BECAUSE IF HE BREAKS ONLY ONE ENTREE PLATE (COST AT THAT TIME $16) HE WOULD HAVE ADDED 25% TO HIS MINIMUM WAGE THAT DAY. THIS PERSON IN PRACTICE PROVED TO BE TOTALLY RIGHT AND WHEN HE LEFT AT THE START OF SUMMER NEXT YEAR ,”I MISSED HIM”.
    ON THE OTHER HAND, ONTARIO HAS ALWAYS SUFFERED FROM A SHORTAGE OF GOOD WAITSTAFF. BY PAYING THEM A HIGHER WAGE IT TAKES AWAY THE INCENTIVE TO PROVIDE (EVEN) GOOD SERVICE LET ALONE EXCELLENT FOR A WELL DESERVED TIP . IN MY DAY , A SERVER/BARTENDER IN MY OPERATION WHO NEEDED DESPERATELY THEIR PAYCHEQUE EACH WEEK INDICATED AN UNDERACHIEVER AND I WAS USUALLY RIGHT (BARRING EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES)
    I implore the industry not to be clinical and operate better than what the employment law is suggesting to do. There won’t be any job losses due to the minimum wage increase; just lower profits for owners or eventual bankruptcy for the unqualified owner. Our industry has never had a sufficient supply of quality server/bartender pool to draw on .
    Increasing minimum wage only rewards the non caring wait staff(bartenders) who are happy to make the minimum and not work towards providing a pleasing dining experience in our many restaurants. Franchise operations will be most unhappily hurt the most, coupled with their underpaid and unqualified management teams.THE DAY OF THE DEDICATED RESTAURANT ENTREPRENEUR MAY ONCE AGAIN RISE TO THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN (LOL:)

  7. Paul says:

    The Ontario Legislative Assembly’s own Financial Accountability Office offers this interesting commentary:

    “The FAO estimates that the higher minimum wage will raise total labour income (after adjusting for price inflation) by 1.3 per cent by 2019.[1] However, the FAO estimates that just one-quarter of the higher labour income would directly benefit low-income families. Since the income gains would not be concentrated on low-income families, raising the minimum wage would be an inefficient policy tool for reducing overall poverty.”

    ” On net, the FAO estimates that Ontario’s proposed minimum wage increase will result in a loss of approximately 50,000 jobs (0.7 per cent of total employment), with job losses concentrated among teens and young adults.
    However, there is evidence to suggest that the job losses could be larger than the FAO’s estimate. Ontario’s proposed minimum wage increase is both larger and more rapid than past experience, providing businesses with a greater incentive to reduce costs more aggressively.”

    The full report (Assessing the Economic Impact of Ontario’s Proposed Minimum Wage Increase) is available on line at http://www.fao-on.org/en/. If anyone would like a copy sent to them directly, just let me know pmckay@restaurantscanada.org.

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