(July 26/17) Over the last two weeks, Restaurants Canada’s James Rilett attended the government’s minimum wage hearings across the province. He also presented our industry’s perspective at the hearing in Hamilton. Below is a summary of what took place and what we can expect.


The hearings – A done deal

It was clear from comments made by members of the committee that the government would not back down from its minimum wage plan. Although the hearings heavily leaned toward big labour and social activists, every hearing featured restaurant owners speaking strongly on behalf of our industry. Restaurants Canada thanks our members who attended and participated.


Restaurants Canada is fighting for you

On the day of our presentation in Hamilton, we released our minimum wage survey results that showed 81% of restaurateurs will be forced to cut jobs. At the hearing, the Liberals tried to undermine our concerns, but we stuck to the facts and highlighted the negative consequences of this drastic wage hike. See our presentation to the committee here (VIDEO).


“”It’s easy to brush this aside as doom and gloom but what if I told you your mortgage payments were going up 30 per cent (the $15 an hour mark represents a 30-plus per cent increase from the existing minimum wage)? This is the frustration of food operators. They need time to restructure their businesses.”

Hamilton Mountain MPP Monique Taylor (NDP) countered, “I was a server when no smoking came into effect and it was ‘The doors are closing; we’re never gonna survive.’ Yes, there are hurdles but they thought the sky was falling then and they survived.”

Rilett scoldingly parried that the smoking was phased in, some restaurants did go under, adding that her tone did not help the conversation. “To say ‘the sky is falling’ is to belittle businesses that people spent their life creating.””


We need your feedback

The government says it will work with us to soften the blow of this unprecedented minimum wage hike. Tell us what you think would help to alleviate the impact on your business. E-mail James Rilett with your suggestions.


7 responses to “Ontario minimum wage hearings wrap up”

  1. shivnaryan says:

    Hamilton MPP saying as if the sky is falling comment is utter foolishness.She has been electf=d but he people to protect everyone.does as he know the hardship of running a restaurant.Its not sitting in a chair in the parliament and bring paid
    its so stupid

  2. Dave says:

    I’m glad the minimum wage is going up. I spent 15 years in the restaurant and QSR industry. “Race to the bottom” economics is a bankrupt and backwards policy. People deserve better than to be scraping by. I would trust macro economics to the government and their studies, than I would to restauranteurs.

  3. Nuru Khamis says:

    Looking at cutting cost by 100k, that means a lots of part-timers will be played off & full timers will work 4 to 6 hours less per week.

    • Paul says:

      It seems the Government (Liberals) think restaurants will (or should) simply raise prices to offset the labour cost increases and still employ the same number of people? Definitely not what I’m hearing.

  4. JE says:

    Stop the fear mongering, McDonald’s licencees have already started to raise prices to get ready? When they have had no impact today’s.

  5. Howard Chew says:

    When minimum pay fully implemented all manufacturers and purveyors of all food and beverage will eventually raised their services and products and will affect all restaurants big or.small. Restaurant owners and.operators will also raise the menu prices. It is a circle of bulls. Eventually less eating out because of less disposable income due to layoffs, less hours of work and loss of jobs when more.competative restaurants call it a day. Change the tipping policy. Add service.charge to food and.no tipping rule will make workers have stable paycheck.

  6. tony colucci says:

    i definatley have to cut staff and hours as i cant raise prices in food to cover cost. our customers are complaining when we even sugest raising food prices

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