May 2, 2013

TORONTO – Ontario’s $25 billion restaurant industry is prepared to play a significant role to grow youth employment – a priority in the 2013 Ontario Budget. Future labour shortages mean that attracting and retaining youth is a priority for every business in Ontario.

“Restaurants and other foodservice operators provide an excellent training ground and long-term opportunities for youth looking for job experience,” says Stephanie Jones, Ontario Vice President for the 30,000-member Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). “In an industry with average profit margins of three per cent, restaurants are encouraged by the decision today to hold the line on minimum wage which would exacerbate the already low youth employment rate – identified at 50 per cent in the 2013 budget.”

Ontario’s restaurant industry is a major source of youth and entry-level jobs, providing nearly 188,000 young people under the age of 25 with valuable job experience and workplace skills.  In total, the industry employs more than 425,000 Ontarians in a wide range of jobs, and in every community.

“Restaurants are the number one provider of first jobs in Canada.  No other industry helps more students to pay their way through school or works with more young people to develop valuable job skills,” says CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte.  “We look forward to working with the Ontario government to increase youth employment.”

Ontario’s restaurant industry generates $25-billion annually in economic activity and is the fourth-largest private-sector employer with more than 425,000 direct jobs.


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