Province must maximize existing alcohol sales opportunities before expansion

Published April 6, 2015

TORONTO, April 6, 2015 – A Restaurants Canada proposal to the Ontario government would enable craft and micro brewers to get their product to consumers in a timely manner while providing more choice and convenience.

The initiative would allow restaurants, bars and pubs to sell craft beer for home consumption, a program often referred to as off-sales. The idea was a part of a proposal to government last spring and was subsequently sent to the Premier’s Advisory Panel on Government Assets.

“This is a natural evolution,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada’s Vice President Ontario. “Unlike grocery stores, restaurant staff are already trained to responsibly sell alcohol products. It only makes sense that they would be the first retail option to be considered.”

Other provinces currently have retail opportunities as part of their licensee regimes. This has given craft and micro brewers an alternate outlet for their products.

“Restaurants Canada Members are big fans of craft beer, and they provide a place for brewers to introduce new and limited run products,” Rilett. “Providing a retail outlet for the products is a natural step that has been successful in other provinces.”

Craft beer/ microbrews were the #1 Hot Trend in the Restaurants Canada 2015 Chef Survey. Food items are increasingly being paired with craft beverages, which has helped to grow the trend.

Six provinces currently have off-sale programs: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

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.

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