MONTREAL, January 20, 2017 – Labour Minister Dominique Vien announced a series of annual minimum wage increases, providing restaurants with some certainty about a key component of their costs until 2020.

Labour accounts for at least a third of a restaurant’s operating cost, and a steep bump in minimum wage cannot be absorbed or passed on to price-resistant customers. The unintended result is fewer jobs and hours for workers, with youth the most severely affected.

“We applaud the government for not bowing to pressure to increase minimum wage to an arbitrary number that would have hurt businesses, the employees they could no longer keep, as well as youth seeking first-time job opportunities,” said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada’s Executive Vice President Government Affairs.

The general hourly minimum wage will increase to:

  • $11.25 on May 1, 2017;
  • $11.75 in 2018;
  • $12.10 in 2019; and
  •  $12.45 in 2020.

Restaurants Canada is also pleased the government continues to recognize the significant contribution of tips to server incomes by increasing the differential between the general minimum wage and tipped wage.

The hourly tipped wage will increase from $9.20 to $9.45 on May 1, and then by an increment of 25 cents in 2018, and increments of 15 cents in 2019 and 2020, bringing the tipped wage to $10.15.


Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.


MEDIA CONTACT: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist at 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or


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