Restaurant and bar owners frustrated by provincial liquor systems

Published November 2, 2015


November 2, 2015, ST. JOHN’S – Newfoundland and Labrador gets the lowest grade in Canada when it comes to provincial liquor policies and pricing for restaurants and bars, according to a new report card from Restaurants Canada.

Today’s Raise the Bar report grades each province on its liquor policies and regulations. Newfoundland earned an ‘F’ due to high prices, the lack of a strong working relationship with the industry, and an inflexible and adversarial inspection system.

“The report card speaks for itself,” says Luc Erjavec, Vice-President, Atlantic Canada. “These issues prevent licensees from offering customers the best possible guest experience, and they put unnecessary roadblocks in their way.”

Alberta led the nation with a B+ grade, offering the broadest selection of beer, wine and spirits at the best average price relative to other Canadian provinces.

“There’s lots of work to be done, but we’re hopeful the government of Newfoundland and Labrador will come to the table,” says Erjavec. “We’d like to work with them to improve their liquor policies so everyone – bar and restaurant owners, and the people who go to them – will come out ahead.”

Full provincial results are available here.

The Raise the Bar report card is the by-product of a survey of Canada’s restaurant and bar owners who are frustrated with provincial regulations that control the cost and distribution of the alcoholic beverages they provide to customers. The report evaluates provincial governments across the country, and scores their support for the food and beverage service industry in four categories: pricing and selection; licensing and regulation; customer sales; and political and regulatory activity.

Close to all (97%) surveyed members of Restaurants Canada want to see wholesale pricing for the products they sell in their establishments, and 72% believe the cost of purchasing their product (often from liquor distribution monopolies) hinders their ability to do business. Less than a third (30%) say they receive value from their local liquor or beer supplier.

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.

Restaurants Canada Digital

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