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Restaurants Canada Announces New Chair of the Board, Jeremy Bonia


With over two decades of industry experience, Jeremy Bonia will lead Restaurants Canada’s Board of Directors to drive its vision of growing and creating vibrant and thriving foodservice communities across Canada; and to unite the foodservice industry through advocacy, connection and support

Restaurants Canada, the national, not-for-profit association representing Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry announced the election of accomplished Newfoundland & Labrador-based restaurateur and sommelier Jeremy Bonia as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. The announcement was made at the incoming meeting of the Board of Directors following the Annual and Special Meeting of the Members, held on March 30th, 2023.

“I’m both excited and honoured to take on the role of Chair of the Board for Restaurants Canada,” said Bonia.“As an independent operator in this industry, I understand how tough the last number of years have been for everyone. I look forward to working with the rest of the experienced industry leaders on this board as well as the staff at Restaurants Canada.Together I believe we will bring this industry back stronger than ever.”

With over 20 years of industry experience, Bonia grew up in Logy Bay, Newfoundland and began his career in the foodservice industry at Bianca’s, one of that Province’s original fine dining restaurants. There he developed an interest in wine, which led him to become a certified sommelier. In 2007 he met his now business partner and head chef Jeremy Charles. Together they opened three Newfoundland-based restaurants; Raymonds Restaurant, The Merchant Tavern and most recently, Portage. With a deep understanding of how to operate an independent restaurant, success and popularity have found each of Bonia and Charles’ establishments. Long considered one of Canada’s best restaurants, in 2011 Raymonds Restaurant took home EnRoute’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ award.

As Chair, Bonia will be responsible for ensuring that, under the board’s direction, Restaurants Canada makes objective decisions that take into careful consideration the interests of the membership and other stakeholders. He will work closely with President and CEO, Christian Buhagiar, as the organization focuses on helping restaurant owners and operators recover from the pandemic and achieve long-term success.

Bonia succeeds Mike Yasinski, a foodservice and hospitality veteran, long-time entrepreneur and bar and restaurant investor, who was elected as Chair in March 2022. Yasinski played an integral role in leading Restaurants Canada as it transitioned into new leadership with the hiring of Buhagiar.

“Mike has played a key role over the past year in the development of a new vision, mission and set of corporate values for the association, navigating the association out of the pandemic, and championing changes to further strengthen the governance of Restaurants Canada,” said Christian Buhagiar. “I want to thank Mike for his commitment to our members and to his mentorship as I transitioned into the role. I look forward to working with Jeremy over the coming year as we build on past achievements and strengthen our role as steward of the industry”.