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Restaurants Canada applauds Federal Government for capping the alcohol excise tax at 2%; a major win for restaurant industry and consumers.


Restaurants Canada is expressing gratitude to the Federal government for maintaining the alcohol excise tax at 2%. We have been advocating tirelessly for this decision to support the foodservice industry, and this news demonstrates that our concerns have been heard and are taken seriously.  

“The cap on the alcohol tax gives operators a chance to catch their breath. For the past four years, restaurants have been dealt one blow after another,” said Kelly Higginson, President and CEO of Restaurants Canada. “Our most recent data shows 62% of restaurants in Canada are operating at a loss or barely breaking even, compared to 12% pre-pandemic. These establishments are not just businesses; they are the heart of our communities, representing dreams, passions, and social connections.” 

Operating a restaurant has never been more expensive than it is today due to the rising cost of food and record-high inflation. 

The cap on the federal excise tax on alcohol is not just for the benefit of restaurants, but for all Canadians who enjoy a glass of wine on their birthday or a pint of beer with their colleagues after work.  

This change came about through collaborative advocacy efforts between Restaurants Canada and a coalition of brewers, unions, consumers, farmers, and retailers. This decision is welcomed by our members in Canadian cities and towns, big and small.  

“On behalf of our members, we thank the Minister of Small Business, Rechie Valdez, for working so hard on this file and seeing it through and to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland for signalling the government’s commitment to helping our industry make it through a difficult time,” said Kelly Higginson, President & CEO, Restaurants Canada.