(Feb. 4/18): On January 24, Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, was interviewed on Global News and shared his insights on Alberta’s troubled foodservice industry and how owners and operators are struggling to make ends meet.
Global’s story focused on Alberta’s foodservice sector posting back-to-back monthly declines in sales in October and November of last year, which could be linked to the province’s rising minimum wage. Some industry experts believe these changes forced many Alberta foodservice owners and operators to raise menu prices to offset the rising labour costs.
Mark offered his professional advice during an on-camera interview: “Before this recession began, Alberta was constantly a leader in sales growth and employment growth,” he said. “But, over the past few years, we’ve dropped from first to basically last…they’re very big concerns. It’s death by a thousand cuts…the only thing (operators) can do are raise prices or reduce labour and many of them are forced to do both those things.”
The feature also examined and discussed other factors which could be contributing to the province’s foodservice sector’s decline, including the provincial carbon tax, labour changes, liquor taxes and falling revenues. It also noted Alberta’s foodservice sales declined by 5.5 per cent in 2016.