VANCOUVER, March 12, 2015 – The B.C. government is taking a slow and steady approach by raising the hourly general minimum wage to $10.45 on Sept. 15.

“The restaurant industry already struggles with intense cost pressures, and any bump in labour costs is challenging to absorb or pass on to customers,” says Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada’s Vice President Western Canada. “However, Labour Minister Shirley Bond’s move to align the minimum wage increase with inflation provides employers with some degree of certainty. Slow and steady wins the race.”

The province’s restaurants directly employ more than 178,000 British Columbians and are the number one source of first-time jobs.

“Using economic indicators to guide minimum wage increases will help restaurant owners grow jobs and investment,” says von Schellwitz. “Restaurateurs already use similar signals to adjust employee wages, and this approach ensures minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living.”

British Columbia’s restaurant industry is the third-largest private-sector employer in the province. It directly employs more than 72,000 young people in every community across the province. In 2014 alone, the industry created 4,200 jobs and saw sales growth of 7.5 per cent.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.

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