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Ontario budget not addressing restaurant industry concerns: Restaurants Canada


May 5, 2014
By Bakers Journal

May 5, 2014, Toronto – Restaurants
Canada is disappointed the Ontario government’s recent budget proposal did not
address many concerns of the restaurant industry.

May 5, 2014, Toronto – Restaurants
Canada is disappointed the Ontario government’s recent budget proposal did not
address many concerns of the restaurant industry.
 

The association said in a news release the industry
has been harmed by the government’s increased regulatory burden and high
beverage alcohol prices.

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“We were looking at this budget for a sign
that this government understands the needs of our industry,” said James Rilett,
Restaurants Canada’s Ontario vice-president in the release. “What we got was
more of the same, and a complete dismissal of our recommendations.”

Restaurants Canada had previously asked the
government to address the beverage alcohol system that forces restaurants, bars
and pubs to pay more than the public for beverage alcohol products. For
example, the existing system allows breweries to charge licensees 30 per cent
more than the public for cases of beer.

Restaurants Canada was also looking for
evidence the government would address the worsening business climate for the
industry. Statistics Canada data shows the foodservice industry in Ontario is
dead last in terms of profitability at 2.8 per cent, when compared to its
counterparts in other provinces.

“A 2.8 per cent margin does not leave much
room for error,” said Rilett in the release. “That profit margin is quickly
eroded by minimum wage increases, new regulatory costs and decreased consumer
confidence – none of which was addressed today.”

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. The association,
which is involved in advocacy and research, offers member programs and services.