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Ontario gets C-minus on 2019 Raise the Bar report card from Restaurants Canada

TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the third time since 2015, Restaurants Canada has taken stock of liquor policies impacting foodservice and hospitality businesses from coast to coast in its biennial Raise the Bar report.

Restaurants Canada has raised Ontario's grade for the first time, from a D-plus to C-minus, recognizing the consultative approach and appetite for change demonstrated under the province's new leadership.

"Ontario's new government hit the ground running in 2018, immediately turning its attention to modernizing the regulatory framework for beverage alcohol," said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada. "As soon as the government begins to apply itself more seriously in the area of hospitality, the province will start to see more significant improvements in its grade."

Full 2019 Raise the Bar report card rankings:

B-Nova Scotia
B-Prince Edward Island
CBritish Columbia
D-New Brunswick
D-Newfoundland & Labrador

Cheers to quick progress

Since launching its liquor legislation review, Ontario has already moved forward with a number of reforms.

While changes so far have mostly impacted retail settings, the following measures have directly benefited the province's bars and restaurants:

These red tape reductions have been welcomed as a sign of more good news to come for the foodservice and hospitality community.

Survey says...

Compared to two years ago, Ontario's licensed foodservice operators say liquor policies are:

BetterThe sameWorse

How can Ontario raise the bar for licensed establishments?

  1. Make wholesale pricing available to all liquor licensees, for all types of beverage alcohol products. Currently only restaurateurs in Alberta and on Prince Edward Island have access to discounted wholesale pricing on wine, spirits and beer. Meanwhile, bar and restaurant operators in Ontario pay more than retail customers for beverage alcohol. Monopolies still control the distribution of liquor to licensed establishments in this province, shutting foodservice and hospitality businesses out from wholesale pricing while offering them poor service and a limited selection of products.
  2. Undertake a comprehensive re-write of liquor legislation to cut red tape and reflect changing market conditions. It's time to update rules that are out of step with modern business practices.
  3. Allow all liquor licensees to sell alcohol for off-site consumption. Why should restaurateurs who are trained and trusted to serve alcoholic beverages within their establishments be restricted from selling those same products to their customers to enjoy off-site?
  4. Maintain the liquor server wage. A wage differential for tipped workers allows restaurateurs to allocate more towards higher wages for non-gratuity earning kitchen staff, who are typically harder to attract and retain.
  5. Reduce excessive markups on beverage alcohol products. The amount of tax collected on liquor in Canada is among the highest in the world. Across the country, a cocktail of federal and provincial taxes and fees currently make up: Nearly 50 per cent of the cost of beer; between 65 and 70 per cent of the final price of wine; and up to 80 per cent of the cost of spirits.

Visit info.restaurantscanada.org/raise-the-bar-2019 to download the full report and join in the online conversation with the hashtag #RaiseTheBar2019.

About Raise the Bar

Raise the Bar is a report produced every two years by Restaurants Canada evaluating the impact of liquor policies on bars and restaurants across the country.

Provincial policies evaluated for the 2019 Raise the Bar report were reviewed within the following four major categories and, after analysis and weighting, each province was given an overall letter grade:

  1. Pricing and Selection
  2. Licensing and Regulation
  3. Customer Sales
  4. Political/Regulatory Activity

All survey results featured in the 2019 Raise the Bar report were compiled from more than 700 responses to an online questionnaire that was emailed to foodservice operators across Canada between June 12 and Aug. 26, 2019.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada's diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Canada's foodservice sector is an $89 billion industry that directly employs 1.2 million workers, is Canada's number one source of first jobs and serves 22 million customers across the country every day.


News published on 10 september 2019 at 09:05 and distributed by: