Licensing changes good news for restaurants and their guests

VANCOUVER, Dec. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) and British Columbia's hospitality industry welcome the liquor licensing changes announced today. These changes simplify liquor establishment licensing and remove unnecessary and confusing red tape for both the hospitality industry and its guests.

Today's announcement means:

  • restaurants can now serve guests a drink without complicated rules on food consumption;
  • pubs can now serve alcohol to adults with children present for part of the day; and
  • all liquor establishments can offer customers 'Happy Hour' specials.

"These changes will benefit the hospitality industry and all British Columbians, and represent a major step forward in modernizing the province's liquor laws," said Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA's Vice President, Western Canada. "There will also be less confusion for liquor servers and their customers."

CRFA is confident these changes will boost hospitality industry investment and job creation, and applauds Premier Clark and the B.C. government for acting on CRFA's recommendations.

The cost of liquor – a major concern for CRFA members – still remains an issue.

CRFA continues to urge the B.C. government to move to a simpler, transparent flat-tax liquor markup system that offers licensees a wholesale discount. "British Columbia's licensed establishments are the only major wholesale purchaser of liquor that receive absolutely no discount on the Liquor Distribution Branch's retail price, which results in higher liquor menu prices for customers," said von Schellwitz.  "A flat-tax liquor markup model, in addition to providing economic advantages, better reflects social interests while offering more flexibility, transparency and future liquor revenue predictability for government."

British Columbia's $10-billion restaurant industry is one of the largest employment- and revenue-generating liquor stakeholders. It directly employs more than 166,000 people in every community across the province.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information: Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada, 604-685-9655 or cell 604-809-5719 or mark@crfa.ca, or Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist at 416-649-4254 or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or email pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca.