Balanced budget good news for BC restaurants

VANCOUVER, Feb. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) and British Columbia's hospitality industry welcome today's balanced budget. This is good news for the province's $10 billion restaurant industry because balancing the budget reduces debt servicing costs and takes the pressure off government to raise personal and business taxes. As a result British Columbians will have more disposable income to spend in restaurants.

Restaurant industry growth is dependent on disposable income. "Today's balanced budget will result in our guests spending more money in their local restaurants and bars," said Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA's Vice President, Western Canada. "A balanced budget also helps increase business confidence and combined with the recently announced Liquor Review changes will attract new investment and encourage job creation in British Columbia's hospitality industry."

CRFA is working with government on implementing Liquor Review recommendations and 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 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's restaurant industry generates $68 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:

Contact: 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.