PEI restaurateur Liam Dolan elected Chair of Restaurants Canada

TORONTO, March 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Liam Dolan, chef and owner of three leading restaurants in Charlottetown, is the new Chair of Restaurants Canada for 2014 – 2015.

Dolan was elected chair at the association's annual meeting today. Restaurants Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, revealed its new name and look last week. The association is celebrating 70 years as the voice of foodservice in Canada.

As Chair of Restaurants Canada, Liam will lead the volunteer board of a business association representing 30,000 members in Canada's $68-billion restaurant industry -- one of the country's largest employers, providing career opportunities for 1.1 million Canadians. Restaurants Canada represents restaurants, bars, caterers and other foodservice businesses in all provinces and works on their behalf as a voice to government, source of cutting-edge research and partner for money-saving programs.

"I've worked in foodservice since I was a teen, and I'm honoured by this opportunity to use my passion for the business for the greater good of Canada's restaurants," said Dolan.

"We are the only type of business that is in every community in this country.  We are the number one provider of first-time jobs, and we create thousands of spin-off jobs for everyone from farmers to furniture makers," he said. "This is an industry that governments need to get behind, and I look forward to delivering that message."   

About Liam Dolan:
Liam has served on the Board of Directors of Restaurants Canada for nearly 13 years. He started studying as a chef at the tender age of 16 in his native Ireland, and later moved to Prince Edward Island where he worked as a chef in hotels around the province. He opened his first restaurant in Charlottetown more than 30 years ago, and now operates three restaurants –  the Claddagh Oyster House, the Olde Dublin Pub and Peake's Quay Restaurant and Bar – which are crown jewels in the city's restaurant scene.

Liam is one of the biggest cheerleaders for PEI's tourism industry. He founded the PEI International Shellfish Festival, which has grown into one of the biggest food festivals in the country. He made headlines around the continent for serving a signature seafood dish on "Live with Regis and Kelly" that changed the mind of Regis Philbin (who had been a self-proclaimed seafood hater).

About Restaurants Canada:
Restaurants Canada 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. 

Canada's restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.

NOTE TO EDITORS:  A high res photo of Liam Dolan is available at the following URL: http://www.crfa.ca/dolan/

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 416-649-4254, or 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254, Email: pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org.