Restaurants Canada recommends LCBO sell beer in cases

TORONTO, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Restaurants Canada recommends the Government of Ontario get rid of a 14-year-old agreement that restricts competition in the beer sales system. In a presentation to the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets, Restaurants Canada noted the LCBO is forgoing over $500 million annually by protecting The Beer Store monopoly on 12- and 24-packs of beer.

"It is inconceivable that the government would protect a foreign-controlled monopoly like The Beer Store to the detriment of taxpayers," said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada's Ontario Vice President. "This is bad for taxpayers, consumers, and small businesses."

In the 2000 agreement, with the Orwellian name "Serving Ontario Beer Consumers: A framework for improved cooperation & planning between the LCBO & BRI," the government gave away the right for the LCBO to compete with The Beer Store on certain packaging.

"Changing the rules is not just good for taxpayers, it is good public policy," said Rilett. "It would give consumers more choice and convenience, while saving small businesses millions of dollars."

Ontario restaurants, bars and pubs pay up to 50 per cent more than the general public for beer at The Beer Store – a premium of more than $75 million per year.

Submission attached: Restaurants Canada submission to Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets.

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. 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.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649 ext 4254 or pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org; James Rilett, Vice-President Ontario, 416-649-4241 or jrilett@restaurantscanada.org