Restaurant and bar owners frustrated by provincial liquor regulations

New Brunswick earns a mediocre C- on national report card

FREDERICTON, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Restaurant and bar owners in New Brunswick say there's plenty of room for improvement when it comes to liquor regulations and pricing. The province gets a grade of C- on a new report card called Raise the Bar, issued today by Restaurants Canada.

"New Brunswick offers a very modest wholesale pricing program for restaurants, bars and caterers, but it's not enough to be of value. The price our members pay is not much different than the price consumers pay when they walk into a liquor store," says Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada's Vice-President, Atlantic Canada.

The province also lost marks because of several outdated laws, such as a prohibition on cans and bottles on patios.

"The door's not shut," says Erjavec. "Our members want to deliver better value to customers and generate more jobs and investment in New Brunswick. We've been working on several changes with regulators and government, and we just need the political will to make it happen."

The Raise the Bar report card is the by-product of a survey of Canada's restaurant and bar owners who are frustrated with provincial regulations that control the cost and distribution of the alcoholic beverages they provide to customers. The report evaluates provincial governments across the country, and scores their support for the food and beverage service industry in four categories: pricing and selection; licensing and regulation; customer sales; and political and regulatory activity. 

Close to all (97%) surveyed members of Restaurants Canada want to see wholesale pricing for the products they sell in their establishments, and 72% believe the cost of purchasing their product (often from liquor distribution monopolies) hinders their ability to do business. Less than a third (30%) say they receive value from their local liquor or beer supplier.

Alberta led the nation with a B+ grade, offering the broadest selection of beer, wine and spirits at the best average price relative to other Canadian provinces.

Full provincial results are available here:

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada's restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Luc Erjavec, Vice President, Atlantic Canada, cell (902) 209-0804 or; Beth Pollock, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or; Ellen Woodger, The Gabor Group, (416) 483-2358 or


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