Restaurant and bar owners frustrated by provincial liquor systems

Nova Scotia scores C+ on Restaurants Canada's liquor report card, with lots of upside potential

HALIFAX, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Restaurants Canada issued a new report card today, grading each province on its beverage alcohol policies and regulations. Raise the Bar assigned Nova Scotia a C+ because they offer wholesale pricing in some cases, and are working closely with the industry to update regulations to eliminate dry areas and make the province more business-friendly. 

High overall pricing and taxes brought down Nova Scotia's score, but their willingness to work with the industry has resulted in wins across the board.

"We're optimistic about the changes we're starting to see," says Luc Erjavec, Vice-President, Atlantic Canada. "The government of Nova Scotia has been eager to work with the industry, and we've seen a lot of recent progress. We think their score on next year's report card will be even better."

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: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7678251-restaurants-canada-bar-liquor/

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.

"This report spotlights the areas where provincial governments can make changes that will have the biggest impact," says Erjavec. "We'd like to work with them to improve their liquor policies so everyone – bar and restaurant owners, and the people who go to them – will come out ahead."

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 lerjavec@restaurantscanada.org; Beth Pollock, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or media@restaurantscanada.org; Ellen Woodger, The Gabor Group at 416-483-2358 or ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

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