Restaurant industry should be a priority in PEI election

CHARLOTTETOWN, Sept. 6, 2011 /CNW/ - PEI's restaurant industry hosted Premier Ghiz on Day One of the provincial election campaign, raising the challenges faced by Island restaurateurs as well as the framework needed to grow this important industry.

"The restaurant industry is an integral part of the social and economic fabric of communities across the Island," said Luc Erjavec, Vice President Atlantic Canada for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). "The industry hopes the Premier's decision to begin the campaign by meeting with restaurant operators is a clear indication of the value and importance he places on this vital industry."

The restaurant industry is also closely connected to the Island's booming tourism industry - dining out is a top tourist activity. According to a recent Ipsos poll for Kraft Foodservice Canada and CRFA, 81 per cent of Atlantic Canadians agree that restaurants encourage travel and tourism.

PEI's restaurant industry is made up of 320 small business operators generating $226 million in sales. Every dollar spent in a restaurant generates $1.85 in economic activity. With 5,000 employees, the restaurant industry is the third-largest private-sector employer on the Island. The Ipsos poll found that 22 per cent of Canadians were first employed by the restaurant industry (making it the number one source of first jobs), and 80 per cent recognize restaurants as a vital source of employment.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's $61-billion foodservice industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Luc Erjavec, 902-209-0804 (cell) or lerjavec@crfa.ca;  Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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