VANCOUVER, May 4 /CNW/ - Nearly nine in ten restaurateurs have seen a
drop in sales since the introduction of the HST and new
drinking-and-driving penalties in British Columbia, according to a
province-wide survey by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Overall restaurant sales dropped by an average of 15% in the seven
months following the July 2010 introduction of the HST, according to
survey respondents. Liquor sales in particular fell by 21% in the four
months following the introduction of new blood alcohol content (BAC)
regulations in late Sept. 2010.
In the same survey, 68% of BC restaurateurs said they will vote against
HST as it is currently structured in the upcoming HST referendum.
"For several months these two public policies have stalled any
post-recession recovery in British Columbia's restaurant industry - a
recovery that has already taken hold in other provinces," says Mark von
Schellwitz, CRFA Vice President, Western Canada. "The restaurant
industry is the fourth-largest private-sector employer in B.C. and
contributes to communities all across the province. We urge the
government to stop giving British Columbians more reasons to stay home,
and work with us to create a better business climate for our members
and their customers."
The CRFA survey finds that:
Nearly nine in ten (87%) of respondents reported a drop in sales since
HST took effect;
The average decrease in sales was 15% between July 2010 and Jan. 2011
compared to the same period a year earlier;
68% of respondents say they will vote against HST as it is currently
88% of licensed restaurant and bar operators said the new .05 drinking
and driving penalties resulted in a drop in liquor sales;
Licensees reported an average 21% loss in liquor sales between Oct. 2010
and Jan. 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier;
As a result of the declining sales caused by HST and the new drinking
and driving penalties, 72% of respondents said they have cut back on
staff hours, 54% are offering more deals and promotions to keep
customers, 31% are doing more advertising and marketing, and 20% have
reduced their hours of operation.
The CRFA online survey of restaurant owners and operators was conducted
between March 23 and March 31, 2011. The findings represent 1,909 B.C.
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA Vice President Western Canada, 604-685-9655, 604-809-5719 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org; Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 416-649-4254 or email@example.com