Foodservice Equipment Reports

Canadian Operators Face Minimum Wage, Pension Hikes

Canada’s provincial governments are making running a business a bit more difficult for operators. In Vancouver, B.C., the general minimum wage has been boosted 28% over the next 14 months. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association says the three scheduled wage increases will cost the restaurant industry an estimated $295 million in additional payroll costs.

Restaurant sales in British Columbia have been dropping for three straight years, according to the CRFA. “The restaurant industry creates thousands of job opportunities in communities across the province, but many operators are now stepping on the brakes,” says Mark von Schellwitz, v.p.-western Canada. “Imposing these massive wage increases and eliminating the training wage at a time when sales are declining and food costs are increasing will hurt the very people this announcement is intended to help.  Restaurant owners will be forced to cut hours to control their costs and employees will end up earning less.” 

The government did heed recommendations from CRFA and other business groups to implement a gratuity wage differential that recognizes that liquor servers are not minimum wage earners.

British Columbia’s restaurant industry directly employs more than 160,000 people, including more than 75,000 teenagers. In Quebec, where the foodservice industry employs 257,000 people, including 109,000 teens, the government has increased pension plan rates, which the CRFA says will hurt businesses that invest in people, not equipment.

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