- The Saskatchewan government receives a passing grade from Restaurants Canada for its support of the hospitality sector’s policy.
- Restaurants Canada estimates that 29% of Canadian restaurants are running at a loss, and another 33% are just breaking even, according to Hinshaw.
Regarding policy assistance for the hospitality industry, Restaurants Canada gives the Saskatchewan government a passing grade, but the territory is far from being at the top of the class.
According to “how industry-friendly their liquor policy landscape is for bars and restaurants,” the industry advocate’s annual “Raise the Bar” report card evaluates provinces. The province of Saskatchewan received a C-.
According to Jennifer Henshaw, director of Western Canada Government Relations, “Saskatchewan needs to take decisive action to offer licensed establishments with more substantial cost relief and move through with a thorough review of liquor policies, as was previously promised; by the government.”
As struggling bars and restaurants struggle to recover, Restaurants Canada is also urging the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) to enhance communication with the region’s foodservice sector.
According to Hinshaw, Restaurants Canada estimates that 29% of Canadian restaurants are running at a loss, and another 33% are just breaking even.
The group has proposed various actions the province might take to assist company owners in making savings as demand increases.
- All liquor license holders should have access to wholesale prices for all varieties of alcoholic beverages.
- Continue streamlining procedures and lowering expenses for businesses with licenses; implement a salary for liquor servers.
- Maintain your efforts to make ordering non-stocked items easier.
- According to Henshaw, liquor is one of the main lines of business for bars and restaurants.
“It is cruel that some licensees with off-sale endorsements receive full wholesale pricing before 2016, which is the policy’s inception date, while the vast majority of licensees are required to pay full retail prices from SLGA or negotiate discounts that are greater than wholesale prices,” said one licensee.
After first declaring the policy change as a pandemic response strategy, the government of British Columbia implemented permanent wholesale liquor pricing for the hotel sector last year.
“SLGA continues to assess liquor regulations on an ongoing basis and recently enacted several modifications from a review in 2021,” an SLGA spokeswoman said in a statement.
The Saskatchewan liquor retail model underwent significant modifications in 2016, allowing restaurants and other business permittees to buy their goods from any of the roughly 700 liquor stores located around the province. Before, eateries had to buy supplies from the 76 SLGA liquor stores. With this modification, restaurants will have additional options and be able to bargain with retailers over costs.
“Restaurants Canada has been requesting the idea of wholesale pricing for many years, and they continue to discuss their ideas with the government. Wholesale prices only apply to liquor stores that sell products for consumption away from the store; they do not apply to restaurants that serve alcohol at the table. The way Saskatchewan handles wholesale pricing is typical of most jurisdictions.
Source: CTV News
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