Alberta might lose more than a third of its restaurants

Credit: Restaurant Canada

According to a new survey from Restaurants Canada, more than a third of Alberta’s foodservice businesses might close their doors if operating conditions and economy in the province don’t improve.

As per the survey – conducted between Feb. 12 and March 9, 2019, 35 percent of respondents said they have considered closing up shop following recent changes to provincial labour legislation. A total of 203 completed surveys were submitted, representing 1,350 establishments, including table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and other foodservice businesses, such as accommodation, institutions and drinking places.

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According to Restaurants Canada, since 2015 there was a loss of 10,000 foodservice and accommodation jobs and 9.1 per cent drop in average sales per unit.

“When restaurants struggle, so do the communities they serve. With a provincial election coming up on April 16, we look forward to hearing how each of Alberta’s political parties plan to help foodservice businesses survive and thrive.” Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada.

According to the survey,  the methods resorted by the foodservice operators across Alberta to counteract the wage increase sharply from $10.20 in 2015 to $15 per hour in October 2018  include:

• Increased menu prices (94 per cent)
• Decreased staff hours (88 per cent)
• Hired fewer youth for entry-level positions (61 per cent)
• Laid off staff (46 per cent)
• Explored self-service solutions like touch pads and kiosks (26 per cent)

You can read more about the survey here.

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