Report finds 35% of Alberta foodservice operators may shut down

27th March 2019 (Last Updated March 27th, 2019 11:25)

A new survey conducted by Restaurants Canada has revealed that 35% of foodservice establishments across Alberta are expected to close their businesses.

Report finds 35% of Alberta foodservice operators may shut down
Around 94% of foodservice operators in Alberta increased menu prices in response to the increase in minimum wage. Credit: Rachel Park, Unsplash.

A new survey conducted by Restaurants Canada has revealed that 35% of foodservice establishments across Alberta are expected to close their businesses.

According to the survey, the participants mentioned that they are planning to close stores following the recent changes to provincial labour legislation.

Recently, policy changes were introduced in Alberta to boost earnings and reduce the cost of living in the province. The changes have seen an increase in minimum wage from $10.20 in 2015 to $15 an hour in October last year.

In response, 94% of foodservice operators increased menu prices, 88% decreased staff hours, 61% hired fewer youths for entry-level positions, 46% removed jobs, and 26% explored self-service solutions such as touchpads and kiosks.

In January the company shared 16 policy recommendations with the four major political parties in Alberta.

“We look forward to hearing how each of Alberta’s political parties plan to help foodservice businesses survive and thrive.”

Restaurants Canada vice-president of Western Canada Mark von Schellwitz said: “When restaurants struggle, so do the communities they serve.

“With a provincial election coming up on 16 April, we look forward to hearing how each of Alberta’s political parties plan to help foodservice businesses survive and thrive.”

The Canadian foodservice organisation has conducted the survey between 12 February and 9 March this year.

Responses were collected through 203 surveys representing 1,350 establishments, including table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and other foodservice businesses such as accommodation, institutions and drinking areas.

Last month, the foodservice industry association launched a campaign to help improve conditions for catering and hospitality businesses in Alberta.

The campaign focused on increasing awareness regarding issues faced by foodservice establishments in the province, as well as offer policy solutions for Alberta’s next government.