If you think beer, wine and spirits cost too much in bars and restaurants — don’t blame the business.
Restaurants Canada — which represents those outlets — says the province needs to let the industry buy their beer, wine and spirits at wholesale prices, like private liquor stores.
Spokesman Mark von Schellwitz says the savings could be passed on to the consumer.
“I think there’s a real opportunity for the new government. It’s all about affordability and to improve the affordability of buying liquor in a controlled licensed establishments, we certainly think British Columbians deserve a better break on their liquor prices.”
Von Schellwitz says BC is trailing other provinces on the policy, with Alberta and Quebec leading the way.
“The establishments are getting a lot of complaints about the high cost of liquor menu prices, and they’re surprised to learn we’re paying full retail prices and then have to mark it up from there so there is no wholesale price discount.”
The association has issued its latest Raise the Bar report card, which rates each province on the bar- and restaurant-friendliness of their liquor policies, primarily in terms of price, selection, licensing and regulation.
Alberta earned the top mark, a “B”, as the only province to offer true wholesale pricing on beer, wine and spirits.
Newfoundland and Labrador is at the bottom of the class with D-minus due to high prices, limited selection and excess red tape.
The full rankings are:
Nova Scotia B-minus
British Columbia C
New Brunswick D
Canada’s bars and licensed restaurants represent 48,000 businesses, directly employ 560,000 Canadians, and generate $8.2 billion a year in economic activity, 97% of which goes back to the community through wages, benefits, business purchases and charitable donations.