Restaurants want booze price break

Province gets C+ grade from restaurants for lack of wholesale pricing

Restaurants and pubs pay the same price for the wine and beer they serve as any other buyer at government stores. They're asking for a wholesale discount.

Restaurants and bars in B.C. want the provincial government to cut them a deal on the price they pay for wine, beer and spirits.

Right now, they’re required to buy liquor only from government stores and they must pay the same price as everyone else.

That’s prompted a C+ grade for B.c. on liquor policy in a new report from industry association Restaurants Canada, which concluded “Beautiful British Columbia is not so beautiful when it comes to liquor prices.”

B.C. Restaurant and Foodservice Association president Ian Tostenson said the hospitality industry is struggling in many areas in part because of the high prices it must pay for alcohol compared to other jurisdictions.

“The industry should be able to buy at some kind of wholesale price,” Tostenson said. “That’s one issue that should be corrected.”

Alberta offers wholesale discounts for its restaurants and bars, but there’s no wholesale pricing in most other provinces.

Tostenson is in Victoria this week to lobby the province to make that change and to reconsider why it charges a higher sales tax of 10 per cent on liquor, instead of the usual seven per cent PST.

“We have the highest taxation on wine in North America,” he said.

Restaurants would also like to be able to buy from private stores, which do get a wholesale discount and might be able to offer a price break to win restaurants’ business. Tostenson said restaurateurs would also like access to the wider selection available in private stores.

Coralee Oakes, the provincial minister responsible for liquor distribution, made no commitments but emphasized the liquor policy reforms already launched by the province.

“Many of the changes we’ve made so far – including the introduction of happy hours and allowing children to join their families for a meal in the pub – focus on supporting restaurants,” she said.

Just Posted

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

The sun streak continues with a high of 18 C today

Showers expected this weekend so enjoy it while it lasts

Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

‘Penwill Street’ was named after a Victoria man, but mistakenly spelled ‘Penwell Street’

Short-term accommodations in Canada generated an estimated $2.8 billion in 2018

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec generated almost 90 per cent of total revenue

Colwood, Esquimalt mayors support potential passenger commuter ferry

Mayors Rob Martin and Barb Desjardins hopeful study will continue

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read