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

Saanich safety upgrades, bike lane extension on Finnerty Road near completion

Raised instersection and sidewalks part of safety improvements near UVic

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Langford woman charged after allegedly racking up $10,000 in loans using stolen identity

A 32-year-old Langford woman faces theft, fraud, and impersonation charges

Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair bounces back into Pearkes

The family-friendly event runs Oct. 19-20 at Pearkes

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

Most Read