Restaurants Canada to Province - Help Restaurants Struggling with Minimum Wage Increases

Nova Scotia Should Follow Newfoundland and Labrador's Lead

Toronto, April 30, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Restaurants Canada is asking the Nova Scotia government to follow the lead of Newfoundland and Labrador's government in providing financial aid to restaurants struggling with a string of minimum wage increases. Newfoundland and Labrador, like Manitoba, is recognizing the need to provide support to help small businesses transition to these higher minimum wage rates. Over $2,000,000 is being provided by the Provincial Government through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement as direct financial assistance to an estimated 600 small and medium sized businesses. 

"We are asking the government of Nova Scotia to look at what their counterparts are doing and follow their lead." said Jordi Morgan, VP Atlantic for Restaurants Canada. “Seven consecutive mandated wage hikes are making it very difficult for our restaurants to survive as the wage increases come directly off their bottom line. 62% of restaurants in this country are now either losing money or barely breaking even."

Minimum wage increases are also having unintended consequences. Back-of-house and kitchen staff are being denied increases because they often make more than minimum wage. Their front-of-house colleagues, whose compensation is made up of a minimum wage - plus tips, must receive the mandated increase, but with their tips, these employees are already earning a much higher paycheck. A server in a mid-range, full-service family restaurant in Canada earns on average a total of $62/hour. It is unfair when employers are forced to provide mandated minimum wage increases to tipped employees - resulting in less money to provide raises for others. 

We are hopeful the government of Nova Scotia, like Newfoundland and Labrador, will demonstrate it also recognizes the additional burden they have put on operators during this difficult period and provide help for the recovery of the sector. 

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is Canada's voice of foodservice. Nova Scotia's foodservice sector is a $2.7 billion industry. The restaurant industry is the fourth-largest private-sector employer in Nova Scotia, directly employing 32,000 people and the number one source of first jobs.


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