Although it’s the first wage hike since 2001, many foodservice operators are worried about the added expense as they’re still feeling the aftershocks of the HST and new drinking and driving penalties that have curbed sales, according to the CRFA.
“Imposing these massive wage increases and eliminating the training wage at a time when sales are declining and food costs are increasing will hurt the very people this announcement is intended to help,” says Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president Western Canada with the CRFA, in response to the news. “Restaurant owners will be forced to cut hours to control their costs and employees will end up earning less.”
But, the plan is in keeping with Clark’s family first platform. “Many from lower-income families in this province are finding it harder than ever to keep up,” Clark said. “There is no quick fix for that.”
The province, which currently has the lowest minimum wage in the country, will see the first increase, from $8 to $8.75, on May 1, followed by an increase to $9.50 on Nov.1 and a hike to $10.25 next May. Meanwhile, servers, who can earn more money with tips, will also see a graduated increase, that will amount to $9.