OTTAWA — Ontario Restaurateurs are frustrated that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) offers a 49-per-cent discount to foreign diplomats and the federal government, while they pay full retail price.
“The LCBO has demonstrated it is out of touch with business challenges, and the financial burden of an overly complicated liquor-control system. Sales at bars and pubs in Ontario fell almost 10 per cent in 2011 and barely rose in 2012. The LCBO’s continued refusal to follow normal business practices and introduce wholesale pricing for licensees is perpetuating these challenges and is an insult to thousands of business owners,” reads an open letter from Joyce Reynolds, EVP of Government Affairs for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
The LCBO recently updated its discount to diplomats and federal government purchases by increasing the discount on beer, wine and liquor prices to 49 per cent, effective June 23. According to the Ottawa Citizen, an agency spokesperson said the change was needed to make discounts compatible with a new computerized sales system. Ontario restaurants are calling for a similar discount or at least a more fair approach; however the agency also told the Citizen that the discount is in accordance with federal law (the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act). There are no plans to enact a similar discount for the restaurant industry.