Minimum wage hike would affect Ontario restaurant staff: Survey

Poll shows 81 per cent of eateries would be forced to cut jobs
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 08/16/2017
Waitress
Ontario's restaurant owners have crunched the numbers on the government's planned minimum wage increases, and the results aren't pretty. Shutterstock

Ontario's restaurant owners have crunched the numbers on the government's planned minimum wage increases, and the results aren't pretty.

According to a recent Restaurants Canada survey, 95 per cent of restaurateurs believe that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 would ultimately be detrimental to staff.

A survey of 800 Ontario restaurants revealed that:

  • 98% of restaurants would raise menu prices
  • 97% will reduce labour hours
  • 81% will lay off staff
  • 74% will explore labour-saving technology such as self-service touch screens
  • 26% are likely to close one or more of their locations.

"The survey results are not surprising, given the average pre-tax profit margin for a restaurant operator is just 3.4 per cent," said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada's vice-president for Central Canada.

"The government's drastic minimum wage hikes will reduce profitability by five to seven points – forcing restaurateurs to lay off staff, reduce employment or close their doors entirely. Many of our members just don't know how to cope with an increase of this magnitude."

"Raise the minimum wage, but at least do an economic study to justify the amount and speed of the increase," added Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada's president and CEO. "Too much, too fast is not a recipe for success."

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