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Ontario licensed restaurants to get break on beer pricing


April 20, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

April 20, 2015, Toronto – Half of Ontario’s licensed restaurants will soon be able to buy beer at retail price, rather than at the “licensee price” currently charged by The Beer Store following an announcement by the  Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets. 

This change is a good first step that will help small businesses, Restaurants Canada said in a news release. Currently, bars and licensed restaurants in Ontario pay 30 to 50 per cent more than the public price, an inequity costs the province’s foodservice industry more than $75 million annually, it added.

“This is going to be a long journey, but it is an important first step,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada’s vice-president, Ontario, in the release. “The Wynne Government has shown the fortitude to begin to address a decades-long problem. Rather than continue the status quo of a broken system, they chose to act.”

The Advisory Council recommends that restaurants buying fewer than 250 cases of beer per year can buy at retail prices. This will affect approximately 9,000 licensed restaurants. 

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“We have always said that this system is inherently broken,” said Rilett. “Today’s announcement doesn’t help the bars and pubs that sell high volumes of beer and are currently being gouged on price, but we will continue to work with the government to resolve these issues.”