Restaurant Realities:
Raising Our Voice in Alberta

Since 2015, a perfect storm of operational cost increases from legislative and regulatory changes, combined with a weak provincial economy, have contributed to the following setbacks for Alberta's restaurants:

  • A loss of 10,000 foodservice and accommodation jobs
  • A decline in the average number of workers per unit from 13 to 11.7
  • A 9.1 per cent drop in average sales per unit (adjusted for menu inflation)

Alberta’s next government has an opportunity to improve conditions for foodservice businesses so that they can continue contributing to vibrant communities. As election day approaches, we encourage you to contact candidates and engage your network with the information below.

Together we can make our voice heard!

Do you work in Alberta's restaurant industry?

We want to hear from you.

Share Your Story

Step #1: Get Informed

Download the materials below to learn about the key challenges for foodservice businesses and recommended policy solutions.

Info Sheets & Infographics

Info Sheet

Info Sheet: Industry Overview (PDF)
For years, Alberta’s restaurant sector led the nation. Learn why the province's foodservice sales growth now ranks second-to-last.


Infographic: Alberta's Restaurant Industry (JPG)
There are 11,260 restaurants in Alberta: See the many ways our industry contributes to the province's economy.

Strategic Issues & Policy Recommendations

Minimum Wage (PDF)
A minimum wage freeze would provide much needed relief, as well as a youth/training wage and liquor-serving wage.

Labour Legislation (PDF)
Restaurants operate outside the bounds of a 5-day, 9-5 schedule and need more flexible rules that account for their unique challenges.

Carbon Tax and Waste Reduction Regulations (PDF)
Foodservice businesses should receive carbon tax rebates and enough time to find alternatives for plastic packaging and other single-use items.


Significant Issues & Policy Recommendations

WCB-Alberta Tips and Gratuities Policy (PDF)
Requirements for reporting tips and gratuities should be aligned with Revenue Canada and other workers’ compensation boards.

Liquor Policy (PDF)
A comprehensive review is needed to modernize Alberta’s liquor policies, as was planned in 2015.

Provincial Taxes (PDF)
A provincial sales tax should stay off the table, to maintain the Alberta advantage.

Municipal Property Taxes and Fees (PDF)
The provincial government should encourage municipalities to reduce the municipal tax burden for small businesses.


Step #2: Contact Your Candidates

Ready to start talking to candidates in your community? This checklist can help: Candidate Meeting Guide (PDF)

For information on your electoral division, polling place and local candidates, visit the Elections Alberta website.

To learn more about the main parties and their platforms, visit the websites below:

Step #3: Engage Your Network

Invite others to join the conversation about #RestaurantRealities on social media.

Here are some infographics you can share to shed light on the realities behind a restaurant meal:

SukiyakiBeef-InfographicSukiyaki Beef with Shrimp (JPG)
Fresh Arctic Char (JPG)
Fried Chicken Combo (JPG)

Get in Touch with Restaurants Canada

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6500.

Contact Us

Spread the Word

Together we are stronger! Share this page with your network to raise awareness around the key issues impacting foodservice in Alberta.