Category: Hospitality

BC sets Minimum Standards for App-Based Delivery Workers

On June 12, 2024, the government of BC announced regulations to provide fairness, minimum-wage measures and basic protections for app-based ride-hailing and delivery workers in British Columbia. The regulations, a first in Canada, will come into effect on Sept. 3, 2024. They will apply to those who work for apps such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, SkiptheDishes, DoorDash and others.

The regulations address the top concerns raised by workers, including:

  • Low and unpredictable pay: The regulation sets a minimum wage for engaged time, and a minimum per-kilometre vehicle allowance to compensate workers for their vehicle expenses.
  • Lack of workers compensation: All ride-hailing and delivery workers will be covered through WorkSafeBC.
  • Lack of transparency: Companies must allow workers to see the locations and estimated pay associated with a job before workers accept it.
  • Unfair deactivations and suspension: Companies must tell workers why they are being suspended or terminated. If they are terminated without cause, they must be given notice or compensation.
  • Tip protection: Companies must pay 100% of tips provided by the customer to the worker.

Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, has issued the following statement: “Companies in B.C. already contend with some of the highest costs and strictest regulatory and tax environments in North America. We are concerned that the new regulations will impose additional burdens and reduce flexibility, inevitably leading to even higher costs for transportation and food delivery services.  These new regulations also risk resulting in less work for ride-hailing and food delivery workers and ultimately lower overall wages…”

Read Article Here

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Lana Popham appointed as the designated Provincial Cabinet Liason for the Hospitality Sector

On the heels of the highly successful ‘Save BC Restaurants’ campaign, the call for a designated single point of contact within government for the hospitality industry has now been answered.

On June 4, 2024, Lana Popham was appointed as the designated Provincial cabinet liaison for the hospitality sector.

“Restaurants are such an important part of the fabric of our communities and our local economies, and we know the last few years have been tough on the industry,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “I am excited to be the point person into government for the BC Restaurants & Foodservices Association and Restaurants Canada to make it easier for the industry to access the support it needs.”

Having to engage with numerous ministries and government agencies in the past, restaurants and other stakeholders in the hospitality sector have faced significant challenges in addressing legislative and regulatory concerns. Now with a designated point person within government, the communication will be streamlined to one individual who will have a complete picture of all industry challenges. 

“We’re incredibly excited to work with Minister Popham,” said BCRFA President & CEO Ian Tostenson. “The Province has always been willing to listen to our concerns and work with restaurants to implement sensible changes – with today’s announcement, we’re looking forward to doing even more.”

This appointment builds on additional supports provided by government such as the Securing Small Business Rebate program, the cap on food delivery fees, providing more time to make temporary patios permanent, and wholesale liquor pricing saving food service businesses $244.9 million to date. In addition, government doubled the exemption threshold for the Employer Health Tax from $500,000 to $1M and prorated the tax for businesses with between $1 million – $1.5 million in payroll so now 90% of businesses will be exempt from the EHT.

We at Rising Tide Consultants are very pleased to see the positive steps in the right direction for our hospitality industry that has struggled very hard ever since the pandemic. Slowly, but surely, we are seeing things turn around for BC restaurants. 

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Converting from natural gas to electricity is too costly for BC restaurants

The recent report by @pacificsolutionscontracting commissioned by the @bcrfa and the BC Coalition for Affordable Dependable Energy, shows that the cost could be upwards of $800,000 for an existing restaurant to convert to electricity from natural gas. This number includes all aspects of the process from hiring the experts required, new equipment, renovations, and installations, plus the revenue lost during the business interruption while all that is taking place.

The BCRFA is asking municipal governments to take this evaluation seriously and put the brakes on the zero carbon step code regulations that would ban the use of natural gas in new buildings ahead of provincial 2030 targets. Not only does this seriously question the economic impact on restaurants, but the feasibility of the proposal itself. Restaurants in 2024 do not have $800K sitting around in the bank; quite the opposite in fact. 

Rising Tide Consultants support our friends at the BCRFA, calling for a common-sense approach to energy which includes electricity, natural gas and renewable natural gas. 

For the full article: https://www.biv.com/news/hospitality-marketing-tourism/bc-restaurants-could-not-afford-natural-gas-ban-report-8892145

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‘SAVE BC RESTAURANTS’ IS ACKNOWLEDGED BY GOVERNMENT 

The Honourable Brenda Bailey – Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, speaks on the SAVE BC RESTAURANTS campaign:

“The first thing I want to say about the restaurant sector and their save B.C. restaurants campaign is: “Well done.” I think it was one of the most inventive campaigns that I’ve seen. The communications were very strong. I congratulate the restaurant sector for really quite a well-designed and engaging campaign.

“Another request that the restaurant sector put in front of us was they had the experience that they had to go to a number of different ministers and lobby each individually on particular challenges that they were experiencing. They identified that it would be much better for them should they just have one contact. And so that’s something that we have put in place. That contact is Minister Popham. “

“The Solicitor General, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture and myself will be working together on challenges that the restaurants faced, but it is the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture who is the number one contact. Then the information will share out that way.”

“But I do just want to really highlight that in addition to the many supports we put in place throughout the pandemic and since the number one request, the most important thing — and the restaurant sector really drove this home — was to change the EHT. I’m so grateful that we were able to do that for them.

The EHT (Employer Health Tax) payroll threshold will be moved from 1/2 million to 1 million which will exempt a lot of small businesses from having to pay this tax. A very positive win for Industry!

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Save BC Restaurants!

This is a Crisis.

The Restaurant Industry is facing countless challenges and the BCRFA and Restaurants Canada have come together to show the Government that when you stack challenge after challenge, cost increase after cost increase, over debilitating debt from loans, the picture is a serious one and not easy to read.

“The Menu” below is being introduced to Government bodies, the press and the public on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with the hopes that seeing everything that Restaurants face in one intense document will help people understand the severity of what Restaurants are going through.

It is our hope that “The Menu” will show the truth of the crushing impacts of what Restaurants deal with on a daily basis and encourage real support and understanding from our Government so that change will be imminent. 

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Bert Hick of Rising Tide Consultants inducted into the BCRFA hall of fame 2023

Bert Hick, Founder and President of Rising Tide Consultants was inducted into the BCRFA Hall of Fame 2023 on Monday, October 23rd. Bert was given the inductee designation of Friend of the Industry. This special recognition award is presented from time to time to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the hospitality industry in British Columbia

“I am honoured to have the recognition of being inducted into the BCRFA Hall of Fame 2023 as a “Friend of Industry.” Thank you to the BCRFA for this incredible evening celebrating true industry leaders and I send my sincere congratulations to all of the inductees!” 

About the BCRFA Hall of Fame

An initiative of the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame is a celebration of the people and the restaurants that make our industry world class. Since 2004, the innovation and dedication of outstanding individuals has been celebrated through their admission into the only Restaurant Hall of Fame in Canada.

For more information, please visit:

https://www.bcrfa.com/hall-of-fame-1

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Waitress adding a new order with a tablet

Important information regarding operating outside of Food Primary license purpose

We are sharing some important information with you that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch sent out October 18, 2023.

Rising Tide is strongly opposed to this initiative at this time when our Industry is faced with so many other challenges. If you would like guidance with how to set your Food Primary establishment up for success in the face of this new action, please reach out to us. We are here to help!

Read the LCRB communication here:


Dear licensee,

We want to let you know that Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) inspectors are now visiting Food Primary (FP) establishments across the province to help identify instances of “Operating Outside of Licence Purpose.” This means operating a restaurant without a primary focus on the service of food, like a bar or nightclub.

As you know, FP licences are issued to businesses whose primary purpose is food service. Liquor sales are intended to complement the dining experience and not be the primary activity.

Operating any section of your FP establishment as a bar or nightclub, where the primary activity is the service of alcohol, is contrary to the public interest and constitutes a serious violation.

Why? Unlike Liquor Primary (LP) licences, which require public and local government or First Nation input, FP licences don’t have the same requirement. Securing a liquor licence for a restaurant and then operating any section of your establishment as a bar or nightclub, where the primary activity is the service of alcohol and not food, circumvents that important process. Establishments that operate outside of their primary purpose can become focal points for community complaints, including disturbances related to noise, unruly behaviour, and intoxicated patrons.

This inspection program is meant to ensure licensees are following the regulations associated with their specific licence category. If non-compliance is identified, the LCRB may find it necessary to institute enforcement measures, including:

  • monetary penalties ranging from $7 000 to $11 000 or,
  • a licence suspension of 7-11 days.

We want to remind all licensees of their responsibility to ensure that every facet of your service area follows the definition of an FP establishment when serving liquor. This means you must comply with the following requirements outlined in your licensee handbook:

Kitchen equipment:

The kitchen must be fully equipped to produce food on your full menu and must be open and staffed whenever liquor is served.

Menu:

The menu must include a reasonable variety of appetizers and main courses, which must be available whenever liquor is available. Serving salsa, chips, peanuts, and other types of “finger food” is not enough to meet this requirement.

• Furnishings and lighting:

The décor must be suitable for dining and table service. You must have enough tables, chairs and food service equipment (glasses, plates, etc.) to serve full meals to patrons.

Entertainment and games:

Any entertainment and games offered must not distract from the service of food (see “Entertainment” section for more detail).

Name:

The name of your restaurant must not mislead the public regarding your primary purpose. For example, you cannot call yourself “Joe’s Bar” but “Joe’s Bar and Grill” is acceptable as food service is also represented in the name.

Operating hours:

You must operate as a restaurant whenever you serve liquor. Restaurants cannot shift their operation to become a bar during certain hours of the day, unless you have obtained a liquor primary licence, which enables you to operate your establishment as a bar when it is not operating as a restaurant.

Financial records:

You must make all financial records and receipts available for review upon request. Your financial records must demonstrate that your restaurant is involved primarily in food service.

Advertising:

Your advertising may not primarily focus on liquor service or entertainment in your establishment. This includes but is not limited to, online advertising, social media, signage, menu, and any associated material.

Our main goal is to maintain established standards within the industry. We hope to work together with all licensees to achieve these goals. Your cooperation is essential in ensuring a fair and compliant environment for everyone involved.

If you have any questions about your licence or these requirements, please reach out to the client support team at LCRBLiquor@gov.bc.ca.

Thank you,

Liquor Policy and Communications

Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

www.gov.bc.ca/lcrb


UPDATED INFORMATION FROM THE LCRB OCTOBER 24, 2023:

  • The LCRB recognizes most Food Primary (FP) licensees are already operating in compliance with their licenses.
  • The purpose of the LCRB’s previous communication was to provide operators with essential information to help review their operations and ensure that their business decisions align with the compliance requirements of their licence type.
  • The LCRB is committed to supporting all operators in maintaining compliance and making informed business choices that benefit their establishments.
  • The LCRB will employ a wide variety of criteria to inform the program and where inspections take place, considering factors like entertainment, advertising, customer complaints, and other relevant aspects of FP operations.
  • It’s important to note that banquets and events like weddings are not within the scope of this inspection program. This initiative primarily focuses on the day-to-day operations of Food Primary (FP) establishments.
  • The inspection program is designed to work collaboratively with licensees, offering support and guidance to help ensure compliance. Enforcement action may be initiated for egregious instances of non-compliance or where other efforts have not achieved voluntary compliance.
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Hospitality Sector Working Group Quick Wins and Strategic Priorities Propel Industry Forward

Rising Tide Consultants is proud to be a member of the Hospitality Sector Working Group and is happy to share this News Release from the City of Vancouver documenting the progress to date. We will continue to act on behalf of our clients to ensure real change is occurring in the best interest of the industry.

***

City of Vancouver

News Release

October 3, 2023

Hospitality Sector Working Group quick wins and strategic priorities propel industry forward

Less than three months since the City established the Hospitality Sector Working Group, it has become a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, spearheading important changes by breaking down barriers and streamlining processes. 

“The hospitality sector is a cornerstone of our city’s economy,” says Mayor Ken Sim. “I am proud of our proactive approach to listening and responding to the sector’s needs. We’re here to listen, learn, and work hand in hand with the industry. Together with industry leaders, we are removing barriers and creating a more supportive and prosperous environment for local businesses while enhancing the experience for residents and visitors.”

The City has made significant strides in implementing recommendations from the working group, such as simplifying processes so businesses can focus on innovation and growth. These include:

  1. Streamlined liquor licensing: businesses can now submit development permits and liquor licensing applications together as concurrent applications. 
  2. Simplified business licencing process for restaurants: applications for a new restaurant business licence can now be submitted at the same time as a development permit and liquor licensing applications.
  3. Enhanced occupancy load process: floor plans can now be submitted with seating calculations to determine occupancy load, allowing fire occupancy load permits and development permits to be approved simultaneously.

“Having a direct link between industry, Council, and City staff allows us to quickly implement smart, innovative solutions to support Vancouver’s hospitality industry,” said Jeff Guignard, Executive Director of BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees—an association representing BC’s pubs, bars, nightclubs, and private liquor stores. “Our focus in the coming months will be to find practical and meaningful solutions to reduce red tape, cut costly delays, and give industry the tools it needs to prosper.”

In consultation with the working group, the City will be actively exploring creative solutions to enhance Vancouver’s hospitality scene, including restaurants, bars and pubs, breweries and distilleries, and tourism-related services. 

“Vancouver’s hospitality sector is an integral part of both the economic and cultural fabric of our city, and the establishment of the hospitality working group indicates a much needed focus and prioritization of the industry,” said Hospitality Vancouver Association (HVA) spokesperson Laura Ballance. “The membership of HVA is looking forward to working in a collaborative nature with City officials and staff on issues facing the sector.” 

Among the priorities identified for future work, the working group will help inform the City’s ongoing efforts, including:

  1. Identifying opportunities to streamline and resolve provincial and municipal liquor licensing timelines.
  2. Exploring options to reduce or remove distancing requirements for liquor establishments to increase opportunities for new and existing businesses.
  3. Reviewing the City’s year-round patio program to support a vibrant restaurant scene in Vancouver.
  4. Evaluating options to simplify regulations related to tasting lounges at breweries and distilleries so that businesses have clarity and can better promote their brand.

“We’ve had some remarkable quick wins, but there’s still lots of work to do,” says Andrea Law, General Manager of Development and Business Licensing. “Together with the working group, the City is committed to finding practical solutions to challenges faced by businesses in the hospitality sector. Our approach to collaboration is grounded in deep respect for the many local entrepreneurs and businesses that form Vancouver’s diverse hospitality scene.”  

The City will provide updates on the working group through a designated Hospitality Sector Working Group web page, which also hosts valuable resources for business owners.

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’No Fun City’ No More: Mayor Sim promises policy changes for hospitality sector

New City of Vancouver hospitality working group to address longstanding policy issues

“I am very pleased to see that the City of Vancouver is committed to real change for the hospitality industry. It is an honour to be a part of this working group and I look forward to the collaborative effort to streamline processes and eliminate costly delays. We are all committed to seeing progress and advancement with antiquated laws and regulations that need to be updated. I wish to thank Mayor Ken Sim and the Vancouver City Councillors for their support in taking a hard look at longstanding policy issues that have challenged so many of our clients.” – Bert Hick, President & Founder – Rising Tide Consultants

For Immediate Release
June 14th, 2023

Vancouver, BC – On Friday, Mayor Ken Sim was joined by members of Vancouver City Council and representatives from the hospitality sector to announce the creation of a new City of Vancouver hospitality sector working group.

“With today’s announcement of a new hospitality working group, we have an opportunity to help create a better, more vibrant, and prosperous future for our local economy,” said Councillor Lisa Dominato. “We’ve heard a clear demand for policy change from local businesses and this working group is an important first step.”
 
The working group is a City-staff led initiative, overseen by the Development, Building, and Licensing department. Its members include city staff and representatives from the hospitality sector. The working group’s goals are to identify, adjust, and eliminate red tape that present challenges to businesses in the sector.

“The hospitality sector is critical to the local economy,” continued Dominato. “That’s why the City is inviting members of the hospitality industry to participate in this collaborative working group, with a clear goal of making life easier for our local businesses.

While certain recommendations from the working group may require Council approval, the direct link between industry and City staff will allow policy change to occur at a faster rate.

“Vancouver is open for business and its time for our City to lose its “no fun” reputation once and for all,” said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim. “We all want to see these businesses succeed and we want the City of Vancouver to play a big role in helping make that happen.”
 
The working group has informally met once already and will continue to meet throughout the summer with the goal of providing an update in the Fall on progress being made.

Media Contact:

Taylor Verrall

Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor

604-404-5651

taylor.verrall@vancouver.ca

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Unrecognizable Barista pouring a beer in a pub

4 Serving It Right Tips for Better Alcohol Service

What are your responsibilities when it comes to serving alcohol? What should you do and what must you avoid? If you are operating a bar or restaurant, you need to be sure you know what you are doing to keep people safe and to ensure you aren’t held liable.

What Is Serving It Right?

Serving It Right is a mandatory self-study course that provides the education managers, servers, and licensees will need whenever they are serving alcohol. It provides them with the knowledge they need and effective techniques that will help to prevent problems associated with overserving customers.

Serving It Right helps to ensure that the service and sale of liquor are done within the bounds of the law, and it keeps everyone safe from harm that could arise from alcohol consumption. The course provides you with a host of liquor service tips to keep everyone happy and safe.

Who Needs Serving It Right?

Licensed business' servers need a serving it right certification

Before working in a licensed establishment, every licensee, manager, and all staff need to have Serving It Right certification. Some of the examples of types of businesses—and the staff at those businesses—that will need to have people who have certification include:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Nightclubs
  • Stadiums
  • Casinos
  • Caterers that offer alcohol
  • Private liquor stores
  • Wine stores
  • Duty-free stores
  • Manufacturer sampling areas
  • Rural agency stores
  • Care facilities
  • Special event permit holders where alcohol will be served

If you are in doubt over whether you or your staff will need to have Serving It Right certification, you can check with Responsible Service BC.

The Course and the Exam

Serving it Right Course and Exam

The course you will take covers a host of topics that are important for those who are working in the industry. Some of the areas that are covered include legal liability, signs of intoxication, reducing overconsumption, reducing impaired driving, preventing the sale of alcohol to a minor, reducing the risk of violence, duty of care (on and off the premises), and the need to create and enforce responsible beverage service policies. The goal is to help get people up to speed with what they need to do when selling or serving alcohol.

The course is available online. It takes four hours and is mobile-friendly, so it can be taken on a phone for those who may not have access to a computer. They do recommend that you complete it on a PC or laptop though, as it will be easier to interact with the course.

The cost for the exam is #35 and includes three attempts at passing the exam. If you don’t pass after the third try, you can pay another $35 to try again.

Below are some tips that will help ensure your establishment is serving alcohol properly and safely.

Tip #1: Know When Someone Is Intoxicated

Sometimes, it is easy to tell when someone has had too much to drink. Other times, it isn’t. You need to look for signs that someone may be acting differently from when they entered the establishment. Notice how they walk, talk, and interact with others to look for signs of intoxication.

Tip #2: Minimize Legal Risk

There are several ways that you can reduce your legal risk. You want to make sure that you control the environment and that you don’t serve anyone who is intoxicated. Watch behaviours and call the police if needed.

Tip #3: Create a House Policy

You should work to create a house policy for serving and selling alcohol that abides by the law. It may even be stricter if you would like. Make sure everyone who is working at the restaurant knows the house policy and enforces the rules fairly for everyone.

Tip #4: Check for ID

You may want to implement a policy that requires the check of two forms of ID to ensure that it’s valid. This reduces the chance of someone using a fake ID to buy alcohol.

Remember the Expiration Date

Keep in mind that the Serving It Right certificate is not good forever. It is only good for five years. At that point, you will need to take the exam again and get a new certificate. You will want to keep the dates of expiration handy for yourself and your employees, so you never have a point where someone doesn’t have proper certification.

The liquor service tips above will help to keep your establishment safe from liability, in compliance with the law, and will keep your customers safe. Serving It Right helps everyone.

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