FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2011
Edmonton – Alberta’s restaurant industry welcomes the new liquor server gratuity wage announced today, but is disappointed the government missed this opportunity to introduce a training wage for new hires.
“A gratuity wage recognizes the fact that liquor servers are not minimum wage earners,” says Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). “This new differential will help protect the hours of work and tip income for servers who rely on receiving those hours to earn their gratuities. We were also hoping for a training wage differential to encourage employers to hire more first-time employees.”
A gratuity wage differential is working well in Quebec and Ontario, and was recently introduced in British Columbia.
Although the general minimum wage increase will mean a $66-million jump in payroll costs for Alberta’s restaurant industry, CRFA is pleased that today’s announcement included three measures the association recommended during last year’s minimum wage review that will soften the impact of future minimum wage increases:
“Alberta’s new approach to minimum wage will provide our members with more certainty and stability when it comes to hiring and labour budgeting,” says von Schellwitz. “This is important for one of Alberta’s largest private-sector employers.”
Alberta’s $8.4-billion restaurant industry directly employs more than 125,000 people, including more than 52,000 youth, making it one of the largest job creators in the province. More than 30 cents of every dollar spent at a restaurant goes to employee wages and salaries.
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