The government of P.E.I. teams up with MADD Canada to push road safety messages to the forefront of motorists’ minds.
P.E.I. has been given a Bgrade from Restaurants Canada in its annual Raise the Bar report card on each province’s restaurant and bar industry. The Island, Quebec and Nova Scotia all received the same grade. Only Alberta scored higher with a solid B grade.
The report card notes several positive changes in the Island’s industry this year as well as some areas where it says can be approved.
In the positives, it notes changes to the province’s liquor policies that have resulted in shorter wait times for liquor licences, reduced licence fees and the ability for businesses to renew and pay for their liquor licences online.
“Both the government and the Liquor Corporation wisely recognize the value of the bar and restaurant industry when it comes to the Island’s economy, and they are walking the talk when it comes to supporting our industry,” said Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada’s vicepresident, Atlantic Canada.
“There are still some issues to resolve, but we’re confident about what we can accomplish when everyone is on the same page. We all want to provide local customers, tourists and visitors with the best in Island hospitality.”
One area of potential improvement noted in the report card was the Island’s selection of wine and spirits. “Consumers are looking for new items on the drink menu, but under the current rules we can’t get certain products in P.E.I.,” said Erjavec.
“That needs to change, and we’re confident that with all the players around the table, we can figure out a solution.” Alexander Clark owns and operates Open Eats restaurant in Summerside and is preparing to start a new local brewery in the old Summerside train station building on Water Street. He’s had good experiences with the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, he said, and is not surprised at the grade the province received.
He also agrees with the report card regarding P.E.I.’s need to increase its access to alcohol varieties.
They should especially start reaching for the higher shelf wine and spirits, which are popular right now, said Clark.
“We’ve always just sold local beer. But as for wine, we have so many people coming in requesting higher-end things and finer things, more variety. I’m pretty new to this business, but I don’t think that’s the way it was for my parent’s generation, but maybe that’s the new reality for us,” he said.
Clark also said he would like to see the liquor commission create more incentives (there are some) to push the sale of Island-made beer and spirits.
“Is there anything they can do to pass along a small savings to allow maybe a licensee who didn’t think of buying local (to do so),” he said.
The complete Raise the Bar report card is available online at: https://www.restaurantscanada.org/raise-the-bar-2017/.
Alex Clark, owner/operator of Open Eats, pouring a beer at his Summerside establishment. A report by industry association Restaurants Canada recently gave P.E.I.’s liquor laws a B- grade.