Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

September 24, 2007 15:37 ET

ORHMA Has Better Idea on Retail Sales of Beverage Alcohol

Allow off-sales by Ontario’s liquor sales licensees

Attention: City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) - Toronto: Over the past week, one of the party leaders has put forward the idea of looking again at the retail sale of beer and wine in corner stores. The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association believes it has a better idea - allow the sale of beer, wine and spirits to be sold at retail by Ontario's hotels, restaurants and bars.

Says Stanley Goodman, ORHMA Chairman, "It makes total sense to allow Ontario's hotels, restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine and spirits at retail to home consumers. First, the province's liquor sales licensees have a proven track record and are totally experienced in the safe and legal sale of beverage alcohol. We will be universally "Smart Serve" server trained as of January 1, 2008. Second, a wholesale distribution channel to liquor licensees already exists. Third, off-sales by liquor licensees is a successful part of the distribution channel in four western provinces, Newfoundland and many U.S. states. Fourth, the province doesn't have to re-invent the wheel as far as a regulatory structure is concerned. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission already licenses and regulates our industry, so there is no need to recreate a new licensing and regulatory regime - as with corner stores. And lastly, we are almost there now with the successful government program, since January 2005, to allow customers to take partly-consumed wine home with them from a licensed premises in the 'Take Home The Rest' program."

"This would be a win-win-win for our industry, beverage alcohol manufacturers and the LCBO", says Rob Evans, President and CEO. "Manufacturers would have another sales channel, it would alleviate the shortage of shelf space at the LCBO, and give a new revenue source for our flagging industry -especially in service-deprived areas of the province. It would also be trade-neutral as all manufacturers and importers would be allowed to participate. Off-sales would be self-limiting as not all licensees would have the space or staff to accommodate it - or even might want it. "

Ontario's foodservice and accommodation industry has been hard hit by plummeting sales, soaring costs and disappearing profit margins. For example, Ontario's bars, taverns and nightclubs sector has seen their margin fall from 6.5% to a negative 0.5%. Even full-service restaurants have not been immune, seeing their profit margins decline from 6.5% to 2.5%. Ontario's restaurant and foodservice sales lag those of almost every other province.

The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association, the voice of Ontario's hospitality industry, is the largest provincial hospitality association in Canada. The ORHMA represents 4,000 members and over 11,000 establishments in Ontario's foodservice and accommodation sector.

For more information, please call Syd Girling, Manager of Strategic Issues and Research at 905-361-0268, ext 325 or sgirling@orhma.com. IN: ECONOMY, FOOD, MEDIA, POLITICS, RETAIL

Contact Information

  • Syd Girling, Manager of Strategic Issues and Research, Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association
    Primary Phone: 905-361-0268 ext. 325
    Secondary Phone: 905-877-7549
    Toll-Free: 800-668-8906
    E-mail: sgirling@orhma.com