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bc restaurant news The Voice of Your Industry

July 2009


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JULY 2009

contents FEATURES 4















14 HUMAN RESOURCES PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/ Taken at C restaurant. The abalone is fresh, live & farmed from Vancouver Island: Island Scallops Ltd.

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


presidents message often and hit topics of immediate concern. We are pleased to introduce you to the inaugural on-line issue of BC Restaurant News. Our goal in its design is to deal with the issues facing your business in a timely and straightforward manner, as well as keep you informed of industry news. Essentially, answering the question: What do you need to know to more effectively face the challenges of our industry?

PHOTO: Ian & Hannah

The inaugural issue of BCRN on line: quick, concise, and relevant The economic global change has forced a rethink on how we all do business. In the past, we published a traditional print magazine BC Restaurant News through our partners at Canada Wide Media, who we are most grateful to for producing such an exceptional publication. However, as technology changes and the speed with which an operator needs information continually increases, we felt we needed the flexibility to publish more

The online magazine also gives us an opportunity to expand our distribution to over 8,000 businesses in BC. This allows us to not only speak to an expanded audience, but also provides suppliers of industry a very cost effective way to reach their customers and show that they are supporting your business. The inaugural issue is focused on the economy: how we got here, where it is headed, and how you can navigate the storm. We have employed a number of industry experts to provide their insights to you. I look forward to your comments on our magazine and we look forward to continuing to be your voice that ensures the health of the foodservice industry in BC.

Ian Tostenson President & CEO bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009



GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITIES ON THE HORIZON The Past September 2008 September 18, 2008 11am: 550 Billion dollars has been drawn down from money markets over a period of two hours. The US treasury is forced to inject $105 billion dollars into the system, close the financial markets, and guarantee a $250,000 per bank account holder to stem the panic. Experts estimate that had this action not occurred, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn from the money markets, the US economy would have collapsed, and within 24 hours the world economy would have followed suit. While the complete collapse was averted, this event created an intense global recession that started in the United States and spread throughout the world, creating chaos in stock markets and dysfunction in credit markets and banking systems. In addition to this structural melt, there was a psychological fear larger than reality itself. Headlines in nationally syndicated papers actually used the word ‘depression’, which brought a significant halt to the purchasing of goods and services the once free spending public now

deemed unnecessary. Canada, as well as British Columbia and every other economy, got caught in the wake. The Present

were off 0.6% while full service sales declined by 3.9% compared to April, 2008. The Future – looking towards 2010

The good news? It’s likely that the July, 2009 British Columbia worst is behind us. In the first quarter of 2009, the The world economy got sick, is BC economy shrank by 4.5 %. in recovery and did not die. Most Consumer spending, manufactur- companies in British Columbia have ing shipments, housing starts, just endured the most uncertain non residential construction, and time in their business life and are international visitors were all still standing. Despite rising napartly responsible for this signifi- tional unemployment, over 92% cant downturn. The industries of British Columbians are working. most negatively affected in BC Both senior levels of government have been forestry, pulp, manuare investing heavily into infrastrucfacturing, construction, finance, ture programs, equity markets have real estate and tourism. Areas of risen by over 35% from September the economy not yet affected in- 2008, and real estate activity is clude advanced technology, film/ increasing at a faster rate than preentertainment, agriculture, com- dicted as consumers take advantage munications and infrastructure of record low interest rates. focused sectors. It is estimated that employment will head toWe’re not here to tell you it is gowards 7.8% in 2009, which is up ing to be easy, in fact, far from it. from 4.2% in 2007. Things are still going to be tough. Generating sales and controlling In our industry the latest ecocosts while providing a marketing nomic numbers according to the edge means spending more hours BCRFA Zata Restaurant Innot only ensuring your business dex© show that sales declines survives, but begins to grow again. for limited and full service In many ways, this last 8 months restaurants slowed for the have shown us a new reality which first time since January. In has forced us to rethink priorities April 2009, limited service sales and strengthen our business apbcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


proach. Tradition is gone. The new direction in marketing and building business is through innovative and cost effective methods. Social media has taken over the world when it comes to getting the word out. Restaurants are creating Facebook pages and using Twitter to provide an immediate awareness about their company and its offerings. These vehicles are filling the void when traditional marketing is deemed too expensive. What will help in the short term? Operate your business efficiently and effectively. It sounds simple, but many businesses are too busy just trying to stay afloat, while the implementation of a sound business plan to keep costs in line has taken a back seat. Manage your own cash flows – this will prove more predictable than relying on the banking system, which continues to operate under tight credit policies and highly conservative lending practices. If you can, buy local. Take advantage of programs like Eat & Drink BC that can drive sales into your restaurant during the shoulder season. Tell your guests that it is just not about fresh, but also about the re-circulation of dollars in the local economy. Take advantage of stable labour rates. Retain and maximize current “all star” employees to cut down on training costs and negate the expense of rookie employee errors. The best news? In British Columbia, economic growth is predicated to grow 2% in 2010 and 4% in 2011. The 2010 Olympics and all it will bring to the Province couldn’t happen at a better time for the BC Economy. The Games will give us an economic boost and a global edge that will be vital to what is expected to be an improving world

economy. It also will provide a platform to market ourselves as a place of choice for a rebounding tourism industry. The value of global exposure cannot be underestimated as a somewhat unlikely example has shown The television show ‘The Bachelorette’, which features a local Vancouverite, has caused a significant increase of enquiries to travel agents about BC as a destination, simply because a few episodes featured Vancouver and Whistler. Imagine what 17 days of international coverage of the most watched sporting event in the world will do. What we as in industry have to keep in mind is that while guests may be coming here to get the Olympic experience, it is the experience in our restaurants, hotels and pubs that will play a critical role in ensuring these guests return to our Province time and again. The restaurant industry in BC has faced numerous challenges, never failing to overcome and thrive (remember 20% interest rates in the early 1980s). We have the most adaptable business model, and we can quickly adjust menu offerings, pricing, variety and the guest experience faster than most businesses. Despite some perceptions, in today’s world, eating out is not a luxury but a necessity. I am confident that with the support of our industry leaders and the strength of our operators, we will continue to be one of the biggest and most successful sectors in our Province.

Some sage business advice from Peter Legge, Chairman of Canada Wide Media:

1. Canada Wide Media are cer-

tainly holding its own during these recessionary times. No question, the economy has softened and it’s a little more challenging selling ad space and online advertising. Business is there, you have to be a little more creative, work a little smarter, provide more value for the dollar and keep your own costs under control. Consistency outperforms intensity. Be aware daily of your cash flow, avoid debt it at all possible; Canada Wide has no debt. One of the main reasons we have survived several recessions over the past 30 years.


The BC economy is stronger than most people give it credit for. Just look at the recent housing sales of the last 60 days. Clients always have money for a good idea. Get face to face with your clients and suppliers as often as possible.

3. The recent stock market

bounce is positive and history says, the stock market is generally six to eight months ahead of an economies rebound.


Stay focused, don’t believe everything you read.

BY: IAN TOSTENSON, CEO 877 669 2239 bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009



RESTAURANTS IN A RECESSION Turning up the Heat By Heather White

Back in the day, a restaurant could open up, attract a loyal following, and enjoy it’s space in the market. In today’s world, where consumers have an ever increasing amount of dining choices, influence from the media (like the Food Network) and influence from their social networks, it has never been harder for a restaurant to stake claim to a piece of market real estate and own it. One bad experience by a customer will not only result in them not returning, but they will be blogging, face booking, and tweeting about their negative experience with your restaurant. When you do it well (and with intention and consistency), that same market can multiply before your eyes. The measurable to your efforts: a strong bottom line. Is there a magic pill to empower customers to clone themselves and return time and again to your restaurant? The answer is yes. It takes some focus and intention on your part, but it will be the best return you will ever receive from your efforts and most of it is either affordable or completely free to implement. Step 1 – Plan your business model. Restaurants, as a sector, are an

investment intensive business model that doesn’t have a rep-

STEP 1: Plan your business model STEP 2: Define your niche markets STEP 3: Experience

utation for a focus on planning. It isn’t about writing a sixtypage business plan. Instead, a five-page strategic plan on how you are going to grow business, empower staff to participate in business development, build a loyal customer following, and niche yourself out in the market. The steps to follow in your plan are: Visibility, Credibility, and then Profitability. Customers know who you are, what you do, and then they reward you with repeat business. The success rate of restaurants following a strategic development plan is exponentially greater than those that ‘wing it’. Step 2 – Define your Niche Markets Simply put, you can’t be everything to everyone. Profile your ideal clients and go after them. Everyone needs a place where they feel they belong or are a part of. What types of clients do you want in your restaurant? Once you are clear, go and

invite them to join you. Answer these questions: What do you do? Why does it matter? Who

STEP 4: Relationships STEP 5: Quality Staff

cares? Once you can answer these questions clearly, you can start hunting into defined markets. Step 3 – Experience Take a step outside your business and consider how customers view your business. What do they see when they first walk in? What do they smell? How are they seated and treated? What is the décor and how is the table set? How does the menu read? What is the cleanliness of the restaurant and what shape are the bathrooms in? Was it easy to get a reservation? How hard was it to find a parking spot? What makes the experience memorable to the point they talk to others about it? What little details were unexpected that will keep them coming back? Step 4 – Relationships Is everyone in the restaurant responsible for building relationships? From the person takbcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


ing reservations to the table staff serving and clearing the table. How are clients made to feel special? What do you do to let clients know that they are memorable? How do you communicate with clients before, during, and after they dine with you? An existing client is five times easier to keep then a new client is to find.

on staff? Are there training systems in place to ensure consistency in service provision? Do staff encourage their contacts to come in to the restaurant? Do they know how to up-sell professionally? Does the service staff have shift targets for their ring-out? What measurables are in place to track their performance?

Step 5 – Quality Staff Your bottom line rests on the performance of your staff. They are the ambassadors of your restaurant in the market, or they should be. How do they interact with your clients? What is the culture of your restaurant and do all the staff fit? Are you putting up with any personalities that aren’t part of the team, even though they are

Everyone on your payroll should be actively promoting the company and getting more covers into the restaurant. Unfortunately, business development often takes a back seat to a restaurant’s overall business focus. Clearly planned business development consisting of: communicating with clients, training staff, and serv-

ing niche markets will ensure you grow a business that is sustainable and profitable. If you aren’t happy with your establishment’s performance, consider the previous points and make adjustments that serve both you and the bottom line.

-Heather White Heather White is one of five business advisers in North America to meet the standards of providing the acclaimed Ghost CEOTM program. With years of experience in food service (both front of house and supply chain), she works with a select restaurant clientele in their business development activities.

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz Food Styling by Carol Jensson

TRANS FAT AND YOU Restricting Industrially Produced Trans Fat By Lorrie Cramb, Project Manager

Restricting Industrially Produced Trans Fat… How will you measure up? What is the regulation? Beginning September 30th, 2009, all BC food service establishments that have a food service permit must comply with the trans fat regulation. “As the first province in Canada to restrict trans fat in all prepared foods, B.C. is leading the way to make the healthy food choice the easy choice for all British Columbians,” said Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport. “Through a partnership between the Province, Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon and HealthLink BC, the food industry is supported in making a seamless transition to serving healthier foods that contain little or no industrially-produced trans fat.” The trans fat regulation is a new Health Impediments regulation under BC’s Public Health Act and follows Health Canada’s Trans Fat Task Force recommendations. The regulation applies to all foods that are prepared, served or offered for sale in a food service establishment. The three regulatory requirements are as follows:

3. All other foods meet the restriction of 5% industriallyproduced trans fat or less of total fat. Environmental Health Officers will be enforcing the new regulation as part of their routine food safety inspection at food service establishments. Why is this regulation being brought in? Industrially-produced trans fat is calorie by calorie the most harmful ingredient in a person’s diet. A diet high in trans fat is responsible for an estimated 3,000 deaths due to heart disease in Canada each year. As most of the trans fat in our diet is industrially- produced, in March 2009, the BC Government announced a new regulation that will restrict the allowable amount of trans fat in food served in all food service establishments (restaurants, bakeries, delis, cafeterias, etc.) in British Columbia. The goal of the regulation is to help improve the health of British Columbian’s by reducing industrially-produced trans fat in their diets.

Who is responsible for educating foodservice 1. Documentation (i.e. Nutrition facts table, ingredient list, operators? or product specification sheet) for food is kept on site and The BC Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport (the Minisprovided to the Environmental Health Officer upon request. try) in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon (the Foundation) are working together 2. All soft, spreadable (tub type) margarines and oils meet to inform and educate BC food service operators about the restriction of 2% industrially-produced trans fat or less the new regulation. They are also working with the of total fat. bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


To find out if a food in an establishment meets the 2% and 5% trans fat restrictions, use the following steps:

1. Read the ingredients list for the following words: “hydrogenated,” “partially hydrogenated,” “margarine” or “shortening.”

2. If a food has none of these ingredients it meets the restrictions and can be used in your establishment. 3. If a food has one or more of these ingredients, read the Nutrition Facts table and calculate the percentage of trans fat content as follows:

[Amount in grams of trans fat / amount in grams of total fat × 100 = Percentage of trans fat of the total fat content] 4. The food can be used in your food service establish ment if it has: • 2% trans fat or less of the total fat content for all oils and soft spreadable margarine • 5% trans fat or less of the total fat content in all other products Using this Nutrition Facts Table, this product meets the 5% trans fat restriction: [0.5 g trans fat / 14 g total fat X 100 = 3.57 % trans fat of the total fat content.]

entire food supply chain (processors, supplies, and distributors) to support them regarding how they can help their customers in meeting the requirements of the regulation through the products they provide. Are there exceptions? Yes. Food, in which the sole source of trans fat is naturally-occurring, such as beef, lamb, venison, goat, bison and dairy products, is exempt from meeting the requirements of the BC regulation. Pre-packaged foods such as potato chips and confectionery items, that carry a federally-regulated Nutrition Facts table and are sold directly to consumers without alteration, are also exempt from meeting the 2% and 5% restrictions. Where can I find products that meet the new regulations? “We are quite encouraged by the number of food processors, distributors, and food service operators who have already made the changes to comply with the trans fat regulation,” said Diego Marchese, Vice-President of Health Promotion and Research at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon. “For food service operators who have questions or are unsure of what to buy to meet the regulation, we encourage them to speak with their distributors and suppliers about finding the right products to meet their needs.” Where can I get more information? In addition, to support industry in restricting trans fat, the Ministry and the Foundation have launched a trans fat website, A telephone information line is also offered through Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC (dial 8-1-1 within BC; 1-604-215-8110 outside of BC) complete with translation services and staffed by a HealthLink BC Dietitian who is available Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm to answer questions. These two resources will provide food service operators with a host of information including: what is the regulation, how to meet the regulation requirements, how to calculate trans fat, troubleshooting tips for baking and frying, and a Product List for finding alternative oils, margarines and shortenings that meet the 2% and 5% restrictions. bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


eat (& drink) bc! GET READY.


The BCRFA is excited to announce that, in addition to gearing up to be the biggest dining program ever staged in Canada, its popular EAT BC! dining program has been re-branded as EAT & Drink BC! to reflect the significant contribution of BC’s beverage industry to consumer’s dining experience. While deciding to include the drink component to the program was a no brainer, it was felt that the program needed an additional component to give industry the shot in the arm that it so desperately needs right now. As a result, the October, 2009 Eat & Drink BC! restaurant promotion will feature prix fixe menus to reflect value ($15, $25, $35). All menus will be locally inspired; featuring foods grown, raised or majority processed in B.C. and will be combined with the best of B.C.’s wines, beers, and non-alcoholic beverages. During the program, diners can expect great value and the best in fresh, local and tasty British Columbian cuisine. The upside for restaurants of course, is in the substantial infusion of dollars into B.C.’s food and beverage production and restaurant industry. “With year over year statistics showing that some sectors of the industry are down by as much as 10%, we felt that it was our duty as the Provincial association to take a bold step. Take the current state of the BC economy, and combine it with the upcoming 2010 Olympics, and you have the perfect storm to stage this enormous undertaking” says Ian Tostenson, President and CEO of the BCRFA. By promoting a province wide dine out program that’s priced to reflect value, restaurants will be able to provide patrons with the ideal opportunity to experience all that makes the food and beverage industry of B.C. truly unique and world class”. Eat & Drink BC! will also allow restaurants an opportunity to carry out a dress rehearsal for the 2010 Olympics. “We want the industry to embrace

everything that is in their own backyard, become familiar with it, and proudly ‘feature local’ for the 2010 Winter Olympics” said Tostenson. “The foodservice industry in British Columbia is a multibillion dollar business, and when we can bring restaurants, producers and consumers together under such a value driven program, everyone wins”. “As British Columbia’s new Agriculture Minister, it really is rewarding to see the outstanding teamwork by the members of the BCRFA in generating the excitement of Eat & Drink BC!,” said Minister of Agriculture and Lands Steve Thomson. “Our hardworking B.C. agriculture sector also directly benefits from this program as chefs are encouraged to choose and celebrate local food and beverage products whenever possible on their menus.” The BCRFA will be asking all community media outlets to help support this event and promote maximum community involvement. They are encouraging everyone to not only get out and enjoy the fabulous food and beverages of British Columbia, but also to become an active participant in the economic recovery of our Province. Eat & Drink BC! will take place between October 1st and October 31st, 2009. Restaurants interested in participating can sign up online at www. before August 31, 2009. bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


drinking WINNING WITH YOUR WINE LIST While buying wines to fill your wine list is easy, selling it is not always as simple. Consumers are savvy and expect you and your staff to be the same. Instead of simply including the wine list as part of the experience of seating the guest, consider incorporating some of the suggestions below to encourage your guests to deem wine the drink of choice this summer. 1. Upgrading your wine glassware program: Providing larger, better quality varietal focused wine glasses enhances the guest’s experience. 2. Include wine awards or point scores from recognizable sources, such as the Wine Spectator, along with the listing. 3. Give your guest options: Rather than only offering the traditional 6oz glass of wine, give the option to upgrade to a 9oz at a discounted price.

ceived value of the overall wine list can change when consumers feel they are being offered a wide range of products and price points. 9. Consider adding more local wines to your list. Encourage visitors to experience wines that the will only be able to find here in BC. 10. Think about slowing down on the purchase of higher end cellar wines, and purchase new world wines that are “consumer ready” and can be enjoyed now. This will ensure consistent cash flow, and you won’t be stuck sitting on a pile of expensive inventory.

Erica Watson Key Account Manager Peller Estates

4. Provide the opportunity to taste a variety of wines by offering flights. More often than not, this will lead to the guest ordering another glass or bottle of their favorite sample. 5. Partner with wineries to offer winemakers dinners: this is a great way to showcase specific menu items. 6. Include wine recommendations on your menu. This makes it a no-brainer for service staff to ask guests if they would like the suggested wine with their dinner choice. 7. Ensure your staff is knowledgeable about your wine list. If there is a great story or interesting fact about a wine or winery, it makes for an easy sell. 8. Consider changing the entry level price on your wine list. Value priced house wines in the $5-$8 per glass range will offer increased value to a wider audience. Perception and per-

PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/, SALT Cellar

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009



Cost Saving with the COR Program cial incentives to employers who go beyond the legal requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation by taking the “best practice” approach to implementing health and safety, and return-to-work (RTW) programs. There are many benefits associated with the COR program, the most obvious is helping employers to create a safe work environment, but there are also additional financial benefits to be aware of:

PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/foodiephoto.

In the near future, the foodservice sector will have another option to save money while improving workplace safety at the same time.

Since January, go2 has been working in partnership with WorkSafeBC to create an industry-led Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) division to provide health and safety resources for the tourism, hospitality and foodservice industries. A key component of this division includes the development and implementation of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program, which offers participating employers rebates on their WorkSafeBC premiums. What is COR? The COR program provides finan-

• As injuries are reduced and the duration of claims shortened, COR certified employers will receive additional savings in their individual experience-rated WorkSafeBC premiums. • WorkSafeBC offers COR-certified employers a rebate cheque of up to 15 per cent on the annual industry base rate: “Health and Safety COR” provides up to 10% off annual WorkSafeBC premiums. “Return-to-Work COR” qualifies for a 5% rebate.

How it Works For example, the 2009 base rate for restaurants or other dining establishments is $0.96 per $100 in payroll. For a restaurant with an annual payroll of $1 million, its WorkSafeBC premiums are

$9,600 per year. Once it becomes COR-certified, the maximum annual rebate that this restaurant will receive would be: • Health & Safety COR: $9,600 x 10% = $960 • Return-to-Work COR: $9,600 x 5% = $480 In other words, the Certificate of Recognition can offer savings of up to $1,440 per year for this particular restaurant. Getting Started If your company does not have a workplace health and safety program already, this is the first step. A working occupational health and safety program is required first to be eligible for enrolling in the COR program. Information on implementing a formal OH&S program can be found on go2’s website by navigating to the Occupational Health and Safety section. For more information on go2’s OH&S Division and related resources, visit If you have questions, or if you are interested in participating on TAC committee, please contact Robert Clark, go2’s Manager, Occupational Health & Safety, at 604-633-9787 ext 238 or bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


education NEW CHEF’S APPRENTICE PROGRAM Adds Sizzle to BC Kitchens by go2

This fall, go2 – BC’s Tourism human resources association - is proud to launch BC’s new cook training apprenticeship program. Working in partnership with the Industry Training Authority, go2 is the official Industry Training Organization for BC’s tourism, hospitality and foodservices sector.

rant in Vancouver, Dennis is passionate about his profession and its related culinary and food service training needs.

Businesses that employ cooks and chefs are raising a glass and toasting the new program that takes effect September 1 and has evolved as a result of many industry groups and individuals committed to bettering the way of acquiring the tools of the cooking trade. Employers are applauding a key change that replaces the requirement for a 3-year apprentice commitment with a program that gives them a choice of the level to take on an individual. Newly defined skill sets allow employers to better communicate the value of each job level and develop wage scales where pay is tied to the successful completion of the levels.

“The new cook apprenticeship is not about how long you’ve cooked, but the broad range of skills that you have acquired at each level,” states Dennis.

For decades BC’s current system has been producing workers through institutional and workplace channels. But with a less than 1/3 completion rate for apprentices and declining employer interest, industry pushed for change. Beginning this September, change is here and working students to experienced cooks and chefs can now qualify for the profession’s new credentials. The new program recognizes three distinct skill levels and offers certification for each: Professional Cook 1, Professional Cook 2, and Professional Cook 3/Red Seal. The current system offers only one certification that is attained upon completing a 3-year apprenticeship term with an employer. Dennis Green, program manager for go2’s industry training division, PROPEL™, views the new program as a system more reflective of industry’s needs. A Red Seal chef himself with over 20 years’ experience, most recently as Executive Chef at Bishop’s Restau-

PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/

“It is a tighter system that combines theory assessment with a practical evaluation. In addition to meeting the criteria apprentices must now be evaluated for their true skills.” For employers, Dennis touts the new program as great for the human resources side of the business. “It will make hiring easier for employers, with clearly defined skill sets for each credential level. Whether an applicant comes to you from an educational or workplace stream, the skills and knowledge are the same for both.” Even with a weakened economy, cooks and chefs continue to top the charts for worker shortages. BC’s new cook apprenticeship is sure to attract potential workers by presenting a profession that offers not only employment but also training and certification options that can be completed at an individual’s own pace and through a mix of employers and experiences. For inquiries contact Linda Halingten, Customer Service Manager, Industry Training, go2, at 604633-9787 ext 235 or visit for more. bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


human resources


Summer brings fresh produce, tourists, customers and increased profits. It can also bring challenges with new, relatively inexperienced and untrained employees. Here are a few hints to help you get the most out of summer and your summer help.

even more foolishly than more senior employees.

1. Train and orient

3. Workers in isolation

• It’s important for every new hire receive training and orientation to the work you want them to do. There will be fewer mistakes and accidents if you invest in training time.

• Worksafe regulations require that no one can be scheduled to work alone between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless they are physically protected from the public by a safety screen. If there are two or more workers together at all times, then the screen is not required, but it is in your interests to make sure workers are protected.

• Safety issues must be a part of the orientation. Back strains and cuts are the most common types of injuries in our industry. You don’t want your summer help away with WCB injuries when you need them at work. Go to for information about safety orientation for young workers or contact your regional Worksafe office. • All staff perform better when they know the rules and policies they must follow at your restaurant. Make sure your new employees hear the rules from you and your management team, not a skewed version from a co worker. • Inexperienced and young workers should be closely supervised for their own safety and the interests of your business. • Be a Super Host. Expect your employees to know about attractions and history of your area so they can answer questions from guests. 2. Alcohol • Any employee who serves alcohol must have “Serving it Right” certification. • It is illegal to allow staff to consume alcohol while they are working, and it is not legal to serve alcohol to staff or customers after the hours specified on your license. • Allowing staff to drink after their shift can lead to serious problems. Staff who drink may decide to drive. This can lead to catastrophe. Young workers may behave

• It’s best not to allow staff to consume alcohol at your place of business at all! Make the staff drink a non alcoholic beverage.

• Don’t keep cash where it could tempt thieves (use a drop box) • Don’t expect employees to make bank deposits at night. • Post a sign saying “no cash kept here” • Have a policy of not accepting large bills to minimize the amount of cash needed for change. • Make credit or debit cards the preferred method of payment. 4. Scheduling shifts • Don’t expect employees to come in to see if they are needed for a shift. If they report for work, even if you send them right home, you must pay daily minimum pay of 2 hours wages to cover the cost of coming to work. • If employees work split shifts, the shifts must be completed within a 12 hour period. If split shifts stretch over a 13 hour period or more, overtime must be paid for the extra hours, even if the employee hasn’t worked more than 8 hours. • Overtime must be paid to employees who work more than 8 hours in a day. If the employee receives a ½ hour meal break free from work, that time is not included in the 8 hours. If the employee is expected to stay at work and be prepared to abandon their ½ hour break if it suddenly gets busy, the break time is included as part of the 8 hours.

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


• You are not obligated to give employees coffee or smoke breaks 5. Reducing waste • Be sure all your employees have Food Safe certification. When inexperienced workers are in the kitchen, supervise them to assure food is properly wrapped and stored. • Our summer bounty is best when fresh. Don’t leave food stock ordering to inexperienced people who may order too much. • Consider offering smaller sized plates to customers with smaller appetites. 6. Keeping workers until season’s end • It’s frustrating when employees leave part way through the season leaving you short handed when the summer tourist season is still active. If you can afford it, consider offering a meaningful bonus to employees who stay until after Labour Day. The bonus for students could be an agreement that you will buy their school text books. Non students could be given a bonus of 5 to 10 shifts extra pay. • When you hire summer help, specify the day the job will end. Make a written offer of employment effective from (for example) May 15 to September 5. This way you avoid having to give notice at the end of the season. If you have questions or concerns about dealing with any situation involving your employees, ask Gillian at or call 1 877 94BCRFA (1 877 942 2732).

PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz

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bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


membership Did you know? The BCRFA: Has a 24/7 Resource line for its member? Call 1.877. 94BCRFA (942-2732) for answers to your questions. Joined with 2010 Legacies Now to facilitate accessibility accreditation for restaurants? Has a Facebook page and regularly posts Twitter feeds? Has joined the Stop Sticking it To Us Coalition to help lobby the federal government against skyrocketing credit card processing rates? Has partnered with and members are listed for free on this site? These are just a few benefits that we have launched in recent months. For a full listing of the benefits of being a BCRFA member, please visit the benefit page on our website. www.bcrfa. com/benefits

CREDIT CARD FEES Join the fight against rising credit card interchange fees! Go to this link and follow three quick and easy steps to send a letter and / or postcard to your MP. It’s important that every one of the 250,000 merchants in our coalition make their voices heard, so please act today.

PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/

VANCOUVER 2010 INFORMATION FOOD RECALLS The BCRFA website hosts a live feed from The Canadian Inspection Agency. Check this feed regularly for any food recalls, allergy alerts, and health hazards. bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009




This summer’s most exciting events! Click on the event’s name for more information. BC Hospitality Foundation Golf Classic July 20, 2009 Okanagan Summer Wine Festival August 6 - August 8, 2009 Spectra Mountain Magic Thursday September 3, 2009 Chicks With Sticks Tuesday August 11, 2009 Feast of Fields Sunday September 13, 2009 BCRFA Okanagan Golf Tournament Tuesday September 15, 2009 SAVE THE DATE FOR BC Hospitality Conference November 22 - 24, 2009 ABOVE PHOTO: Tracey Kusiewicz/ food styling by Carol Jensson

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


Environmentally Friendly Cleaners EnviroOrange, is a multi-use concentrate made from orange oil. Powerful, safe, green and extremely cost effective. One liter into a 20 liter pail of water makes a general cleaner for approximately $12.00 a pail. Liters run from $8.00-$20.00 dollars depending on quantity and are also available in other sizes. You can make the product as strong as you like, but when poured down the drain it is 100% safe and non-poisonous. EnviroOrange can be ordered online with free shipping at or at any Nesters Foods locations. PHOTO: STC Design

SOCAN_Foodservice & Hospitality 2009.pdf


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The Cream in your Coffee! C





Music adds an ingredient essential to the success of your business. By supporting music creators, you also do what's right for your business. Obtain the licence required by dialing 1.866.944.6210 or at




bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


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Š2009 British Columbia Restaurant & Foodservices Association

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Chair: John Harper CEO/President: Ian Tostenson Director, Finance: Durda Krilic Director, Marketing & Membership: Sharron Tulk Association Coordinator: Michelle Caesar Island Member Services Manager: Misty Aitken Interior Member Services Manager: Rosanne Ting-Mak

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CONTACT Sharron Tulk 877 669 2239

Per fect by nature for a fine dining experience

For more information regarding Badoit products, please contact

Char ton-Hobbs British Columbia (604) 420 -5009

badoit is a registered trademark of SAEME Š2009 Danone Water of America, Inc.

bcrestaurantnews JULY 2009


Next Issue: September 2009 GOING LOCAL: where, when, why, and how

BC Restaurant News  

Trade magazine geared towards owners and operators of restaurants, and the suppliers of industry.

BC Restaurant News  

Trade magazine geared towards owners and operators of restaurants, and the suppliers of industry.