Inspired Restaurant Press Release
Jan 24, 2019 bcrfauser01


The BCRFA successfully concludes important pilot of Inspired Restaurants

Restaurants across British Columbia participate in a program to help combat the labour shortage

Vancouver, BC (January 24, 2019) – The British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association has concluded the pilot program Inspired Restaurants. This program was developed to aid independent restaurants across BC in navigating the challenges presented by the severe labour shortage. Participants were provided with tools and information related to licensing, business operations and human resource practices to bolster their business and help them recruit, train and retain employees.

In a move that has been heralded as a first in the hospitality industry anywhere in Canada, in partnership with benefit provider Morneau Sheppell, participants were offered reasonably priced extended benefit packages for full and part time workers.

The pilot was a major success, with the majority of participants reporting improvements in their human resource management and recruiting and in their overall operating procedures.

The BCRFA plans to extend the program to a wider group of restaurants in a phase two launch in 2019, as a program like this is vital in setting a standard of excellence within the industry.

“Careers in the restaurant industry are rewarding and helping communities to thrive. We are taking action by supporting the industry to address recruitment and retention challenges,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “By investing in tools employers need to understand and respond to the changing labour market like the B.C Labour Market Outlook and the Inspired Restaurants program, we are driving support to develop programs that put people first.”

“This training program will benefit restaurant operators who are experiencing difficulty attracting and keeping employees, operators new to the industry, people who want to manage restaurants and any one who wants a refresher in making their restaurant successful,” adds Ian Tostenson, CEO of the BCRFA.

The BCRFA is immensely grateful to the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement and the Government of BC for the ongoing support and assistance given to this project.

For more information, visit: www.bcrfa.com or contact Ian Tostenson at 604.669.2239

Who are iGen and how will they impact your business?
Jan 21, 2019 bcrfauser01

iGen, also known as Generation Z, is a huge group of young employees coming up to ages where they are making an impact on the workforce.

Most demographers define this age group as those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, making them roughly ages 13 to 23. They make up 25 per cent of the population Canada-wide, which makes Gen Z bigger than both boomers and Millennials. In the next few years, that figure will balloon to 33 per cent of the population. In British Columbia, we actually have a statistically smaller group of older iGens and won’t feel the bump of this generation until the youngest of them are of the age to enter our workforce.

Across the country however, this is a huge and diverse generation and the fastest growing group of employees, customers, and voters. Regardless of their numbers in BC, they are the current wave of employees that we are bringing into restaurants as servers, busers, hosts and kitchen team.

Just when you thought you were starting to understand Millenials, this generation is a whole new group. They grew up with cell phones, had an Instagram account before they started high school, and do not remember a time before the Internet.

As a result, Gen Z is already the most influential group of technology trendsetters. They offer an accurate glimpse into the future of communication.

What does that mean for your business? Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News tells us in a recent article that the first impact is that they don’t only eat regular meals. To meet their needs, operators have to think outside the box: all-day brunch, late evening specials, early bird specials, a new version of the happy hour. Value and price are important – and offering something that fits with a snacking lifestyle.

They are the “Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk” generation. They order custom and expect customization to a simple request. Their world is multicultural and their food selections are too – expect more global and fusion flavours with local ingredients becoming the norm. BC restaurants are a leader in fusion cuisine already – so this is a great opportunity for us to lead.

More good news – they like to dine out: Gen Z diners already outspend boomers in reported monthly expenditures on food prepared outside the home.

It’s all about the story and that’s where local fits in again. They want to know what’s in that menu item and where the ingredients came from and whether or they’re fresh or organic. They want story and an element of the unknown or unusual. As leaders in local, BC restaurateurs have another fabulous opportunity here to stand out and lead the way.

It’s a new generation but the opportunity for restaurants here is fantastic. Read about about iGen and plan your menu to target these new consumers and workers.

For more information, check out this article in Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News online:  https://www.restobiz.ca/get-ready-gen-z-coming-disrupt-your-business/

BCRFA Tackles British Columbia’s Labour Shortage
Jan 07, 2019 bcrfauser01

If you are facing labour shortage in your business, you are not alone. Other restaurants and other industries are competing for new workers across BC.

Posting jobs but not receiving any applications? This isn’t unusual. Many operators are following the best industry practices and are still not receiving a single résumé from a qualified job candidate. It goes beyond hospitality. Other industries are facing such a grave shortage of skilled labour that they are regularly turning away sales.

This labour shortage doesn’t have a straight forward solution. BC Restaurant and Food Services Association is advocating for a four-pronged approach.

  • Changing Employer Practices  
  • Recruiting Foreign Workers: El Salvador Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • Taking Business to the Next Level: Inspired Restaurants
  • Industry Training: HAVE Culinary Training Society

The solution that works for your business will depend on your particular situation. Our HR and Labour Shortage teams will be happy to discuss ideas that might work for you. Call our team at 604.669.2239

Check out our Labour Shortage Page.

New Years Resolution
Jan 02, 2019 bcrfauser01

This is the time of year when individuals consider making personal New Year resolution, as a business owner we encourage you to make resolutions that will drive your restaurant to more success and to make your employees happier!


January is ideal to take care of your human resource management resolutions and to start the New Year with intention.


Here is a list of important things you can take on to improve your business outcomes for 2019. Some of them seem so simple and obvious that they’re often overlooked.


1.     Create a contact list for your employees. You’d be surprised how many people move and change phone numbers and forget to tell their boss. Today is a good day to ask all your employees to update their phone number and email address.

2.     Create or update your employee manual. This is simply a book that tells employees the rules of your workplace and the values you promote. Surveys suggest an employer with a manual retains workers at a higher rate than employers who don’t. People like to know the rules. If you need help creating a manual, contact the BCRFA and we will send you a template and help you personalize it.

3.    Recognize your employees for their contributions to your success. Workers who feel appreciated are happier and more likely to stay with you. A simple “thanks” is good. A thank you card is better. A little token of your appreciation is even better.

4.    Solidify your training program. If your dishwasher wants to move up the ranks, what system do you have in place to create this opportunity? There are a lot of free and low cost opportunities for training your staff. Contact the BCRFA for information about training opportunities. If you’re afraid this will take your employees away, many training opportunities are available on line!

5.     Schedule your people predictively. Employees who know their schedule well in advance are likely to be happier and stay with you. Predictive scheduling has become the law in many states and provinces, so any BC employer who starts posting schedules up to 3 weeks in advance is well ahead of the game. Employees will love you for it.

6.    Offer the best benefits you can and review what you offer annually. If you can offer medical and dental benefits, do. To do a business review of possibilities, contact the BCRFA. We have negotiated a great benefit plan for small restaurants.

7.     Get personal. Learn one new thing about each of your staff in January. Learn a partners’ name, find out about their children, cats and dogs. Those little details are important to your staff. If you have no idea what their hopes, dreams and interests, take a moment to find out. Make a resolution to spend a few minutes a day getting to really know the people who work for you. Connection builds loyalty.


We hope you will start the New Year with achievable goals to build your team and your business.