Guide for meeting with your MPP
When meeting with your elected representative, your personal story is your most valuable tool.
Remember, MPPs are elected to serve people in their constituency, and they regularly meet with constituents to discuss their experiences with laws, policy and regulation. You can use this to your advantage.
When meeting with your MPP, be confident and tell them about your business, your employees and customers, and how the changes in bill 148 will negatively impact you and them.
Familiarize yourself with the minimum wage increases (note that the alcohol server wage and the wage for students under 18 has been retained but increased by the same percentage as the general minimum wage).
Familiarize yourself with key changes to employment standards and labour laws under Bill 148.
Be constructive. Both the government and opposition have demonstrated an openness to helping businesses through the transition period. See the list of Restaurants Canada proposals you may want to discuss.
Emphasize that you have to make decisions NOW for Jan. 1 about staffing and menu price increases. Menus are typically printed weeks, if not months, ahead, so the government can’t wait until the last minute to announce measures to assist restaurants.
- Tell a local story – how you contribute to the community: the charity events you run and the teams you support.
- Tell them how many people you employ. Focus on how many are youth and students.
- Tell them about the people you employ. If possible, talk about someone you hired for their first job who has excelled in their career because of the start you gave them.
- Tell them about your customers.
- Tell them how much the minimum wage increase will impact your labour costs. Include in your calculation the cost for those currently earning under $15, and those earning $15 and over who will expect their wages to be increased proportionately.
- Tell them what your labour costs are as a percentage of your sales.
- Consider telling them what the impact will be on your bottom line (e.g that your pre-tax margin will drop by x% putting you in a deficit).Tell them the steps you are considering/implementing in preparation for the minimum wage increase and other Bill 148 changes (e.g. reducing staff hours, laying off staff, freezing wages for employees earning over $15, keeping/hiring only experienced staff, raising prices, automating services, reducing benefits such as employee meals and paid breaks, reducing hours of service, eliminating services such as window washing and marketing support).
- Provide examples to communicate how resistant your customers are to price increases (e.g. the volume of complaints you get, the drop in number of customers, the drop in average check, when you raise prices).
- For table service restaurants, tell them how much your alcohol servers average an hour in tips.
Refer to the Q & A document to familiarize yourself with the points you should expect your MPP to raise, and what Restaurants Canada’s positions are on these points.
- Arrive early for your meeting but expect to wait.
- Bring business cards.
- Ask how you can follow up.