Save Food Service Jobs - Ontario Minimum Wage

Guide for talking to staff about the increased minimum wage

Your staff will likely hear the debate around the increase in minimum wage and may have questions about it. The messages below can be a guideline for conversations, either as the basis for an impromptu discussion, or to guide a formal staff meeting.


The Ontario government has committed to raising the minimum wage to $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019 after previously committing to keep increases at the rate of inflation.

We appreciate the work that all the staff here does and we value all of you. The truth is we couldn’t run a restaurant without our staff and we would like to treat everyone as fairly as we can.

However, an increase this large, this quickly would be very difficult for most restaurants to absorb. Our current revenues just don’t make it possible, so we’d have to cut shifts and find other ways to make it work.

If we have to raise menu prices dramatically to compensate for the increase in wages, it will reduce the number of customers, which would also mean cutting shifts.

A significant increase in prices will also cut back on tips our customers can provide.

We agree with an increase in minimum wage! But we’d like the government to slow it down to give restaurants like us time to adapt. Barring that, we’d like them to offer ways to help us reduce costs so we can maintain shifts and positions.

We’re working with our industry association, Restaurants Canada, who is advocating on our behalf with the government.