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Nova Scotia restaurants will benefit from liquor serving change

February 14 2017

Restaurant owners in the province of Nova Scotia will be able to better serve their customers following changes to liquor licensing regulations.

The alterations mean that restaurant guests can now order up to two alcoholic drinks without ordering food.

Previously, customers could only order an alcoholic drink in a separate area with a lounge licence if they weren’t buying any food.

Restaurant operators should feel the benefit too. They will no longer have to carry a second lounge licence to cater for customers who are only interested in enjoying a casual alcoholic drink. Securing this second licence could be time-consuming and costly.

The change also helps restaurants that are unable to obtain a lounge licence due to municipal zoning or simply being located in one of the 105 ‘dry areas’ in the province.

Red tape reduced

Luc Erjavec, Vice-President Atlantic for Restaurants Canada - which represents 30,000 Canadian establishments and worked to bring about the change - reacting by saying: “Restaurant owners and their guests are pleased with this change because it removes an unnecessary business barrier and allows better customer service.

“Before this change, restaurateurs in some parts of the province couldn’t fully meet their customers’ needs. The government has reduced red tape, while allowing us to serve our customers in a socially responsible manner.”

A statement from Restaurants Canada goes on to point out that the group highlighted the need for the change in liquor rules in its 2015 Raise the Bar report.

It adds that they worked closely with Service Nova Scotia and the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to ensure the change was a success.

Elsewhere in Canada, the case for encouraging more restaurants to let customers bring their own alcohol remains a source of debate.

In October last year, Coalition Avenir Québec claimed that Quebec should merge its two-tier permits system into a single permit to give restaurant owners the choice of whether to let diners bring their own bottle in a bid to reduce the cost of dining.

Read more about that here.

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