Initiatives & Accomplishments
Premier Meeting - RANS has developed a long-term relationship with the office of the Premier. We have two private meetings a year, during which we discuss three or four core issues, with a focus on moving the agenda forward. This has been very helpful to our sector and has created a good working relationship with successive governments.
Regulatory Issues - RANS has a strong presence within government departments & agencies that impact our sector. We are on a one-on-one basis with key officials and are always consulted prior to any new changes or revisions to current regulations.
Liquor Regulations and Changes - RANS has completed an extensive review of all liquor regulations and complied a report and file with Alcohol & Gaming (Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia). This is the document that is used when liquor regulations are discussed or changed. The Association is always consulted in these situations, and we have been very effective in making changes for the betterment of the food & beverage sector.
Third Party Alcohol Delivery - RANS supported the changes to the Liquor License Regulations to allow the delivery of alcohol with food. Employees of a licensed establishment can deliver alcohol with food on behalf of their employer - or licensed third-party delivery personnel can deliver alcoholic beverages with food from licensed establishments. Read More (March 2023)
Wholesale on Alcohol - RANS advocated for the existing 10 percent wholesale discount on wine and spirits expanded to also include bottled and canned beer, ready-to-drink liquor products and cider. (Spring 2021)
Information for Employee Handbooks - RANS has developed a number of information pieces & policies that can be added to an employee handbook or posted for staff. All of these have been vetted and reflect good practices. Current ones are for Sexual Harassment & Cannabis usage by employees.
Staffing Issues - The association has participated in a long-range labour study of the restaurant sector. There are mounting labour shortages, particularly with kitchen cooks and red-seal chefs. We are engaged with numerous programs and organizations to reduce this growing issue. We are working closely with the apprenticeship program to encourage people to enter our sector for a career. Other organizations that we are currently working with are NS Immigration, Atlantic Pilot Program, BBI, NSCC, Service Canada, NSHRC and Immigration Canada.
Labour Market Research - RANS is conducting on on-ongoing market research into the labour shortage in our industry. This includes a survey and focus groups directed at employees that have exited the restaurant industry in 2022. Read more.
Patio Grant Initiative (June 2021)- RANS, with support from ACOA, has offered grants to support the seasonal extension of patios for dine-in restaurants across Nova Scotia. The total project approved funding was $200,000.
Pet Friendly Patios – (June 2021) RANS promoted the decision for dogs on patios as a way to help encourage more customers to eat out on patios.
Shared Resources - RANS promotes resources, discounts and services to help operators save on their expenses. See our complete list of member benefits.
Credit Card Processing Rates – RANS did an extensive RFP (request for proposal) from all major banks & credit card processors to find the lowest rate possible for the benefit of our members (2018). Our selected supplier is SONA, based here in Nova Scotia and offering the best rates for businesses of various sizes.
RANS members can contact Natasha at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to SONA’s discount offer.
Starting and Running a Restaurant in Nova Scotia Guidebook - RANS has developed a complete guide for new and existing operators. This is the first step for new entrants, and provides a helping hand for existing operators. We offer it free to anyone because we care about our industry and its evolution. Education is key. View or download the 2018 Restaurant Guidebook.
Covid-19 – During the pandemic RANS had many initiatives to protect and support restaurants during closures and after the reopening.
Launched a consumer confidence campaign to support the industry and encourage dine-in eating.
Offered a contract tracing platform with SimplyCast to dine-in restaurants, free of charge during the pandemic.
Helped secure third party delivery of alcohol with take-out orders throughout the pandemic.
Helped secure take-out and home delivery of mixed drinks with food throughout the pandemic.
Suspended membership fees during the height of the pandemic and offered flexible payment options when we started invoicing again in September 2021.
Hosted webinars on critical topics to support businesses throughout the pandemic.
Sent out daily and then weekly bulletins with crucial.
Food Safety Changes - We anticipate several changes to the food inspection process. Food inspections used to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture and now fall under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Environment. Changes are being implements throughout this process. We are briefed on a one-to-one basis on these changes to ensure our industry is up-to-date on any relevant issues.
Research and Statistics – RANS communicates up-to-date statistics to the food and beverage sector on a monthly basis. The most current data for the restaurant sector is available in our BITE – Business newsletter. RANS is building its network with other agencies, companies, and departments to enhance the statistical picture of food and beverage industry in Nova Scotia. RANS has also started publishing primary source research, view the completed Exit Survey 2022 Results.
Liquor Regulation Changes - A number of new changes and regulations are coming to our sector. These were all part of the list that we have provided to Alcohol and Gaming. We will be pushing the process and relaying it to the industry once approved. There are approximately five changes coming in 2019.
Labour Shortages - We have explored and assisted in developing programs that will encourage people to look at the food and beverage sector. In particular, our kitchens are the primary focus, but it will soon impact other areas of restaurant operations. A secondary element is working to cut down the time it takes to get foreign workers into our sector (via Foreign Worker Program & the Atlantic Pilot project). It is one of the biggest challenges in our sector and the outlook is not good.
Wheelchair Accessible Washrooms - In the fall of 2018, after a court case, it was determined that all restaurant washrooms must be wheelchair compliant. Since this necessary regulation change, RANS continues to help guide restaurants in complying with these changes. For smaller restaurants with more structural issues, RANS will look at different possibilities. This work is in progress and RANS has a seat at the main table where these issues are resolved.
UPDATE (January 2023): RANS has partnered with the Nova Scotia government for the Access-Ability Grant which gives small restaurants the opportunity to receive a consultation and quote for creating accessible washrooms.