BC Restaurant & Food Services Association keys in on three trends for 2018

The organization is hoping for a better year in 2018.

Credit: BCRFA on Twitter

One of the BCRFA’s main goals for 2018 is to emphasize local ingredients. 

Industry group identifies local ingredients, new types of cuisine and happy staff as main priorities

It’s been a tumultuous year for the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA). 

For starters, the province’s food and beverage industry has been hit with a crippling labour shortage for most of 2017, prompting BCRFA president and CEO Ian Tostenson to estimate that the industry is about 20,000 employees short.

Presenting another challenge is a proposed $15 minimum wage for B.C. that won’t do bar and restaurant owners any favours. Neither will new guidelines around sodium being developed by Health Canada.

But in the face of those looming threats, the BCRFA is hoping some new resolutions for 2018 will help turn the tide for the industry. A press release by the group identifies three areas for improvement.

The first priority, according to the BCRFA, is that customers want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. That’s led to the Buy BC: Eat Drink Local promotion, which will see local food and beverage on fresh sheet menus around the province next May.

Second is the organization’s emphasis on culinary leadership. New species and variations of cuisine are at the forefront of the strategy here, and the BCRFA anticipates that customers will see “a new abundance of new cuts of fresh vegetables, meat and fish on menus. From broccoli-stem slaw to root vegetable top pesto, be ready to re-consider your fruit and vegetable trimmings.”

The last point has become crucial under the industry’s current conditions: employees’ health and well-being. Because wages are often low, the BCRFA is trying to find other ways to attract workers. This includes hosting a January 16 public forum that it bills as a chance for “industry professionals to engage in a provocative discussion about restaurants, chefs, and the province’s place in the food world.”

Add the BCRFA’s list to a long history of New Year’s resolutions based around food.