(587) 705-0764
Ackah Business Immigration Law – Personal and Corporate Immigration
Contact us

Contact Information

1 (403) 452-9515

1 (800) 932-1190

Book a Free Consult

More Options...

Canada Restaurant Industry Needs Immigrant Workers

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Low Skilled Immigrants

Canada Restaurant Industry Needs Immigrant Workers

In the third quarter of 2019, there were 67,370 vacant jobs in Canadian food service and drinking establishments, according to Statistics Canada. This restaurant labour shortage is the highest in nearly five years. During the holiday season, Canada restaurants faced a critical shortage of workers:

Record low unemployment, shifting demographics and competition for workers from a slew of new restaurants and food delivery services are making it tough for restaurants to find enough workers to operate at capacity — opening the patio in summer or hosting private parties during the holidays. Executing expansion plans seems impossible.

Canada's restaurant industry is facing a labour shortage and needs immigrant workers for semi-skilled and low-skilled jobs.

Canada's Workforce Is Shrinking

Canadian employers are facing an aging workforce and need more lower-skilled immigrants to fill jobs. Restaurant and food services traditionally attract a young workforce, say restaurant owners and industry associations.

  • In 2019 Canadians under age 25 made up only 28.25 of the population in 2019, versus 48.1% in 1971
  • Canada's overall unemployment rate is at historic lows
  • A housing shortage and high housing costs make it difficult to live on entry-level food service salaries
  • More workers 24 and under are choosing fields higher-paying fields such as tech, transportation, retail and education over lower-pay fields

The Association Restauration Québec, representing 5,550 restaurant owners, told a legislature committee their situation is critical with 14,000 vacant jobs for cooks, waiters and kitchen staff across Quebec, and that more foreign workers are needed "to fill the jobs of cooks, servers and kitchen staff." Quebec, British Columbia and some parts of Atlantic Canada have the worst shortages right now, according to Restaurants Canada, but food industry labour shortages exist across the country, including places like Banff, Alberta.

Looser Immigration Rules Can Help the Restaurant Labor Shortage

David Lefebvre, vice president of industry association Restaurants Canada, told CBC that the industry "wants the government to loosen rules about who can come to Canada to work in the field so it's not just trained chefs who can move here, but front-of-house and other kitchen staff, too."

  • The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at Toronto's George Brown College, enrolment by Canadians has plateaued, while international students have increased by six-fold between 2009 and 2019
  • There are more than 67,000 vacant positions in bars and food service

Restaurant owner Hemant Bhagwani told CBC,

I cannot open a restaurant without hiring a foreign worker inside my kitchen, period.

Canada Needs More Low Skilled, Entry Level Immigrants

Canada's merit-based immigration system favors highly skilled and educated immigrants who can help grow the local economy and create jobs. Canadian employers are struggling to fill positions for farm workers, truck drivers and food service personnel. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which advocates for small businesses, has urged the government to broaden its immigration system to include more trade and semiskilled workers.

Are You Eligible to Move to Canada?
Ackah Business Immigration Law can smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada.
For Work. For Family. For Life.

Book A Consultation

"Canada is a safe, friendly and welcoming country that appreciates the contributions immigrants make to help build our economy," said Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

More About Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Work Permits For Temporary Foreign Worker's Dependent Children

Dependent children of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) can obtain work permits under LMIA exemption codes C46 and C48 if they meet specific eligibility criteria including holding ...

Read More

NEW: IRCC Launches Home Child Care Support Pilot Program

The Home Child Care Support Pilot (HCSP) is a new program that provides financial support to eligible home child care providers in Canada. This new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship ...

Read More

Canada Foreign Workers Don't Need Study Permits

Effective immediately, foreign workers in Canada with a valid work permit no longer need study permits to get additional training and education. The Canadian government has introduced ...

Read More

Episode 63: Is It A Good Time To Apply For An LMIA?

Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah discusses as a Canadian employer or a business owner how to determine when is a good time to hire a foreign worker and how to apply for an LMIA. ...

Read More

Why Businesses Should Hire an Experienced Immigration Lawyer (Not An Immigration Consultant) for Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers

Hiring temporary foreign workers (TFWs) can be a great way to fill labour shortages for seasonal workers in the hospitality, travel, recreation and entertainment industries. However, ...

Read More

New Online LMIA Portal

BOOK YOUR FREE CASE EVALUATION To modernize the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and improve client service, Service Canada is transitioning to online Labour Market ...

Read More

We are really happy with the professionalism and patience you have displayed in dealing with our application. I will always refer Ackah Law in the future.


View All Testimonials