BC liquor businesses are hopeful that this summer will bring some relief and normalcy to operations as tourism picks up. With most pandemic mandates lifted, many Canadian and international travellers are returning to pre-pandemic behaviours. A recent study by Research Co. found that 76% of Canadians believe the worst of the pandemic is in the rear view mirror.
Internationally, air travel restrictions have also been relaxed, with the caveat that until Monday June 20th only fully-vaccinated travellers may enter Canada and both international travel to Canada and domestic travel are on the rise. Fully-vaccinated U.S. travellers with vaccination certificates can enter Canada without presenting a negative COVID-19 test and no longer have to quarantine upon arrival. Visit the Kayak interactive country-by-country travel restrictions map for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.
The BC government, via provincially-funded Destination BC, has invested $6.7 million promoting “The BC Effect” on TV, video, newsprint, magazine, and digital ads in 2022 and 2023. The advertising campaign showcases BC as a destination for travellers “from key international domestic and long-haul markets”, including the UK, Australia, California, Ontario and Washington.
Whether you run a private BC liquor store, restaurant, or bar, Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors encourages you to audit your business’s readiness to handle increased customers and sales. The following is a checklist to help assess your operational readiness.
Is your BC liquor license in compliance and up to date?
If you have outstanding non-compliance fines from the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch, or an unaddressed “Notice of Inspection” from BCLCRB compliance enforcement, now is the time to pay fines and correct infractions as stipulated in inspection notices. Unaddressed infractions may result in fines, temporary, or even permanent BC liquor license suspension.
If you are operating a summer patio, ensure your Temporary Expanded Service Areas (TESA) comply with provincial guidelines, and apply early to make your current TESA patio permanent, so your patios are ready for summer 2023.
Do you have enough liquor inventory to meet increased demand?
Estimate summer sales, taking into account the increase in tourism, to ensure you have enough liquor inventory to meet customer demand. Distribution may be slower than usual, so placing orders early can safeguard against inventory shortages.
Have you audited best selling liquor products?
Identify best-selling SKUs in your inventory and ensure that you order enough to meet increased demand.
Will your current staffing levels, scheduling and training meet increased demand?
Many BC liquor licensees are having trouble attracting and keeping employees. If you’re having staffing problems now, they’ll be made worse by a sudden increase in tourist customers, increased stresses on staff, scheduling and training issues. Attempt to resolve these issues before they snowball out of control.
While we’re known as go-to BC liquor license consultants, Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors also provides liquor retail operations strategy, including customized audits of private liquor stores and wine stores, restaurants, nightclubs and bars. Take advantage of our free consultation to ask us questions and book a tourism-preparedness audit for your BC liquor business.Book a Free 30-Minute Consultation Today!