Heading out for a meal at a Saskatchewan restaurant is going to cost customers more starting Saturday.
The provincial government is forcing all restaurants to charge the six per cent PST on meals and non-alcoholic beverages as of April 1.
In its latest budget released March 22 the Sask. Party stated the PST would be added to a variety of previously-exempt fields, including restaurants.
Tim Rogers, co-owner of the Lancaster Taphouse in Regina, said he’s been scrambling to get ready for the change.
“The seven-day timeline has made things fun the last week, trying to get everything ready to switch over,” Rogers explained.
He added it’s not just charging the provincial sales tax, but going through the process of registering for a PST number and changing their back office system, which wasn’t built to account for the tax.
Rogers said he’s heard from several customers the added cost won’t keep them away. Looking long-term, however, Rogers envisions his business will be affected.
“It’s less cash you have in your pockets to go out and restaurants are a luxury,” he said. “When you look at the big picture, it will hurt us.”
Rogers pointed out prices at the Lancaster won’t change beyond the added cost from the PST.
The tax increase is also being added to snack foods and ready-to-go meals – such as the rotisserie chicken from the supermarket – along with children’s clothing, vehicle trade-ins and bulk fuel.