Some N.S. businesses still facing an uphill battle

    Nova Scotia. (March 28, 2024)

    "About 62 per cent of restaurants are operating at a break even or a loss and we’re starting to hear of some bankruptcies, which we had predicted,” said Natasha Chestnut, the executive director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.


    Financial Assistance for July 2023 Floods

    Nova Scotia. (July 26, 2023).

    The provincial government is providing disaster financial assistance to small businesses affected by the July 2023 floods. Financial assistance provides up to $200,000 for repair and replacement costs.

    Tip Theft in Nova Scotia

    CBC. (June 28, 2023).

    Halifax advocacy group to push for tip theft legislation. The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia does not condone tip theft by employers. Provided webinar on best practices for tip distribution for operators.

    Asian Food and Culture Festival 2023: Celebrating Diversity and Cultural Fusion in Halifax

    The Asian Food & Culture Festival returns to Halifax from May 26th to 28th, setting the city ablaze with vibrant celebrations. Branded as TASTE Asia in 2023, this annual event, organized by Off The Eaten Path, goes beyond the tantalizing flavors and aromas, using food as a catalyst to bring communities together, foster connections, and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our diverse city.

    Digby Pines Welcomes New Team Members

    Press Release (May 15, 2023)

    Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa continues to expand its management team and expertise as part of its relentless focus to offer authentic experiences and creative, contemporary Nova Scotia cuisine. 

    Training, Criminal Record Checks Required for Cabaret Bouncers

    Services Nova Scotia. (May 12, 2023)

     Security staff will now need a criminal record check and security training to work at late-night bars known as cabarets. 

    "Providing additional training for security personnel who work in the bar scene is a positive step. When individuals have the resources and skill sets to support them in doing their job, it is beneficial to the health and safety of customers and employees."
    - Natasha Chestnut, Executive Director, Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia

    Celebrate the fifth national ByBlacks Restaurant Week 2023 Spring Edition

    TORONTO, Ont. (April 25, 2023), in partnership with the Black Opportunity Fund, is pleased to announce the return of ByBlacks Restaurant Week, from May 15-21, 2023.

    This national food celebration spans across Canada and features prix fixe selections from top Black-owned restaurants. Diners can expect discounts of ten to 25 per cent. 

    Welcome, Natasha Chestnut, our new Executive Director

    April 3, 2023

    The Board of Directors for The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) is pleased to announce that Natasha Chestnut will be stepping into the role as Executive Director. Natasha has worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years and has extensive experience in the operations of non-profits. She has currently been working in a management role with the association overseeing the daily operations and marketing initiatives for almost seven years. Natasha has a solid understanding of the association, the industry challenges, and the connections with both industry and government.

    Farewell to our Fearless Leader

    March 31, 2023

     It is bittersweet that we announce the retirement of our fearless leader, Gordon Stewart. As of April 7, 2023, Gordon will be retiring as the Executive Director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS). We are excited for him to have this well-deserved break after 20+ years of devotion to the association and the food & beverage industry, however, to say he will be missed is an understatement.

    Hello? Alberta is Calling Halifax workers to move west

    Saltwire. March 14, 2023

    Alberta has started a campaign to entice workers from across Canada to their province, promising lower taxes and higher wages. Natasha Chestnut of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia states that she doesn't forsee a large migration of workers heading to Alberta from Nova Scotia.

    L’Alberta tente de convaincre les travailleurs de l’Atlantique de passer à l’ouest

    Radio-Canada. March 17, 2023

    L'Alberta lance un campagne de seduction vers la pays. Gordon Stweart de l'association des restauranteur de la Nouvelle-Écosse, croix que la difference des taxes n'est pas assez "importante pour convaincre quelqu’un de faire ses bagages et changer sa vie du tout au tout."

    THINKING OUT LOUD: Closures and labour shortages on the menu 

    SaltWire. February 22, 2023 


    Sheldon MacLeod interviews Gordon Stewart, the Executive Director of RANS, about the labour shortage that has affected the restaurant industry.  

    SaltWire. January 31, 2023 

    RANS supports minimum wage increase and cost of living increases. 
    Following Nova Scotia Provincial Government’s announcement regarding minimum wage increase to $15/hour, some concerns were brought to our attention regarding outdated content on our website concerning tip differential – this was a potential option explored in 2019, however is no longer on the table. RANS fully supports the minimum wage increase and yearly cost of living increases, a position endorsed by our Board of Directors. The restaurant sector has maintained membership on the provincial Minimum Wage Committee and has voted for increases to minimum wage. 


    In 2022, the sector had one of the highest increases in wages, excluding tips which is regulated by Revenue Canada and formulas determined by employees of respective restaurants. While increases are challenging for many restaurant operators – as approximately 50% operate at or below break-even – they have supported the wage increase. 
    RANS was interviewed by SaltWire on January 31, 2023 regarding the minimum wage increase.  




    SaltWire. May 3, 2022 

    Over 600 delegates are signed up to visit the H2O oceans tech convention and that means more business for Halifax. 


    CBC News. March 24, 2022 

    Restaurants in Nova Scotia are trying to accommodate diners' comfort zones and staff safety with Covid-19 restrictions easing according to restaurant association. 

    CBC News. March 7, 2022 


    Phase 2 of reopening has started and restaurants are scrambling to hire staff. Gordon Stewart, RANS Executive Director, reports that the restaurant industry is down about 5000 employees. 

    CTV News. January 25, 2022 


    Omnicron caused many people to downsize or even cancel holiday dinner plans. 

    CTV News. January 4, 2022 

    Staff shortages along with the upcoming repayments for Covid-19 business supports have some restaurants closing either temporarily or permanently. 





    Sudden Covid-19 restriction changes have restaurants reeling. 


    The Signal HFX. November 31, 2021 


    The province is making it easier to hire international staff for restaurants during the pandemic.  


    Global News. November 3, 2021 

    “Anti-mask” protestors are causing problems for local businesses. Their presence dissuades other customers and are harassing staff who request they respect business requirements.  


    Global News. October 12, 2021 


    “A weekend protest regarding proof-of-vaccination requirements is drawing harsh reviews from the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.” 

    CBC News. October 8, 2021 


    RANS Executive Director is interviewed about what’s working well, what hiccups have occurred and how restaurants are dealing with it. 

    SaltWire. October 7, 2021 


    Proof of vaccination has some people up in arms, but restaurants are told to stand firm against the pushback. 


    CTV News. August 22, 2021 


    “Even though the hospitality industry has seen a surge in business this summer with restrictions easing, the same cannot be said when it comes to finding and keeping staff.” 

    CBC News. August 11, 2021 


    For a blind person like Yvon Clement, obstacles are everywhere. 


    Everyday objects like sandwich boards, bike racks and sidewalk patios can pose a danger for those who use a cane to get around.  


    Patios that only have a rope-and-post barrier can pose an accessibility issue because the open space between the posts can't be detected by cane.” 


    Huddle. June 21, 2021  


    “The flood of customers is welcome news for restaurants that have been hanging on for dear life since the latest pandemic-fuelled lockdown. But nearly all of them are facing one enormous problem: they can’t find enough people to work for them.” 

    Global News. June 14, 2021 


    Now, with the second phase of the province’s five-phase plan expected to begin on Wednesday, restaurants owners are scrambling to hire back staff and get ready.” 

    May 27, 2021 


    “Some people in Nova Scotia's hospitality industry say finding and training employees is chief among their concerns for when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions begin to lift.” 

    CBC News. April 9, 2021 


    “A contact tracing program developed in Nova Scotia that has made logging restaurant patrons' information during the pandemic as easy as sending a text is raising questions about how that data is being stored and what people can do to protect their privacy. “ 

    Huddle. March 30, 2021  


    “Leaders in the restaurant and hospitality industry are getting a much-needed break on alcohol expenses in Nova Scotia’s newest budget.” 

    Signal Halifax. March 23, 2021 


    Back in November the provincial government used the Health Protection Act to make contact tracing mandatory for all Nova Scotia restaurants. This was done at the request of the restaurant association.” 


    NS Government. March 2, 2021  


    “Recognizing that, government is announcing a $7 million rebate program today, March 2, to help the service sector weather the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns.”