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Jul 17, 2011 11:49 AM

Anyone noticing effects of the new receipt regulation?

I'm curious to know whether any other frequent restaurant-goers have noticed any price changes as a result of the new receipt and register laws for restaurants in Quebec.

Personally, I was absolutely blown away by the price increases at Napoletana. You're looking at upwards of 18$ for what is frankly only decent pizza. Not to mention the sticker shock I got when I realized that the menu prices no longer include tax there.

I also noticed that at many of my favourite quick lunch spots in Chinatown 2 near Concordia, the prices of dishes that used to be $6-7 are now all about $10.

It adds up!!!....

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  1. What is this new law? I'm not sure I follow.. many places did not include tax in their prices before..

    4 Replies
    1. re: artstate

      The new law has nothing to do with including tax or not, that was just an additional change Napoletana had made.

      The new law which is coming into full and total effect November 1st is that all restaurants (with very few exceptions) must purchase and use a Revenue Quebec approved register (at substantial cost) and produce new standardized receipts for all transactions. It's going to be all digitally monitored by Revenue Quebec (the machines have to send monthly cash reports).
      The government brought these new regulations in to combat all the undeclared, under the table cash flow in the restaurant industry. It's extremely common (or perhaps was) that restaurant owners skim off the top to lower declared income. They are finally cracking down on it.
      Here's a link to Revenue Quebec's explanation:

      And here's a story in the Gazette about how it's hitting some small-businesses hard:

      And all related is the fact that I've slowly been noticing many places are increasing their prices accordingly - that is to make up for what was previously partially undeclared income.

      1. re: berbatov

        Which places in Chinatown 2 have changed? I was at Maison du Nord and Qing Hua recently and prices are the same.

        1. re: berbatov

          Ah I see. Thanks for the links.
          I hope it won't change the prices too much above the usual inflation. You're pointing out some places, but I guess we'll see in November how much of it is a direct effect

          1. re: artstate

            Mikado on Monkland used to have lunch specials at 12.50$.. now the price has hiked up to 16$!
            Just went to Qing Hua today, and they still don't have official receipts yet, so maybe that's why no hike in prices yet. By the way, is it just me or has Qing Hua's quality gone down? My pan fried dumplings were burnt and barely had any soup in them!

      2. Ya Ive noticed the change, a lot of places increased their prices because of it. What I dont understand is why theyre charging them 5000$ to buy them and forcing it on them on top of it. Ya ok I understand theyre trying to crack down on undeclared revenue but atleast give it to them for free if youre going to force it on them. I would not be happy about that at all if I owned a restaurant.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jay_81k

          Yeah, I agree. On the one hand I'm glad that the restaurant owners who WERE skimming are hopefully going to have to pay their fair share. I know through many associates in the industry just how common (and in some cases substantial) the evasion was. On the other hand, Quebec has chosen a typically stupid way of tackling the issue. The registers are extremely expensive and even though they are partially subsidized in some cases, the upfront cost needs to be covered immediately and completely by the owners. The article was just a sampling, but I can see how this is going to have a huge effect on small businesses.
          And really, in the end, its always the consumer who is going to bear the final cost, as is exemplified by the recent increases. The alternative is that a lot of Montreal favourites might have to shut their doors - that's just how common and widespread the skimming was.

          1. re: berbatov

            I can rationalize how Quebec wants their "fair" share of taxes; the Quebec link claims $300 million/year.

            However, I think its the very policies and rates which force people to lie/cheat/skim in the first place. I get the feeling that many places only survive by skimming and this new law will likely shut them down. I also figure the government's budget to implement this is a good percentage of the "estimated" $300M.

            An economist I'm not, but I feel at the end of the day, this might hurt more than it helps...they're going after the wrong people...

            Makes me angry is all, kinda like Montreal's double-dipping parking meter system...

              1. re: porker

                Also agree. Montreal's parking system is ridiculous with the double dipping!

          2. how will jean guy poutine survive

            1 Reply
            1. It's like my Dad says, Quebec is like the Soviet Union: the bureaucracy's a nightmare, they tax everyone to the hilt, and the place is falling apart... but they keep the booze cheap and plentiful so no-one revolts.

              As unfair as this mandatory register / govt pocket-lining is, I think it's unfair for commenters here to assume every place doing a price hike was skimming. They are trying to pay for the damn machines! It's pretty rare any resto that has $5000 liquid sitting around. Most places, even relatively successful ones, are paying purveyors, overhead, staff, etc. week-to-week or month-to-month.

              Anyway, once again it's the Quebec govt skimming off anyone with ambition, determined to drive them to Ontario or beyond. WhyTF do I live here again???

              4 Replies
              1. re: Shattered

                I like the Soviet Union comparison. The only part I disagree with is the cheap booze thing...

                1. re: porker

                  At the same time why is it that people working in other fields get fully taxed because there are no ways to hide our salary as folks in restaurants can. I worked at a restaurant for 2 years and there are many, many ways. Now I work in insurance and a huge portion goes straight to the government...but thats another topic we all know too well!

                  Perhaps chownds can go out of their way to help some of the small businesses mentioned in the gazette article or others if only by going to their restaurant and leaving a decent tip. What more can we do?

                  1. re: humbert

                    Refuse a receipt?
                    Pay cash?

                    1. re: porker

                      AKA the restaurants are considered guilty before innocent and are pre fined 5k through a new cash register.....

              2. Since most of the discussion here is about how people feel about the law, rather than about whether any specific restaurants have changed prices or quality as a result, we've moved it over to Food Media and News where news related to the food and restaurant industries is discussed.