New Liquor Retailing System

At this year’s SHHA 85th Annual Conference and Trade Show, the SLGA Session was extremely well attended.  CEO Barry Lacey and Director of Enterprise Initiatives, Raynelle Wilson presented what will be the “new way” in which liquor will be retailed in the province of Saskatchewan.

Making it very clear, SLGA’s first point was that there will be no more SLGA Stores, private stores, offsales or franchises.  We become one in the same, one set of rules with one permit for everyone.  A complete and total leveling of the playing field.


Not yet able to set a firm date, sometime later this year we will all be converted to an RSP (Retail Store Permit), which is defined as “the primary purpose of the RSP is for the sale of beverage alcohol in closed containers for consumption off-site

The intended changes will affect almost every single aspect of the SLGA and the complexities of switching to the new system are immense.  The SLGA presentation touched on many of the specific areas of consideration and concern for hoteliers as we move forward.


1. Level Playing Field

a. Retail Store Permit

b. Product Availability, Open Pricing, Displayed Retail Price, Limited Time Offers, Hours of Operation, Supplier Inducements, Product Exclusivity Agreements, Bundling & Rewards Programs


2. Wholesale Pricing

a. Price Structure

b. Price Changes

c. Tiered Mark-up Example

d. Social Reference Pricing


3. Ordering Product

a. New Customers for the SLGA DC

b. New Retail Model

c. Online Access for Retailers


4. Next Steps

  a. Timing

There were plenty of comments and questions for CEO Barry Lacey and Director of Enterprise Initiatives Raynelle Wilson and there will certainly be more in the coming months.We strongly encourage you to view the entire presentation here and send your questions and concerns to either  or to the SLGA at

SHHA Members Call For Immediate Workers' Compensation Board Refund

The Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association is calling on the Workers Compensation Board to immediately refund hundreds of million in excess assets to employers across the province.

“We’re all committed to protecting workers and employers have provided all of the funding needed to cover projected liabilities and much more just to be safe,” said Jim Bence, President and CEO of the SHHA. “But the WCB has hundreds of millions more than it needs so we’re calling on the board to follow its own policy and refund the money to employers"

The WCB is an arms-length provincial government entity. Employers are required to pay premiums and workers can apply for compensation if they’re injured. WCB maintains the assets necessary to cover projected liabilities. WCB policy states that asset levels should be between 105 per cent and 120 per cent of projected liabilities.

Last year WCB assets grew to 132.2 per cent of projected liabilities and therefore a refund of $141 million went back to employers. According to WCB’s annual report released last week, assets are now 144.7 per cent of projected assets for an overage of $281 million.

“The WCB needs to put cheques in the mail to immediately rebate employers for that $281 million,” said Bence. “That’s money employers should be using to invest in their operations and create jobs.”

The WCB invests employers’ premiums, but does not include the gains or losses generated by those investments when calculating whether its asset total exceeds 120 per cent of estimated liabilities. If those gains/losses were included, it would put WCB a further $185 million over its limit. Therefore, the full refund should be $467 million.

“Employers give the WCB the tools it needs to protect workers – in fact, we provide significantly more than is needed,” said Bence. “But all assets should be included in the calculation and therefore the WCB needs to move quickly to rebate the full $467 million.”

Jim Bence

President and CEO Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association


MAXIMIZE Your Purchasing Power

An exciting new addition to the SHHA program is QUASEP, a group purchasing program designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

At QUASEP, we believe in working collaboratively with our members and supplier partners to ensure we meet the evolving needs of the markets we serve. As a trusted purchasing program provider for our members, we are committed to making our members more successful (and more profitable) through the right mix of products and services, operational resources, and programs to help our members run their business more effectively.

 Join the over 2,500 restaurants and hotels who have experienced the benefits of being part of the QUASEP network - wide array of products & services, member rewards program (yes, members get cash rewards for qualified purchases), and superior service from a dedicated team.

Call William Chan, QUASEP Account Manager @ 306.374.3819 to sign up now!

A HISTORY of Online Travel Agents

by Jaret Waddell, COO, Airline Hotels 

Back in the 1950’s, airline carriers booked a huge amount of air travel over the telephone.  The process was completely manual involving telephone agents in a call centre using a shared Rolodex.   Things started to change in the 1960’s when IBM developed a computer booking system for American Airlines that allowed telephone agents to see airline ticket availability and book them through the use of teleprinters. The system was called SABRE.  This change was completely revolutionary as agents could take reservations from any location all using the same central inventory of tickets

This system was eventually expanded outside American Airlines to include all travel agents.  Other airline carriers eventually developed competitor systems such as Galileo, Apollo, Amadeus, Worldspan and Pegasus.  When we talk about these systems together, they are called Global Distribution Systems, or GDS.  Soon after, SABRE had expanded to include the ability of travel agents to book other travel products for customers as well – including hotel rooms.  A new (and more expensive) way of getting our hotel room business was born as each GDS system charged a booking fee or “pass through fee” in addition to the regular travel agent commission.

In 1996, Sabre introduced Travelocity and Microsoft founded Expedia.  They were websites that were extensions of the GDS with the ability to book hotel, airline ticket and car rentals.  Expedia was one of the first companies not directly linked to a single airline vendor (like Travelocity was) to provide this service.  These websites are no longer dependant on one GDS, they are called, Online Travel Agents.

Stay tuned for more in my next column in the summer edition of Hotel & Hospitality magazine.   We will start to unravel the mystery of these systems and start taking a look at how we can use them to our advantage.

Government of Saskatchewan Announces Mandatory Server Intervention Training

By June 30, 2016, all owners and managers will be required to have completed the training and new hires must take the training within 30 days of beginning employment.

By June 30, 2017, there must be at least one person on each shift who has completed the training.

By June 30, 2018, all employees involved in the sale and service of alcohol must have completed SIRS.

Responsible Service is Smart Customer Service

Serve It Right Saskatchewan (SIRS) is the official provincial responsible service of alcohol program. It provides consistent training for the sale and service of alcohol, helping commercial and special occasion permit holders to ensure that alcohol-related activities are conducted with integrity and in a socially responsible manner.

Training includes:

ways to identify intoxication

handling situations involving minors

effective approaches to discontinue or refuse to sell or serve alcohol

understanding your legal responsibilities and liabilities


Get yourself registered for the Convention

Changes are coming to the province's liquor retail system

CBC News: Saskatchewan

Jim Bence, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, says the current provincial system around liquor regulation is so complex that it is too difficult for anyone to operate. (CBC)

Interactive Publications

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Serving It Right Saskatchewan