According to Ian Tostenson, head of the BC Restaurant and Food Service Association, people who dine out are paying more for their meals.
Tostenson blames it all on the HST.
I don't doubt that he is right.
Paying more than you would for a meal you or your companions made yourselves is the cost of dining out. Whether you pay extra in tax for your meal or not, you pay for your consumption.
That is the beauty of taxation policies that emphasize consumption taxes over taxes on earnings. Lower taxes on income and investments encourage rather than discourage enterprising activity; and applied intelligently, carrot-and-stick taxes guide consumer behaviour and are among the best tools to drive that enterprising activity toward greening the economy.
The people who can pay for their over consumption will, among them those who continue to dine out.
Besides, whatever happened to the packed lunch?