The B.C. restaurant and food-service industry is serving up a new campaign in the hopes of getting consumers on their side in the fight against the HST.

The group has set up a website — — with links to an online petition addressed directly to the provincial and federal governments.

Yesterday, the House of Commons voted in favour of the controversial tax for British Columbia and Ontario.

If the HST is implemented here, we’ll be paying 12 per cent on our food bills, up from the five per cent we pay currently.

Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president Western Canada of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the tax will take a big bite out of customers’ wallets and employees’ wages.

Schellwitz said the tax could lead to a 7.5 per cent drop in restaurant sales, which would translate into a $750-million loss in B.C.

The only way to offset these losses would be to cut staff hours.

“Our industry employs more people than agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas sectors combined,” said Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

“Our campaign will give a much-needed voice to the thousands of restaurant workers whose jobs could disappear.”