Industry Research

NORTHERN BLAST, Eh? Canadian Operators Enhance U.S. Show

LCT Staff
Posted on October 14, 2009

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT & CASINO, CT — The Canadian contingency met at the LCT Eastern Conference to review the results of a survey sent to operators throughout Canada. Craig McCutcheon of Rosedale Livery in Toronto, Tara Grewal of Griffin Transportation in Vancouver, B.C., and Andy Poulos of Montreal Limousine Worldwide delivered the findings.

McCutcheon began the presentation with a bit of levity explaining the difference between the American “huh” and “hey” to the Canadian “eh”. Craig explained that “eh" is used to ascertain the continued attention of an individual addressed by the speaker," for example, "So we're out of beer, eh?" While “hey” is a meaningless beat marker or filler and “huh" is speech “dis” fluency which occurs within the flow of otherwise fluent speech. In other words “eh” is a positive while the “heh and huh” are negatives. This caused a few hisses among the few Americans in the room and chuckles among the Canadians.

Fifty operators across Canada responded to the survey. The Canadian meeting addressed a room of 25 people, with two thirds Canadian. The findings showed that Canadian operators on average have been in business longer than American operators. The business is primarily corporate with respondents showing that 56% of their business comes from corporate work followed by weddings at only 16% of the overall business. Fifty-two percent of the respondents gross under $500,000 per year. The average hourly sedan rate that Canadian operators charge is comparable to American sedan rates at $64 (Canadian), and the bulk of the companies’ revenue comes from sedans. The average fleet size was 16 in Canada while it was 14 in the U.S. Canadians pay six times the average that American companies do for licensing.

“The survey is an opening benchmark for us,” McCutcheon said. “It shows Canadian operators that we are in the same business as operators in the United States. We don’t really operate much differently. The major difference though is that we have much higher expenses: vehicles insurance licensing and fuel are all substantially higher. Our fuel is 30% higher,” McCutcheon explains. “Operators in Canada need to be much tighter in their businesses in order to obtain their margins.”

Poulos shared the need for operators in Canada to unite and become more active in the industry. “Overall, there are less than 1,000 limousine operators in Canada,” Poulos said. “Only a small percentage of them belong to the NLA or a local association.”

To make up for McCutcheon’s joke at the expense of the Americans, the three panelists who also sponsored the meeting invited attendees to share in some Canadian beer.

Source: Linda Jagiela, LCT Magazine

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