As of Nov. 1, every restaurant in Quebec is required to have a Sales Recording Module (SRM), a machine that keeps track of each transaction and is meant to cut down on tax evasion.
But according to the latest data from Quebec's Restaurants Association released earlier this month, as many as one-third of the province's 22,000 restaurants have not yet installed the machine.
The association believes some restaurant owners could be afraid of what the surveillance will show.
"When you report $200,000 of sales last year, and this year with the SRM you have...$800,000 of sales, I think it's a bit strange for Revenue Quebec," said association spokesperson Dominique Tremblay.
Tremblay says many restaurants might close their doors, rather than have their sales tracked with the new machine.
The provincial government estimates it loses about $150 M a year in transactions that are not recorded.
Mohammed El-Sayad, owner of Pinoli Pizza in Montreal's NDG neighbourhood, installed the new equipment months ago, and he said there are positives to the new system.
"It can organize your sales, organize your paperwork if you do it right, the system is good," he said.
Despite that, El-Sayad said he resents the fact that the government applied the system to all restaurants because of a few bad seeds who were concealing their sales.
One notable exemption to the law is the restaurants in provincial-run casinos in Montreal and Gatineau.
Fines for not having the device in place as of Nov. 1 range from $2,000 to $100,000.