Canadian restaurant sales suffer worst year on record

Another official indication of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian foodservice and restaurant sales has emerged.

A Statistics Canada report released last week shows restaurants and bars across Canada recorded their worst sales year on record.

Recent data from Statistics Canada shows that sales at restaurant establishments across Canada fell by more than a quarter, by 28.2%, from 2019. This was the largest drop on record in two decades.

Data also shows that sales in the food services and drinking places subsector fell 8% to $ 4.2 billion in December. This happened amid an increase in public health restrictions in many parts of the country.

Restaurant-focused establishments, food trucks, as well as bars and taverns have been hit the hardest by the pandemic lockdown measures, leading to a massive 48.3% drop in sales in 2020. In contrast, Limited-service dining establishments, as well as those focused on fast food or take-out food suffered only a 13.4 percent drop in sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on a number of industries and economic sectors in Canada, but the restaurant and hotel industry have often been cited among the hardest hit. Accommodation and food services are the industries that remain furthest from pre-pandemic employment levels.

Despite restrictions starting to ease in some provinces, foodservice will likely continue to face reduced sales for the near future, at least until vaccines become widely available, most restrictions have ended. indefinitely and that more consumers again feel comfortable going out and spending money.

A previous StatsCan report in November 2020 highlighted the number of restaurant jobs lost last year due to the effects of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, in January, the US National Restaurant Association released its own report assessing the impact of the pandemic on American restaurants.

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