Don’t be fooled by record restaurant sales: Inflation-adjusted sales growth is declining

Published April 1, 2019

EDMONTON — Alberta’s foodservice industry reported record sales in 2018, but don’t be fooled: adjusted for menu inflation, year-over-year sales have been declining for the average restaurant since 2015.


“This has troubling implications for communities across Alberta,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “The foodservice sector is the province’s third-largest employer and number one provider of first-time jobs for youth.”

Operational cost increases from government policy changes, combined with a weak provincial economy, have contributed to the following setbacks for Alberta’s foodservice job market between 2015 and 2018:

  • A loss of 10,000 foodservice and accommodation jobs
  • A decline in the average number of workers per unit from 13 to 11.7
  • A 5.1 per cent decrease in the average weekly hours for foodservice workers

Restaurants Canada shared 16 policy recommendations with Alberta’s four major political parties on Jan. 14 in the hopes that they would be incorporated into all their platforms in the lead up to the next provincial election.

A complete listing of these recommendations can be found at, along with information on key issues facing Alberta’s foodservice industry and how to join the conversation about #RestaurantRealities.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) is a growing community of more than 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. Restaurants Canada connects its members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant community. Canada’s restaurant industry is an $89 billion industry, directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs and serves 22 million customers every day.

Marlee Wasser

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