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Consumer Dining Index Dips in March 2024 Compared to February

Consumer Dining Index Dips in March 2024 Compared to February

Restaurant Canada’s Consumer Dining Index (CDI) dipped slightly in March to 91.0 (July 2023 = 100) from 91.5 in February. On a year-over-year basis, the CDI was relatively unchanged from 91.1 in March 2023. While a greater share of Canadians purchased breakfast from a restaurant in March compared to last year, this was offset by fewer snacking occasions and a drop in the share of respondents purchasing dinner from a restaurant once a week or more.

The share of Canadians that purchased breakfast from a restaurant at least once in March rose to 60% compared to 48% in March 2023. This increase in share was seen across age groups, household incomes, and regions.

In contrast, Canadians ordered dinner from a restaurant less often in March. Those in the 55 and older age category cut back their visit frequency the most, resulting in a greater share ordering dinner from a restaurant just once in March.  Meanwhile, a greater share of 18- to 34-year-olds purchased dinner from a restaurant 2 to 3 times in March, instead of 4 to 5 times. 

Looking ahead, the REACT survey also indicates guests are likely to cut back in April.  The share of Canadians that intend to make fewer purchases from a table-service restaurant rose to 35% in April 2024 compared to 30% in April 2023. This was due to a greater share of respondents with household income of $100,000 or more intending to dine out less often.

Restaurants Canada’s Consumer Dining Index is calculated as a weighted average of the number of times Canadians purchased a meal or snack from a restaurant in the past month, and then indexed to July 2023.

For the latest REACT report, click here.

Chris Elliott

As the Chief Economist and Vice President of Research for Restaurants Canada, Chris Elliott manages and produces a comprehensive research program that has made Restaurants Canada a leading source of information for and about Canada’s $114-billion foodservice industry. Chris tracks and analyzes key industry and economic indicators and translates them into member reports and publications. He also provides research to support Restaurants Canada’s lobbying efforts on issues that affect foodservice operators – from payroll taxes to food costs.

Chris has worked with Restaurants Canada for over 20 years, has a Bachelor of Arts and Master Degree in Economics and specializes in economic modelling and forecasting.