Despite a myriad of challenges, annual commercial foodservice sales in Canada still rose to $65.47 billion in 2021. While this represents an 18.1% increase over 2020, foodservice sales remain 15.0% below 2019 levels.
Quick-service restaurants are the closest in returning to pre-pandemic levels, as sales rose to $33.4 billion in 2021. This is just 1% below 2019 levels. In contrast, on-premise dining restrictions restrained the recovery at full-service restaurants and drinking places. Full-service restaurant sales increased to $26.6 billion (up 23.6% over 2020, but still 22.4% below 2019 levels), while drinking place sales rose to $1.5 billion (up a modest 10.7% over 2020, but still 42.5% below 2019 levels). Contract and social caterer revenues increased to $3.9 billion, but remain 37.8% below 2019 levels.
It was an uneven recovery throughout 2021 for Canada’s commercial foodservice industry. Severe lockdowns led to sharply lower sales at full-service restaurants and drinking places throughout the first half of the year. While sales improved sharply during the summer months, rising case counts and the Omicron variant resulted in a drop in on-premise dining in December.
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