After a persistent sluggish performance, does breakfast improve in July?

Published August 18, 2023

According to Restaurants Canada’s latest REACT Survey, 62% of Canadians purchased breakfast from a restaurant in July 2023. This is the highest share since Restaurants Canada began collecting data in March 2022.  It also represents a significant increase over the previous three months when roughly half of Canadians purchased breakfast from a restaurant at least once in the past month.

Not only did more Canadians purchase breakfast from a restaurant at least once in July, but the frequency of orders increased as well. Overall, 17% of Canadians purchased breakfast from a restaurant once a week or more in July, up from 11% in June.  At the city level, 26% of those living in Vancouver purchased breakfast from a restaurant once a week or more in July, the highest of the major Census Metropolitan Areas.

While the improvement in July breakfast data is a positive sign, restaurant operators continue to struggle financially. According to Restaurants Canada’s latest Restaurant Outlook Survey, half of restaurant companies continue to operate at a loss or just breaking even due to continued cost pressures, such as food, labour, rent and utilities.

As lunch is still a challenge for many operators, it could be that some of the lunch visits shifted to earlier in the day, where it appears people are treating themselves when they are out. Restaurants Canada will continue to monitor this trend through the remainder of 2023.

This increase in the breakfast daypart may have come at the expense of snacking:  22% of Canadians ordered a snack once a week or more in July 2023, down from 26% in June 2023.

The increase in breakfast orders was driven by all major age groups.  67% of 18 to 34-year-olds purchased breakfast from a restaurant at least once in July, up from 57% in June.  This compares to 62% of 35 to 54-year-olds (up from 53% in June) and 59% of those 55 and older (up from just 40% in June).

For the latest REACT survey, click here.

The Restaurant Expectations And Consumer Trends (REACT) survey is designed to provide more timely consumer trend data in order for the foodservice industry to react faster to changing events. The results of this report are based on a monthly survey of 1,500 Canadians in order to track restaurant purchases by daypart and future dining intentions. Data are available by age, gender, region and household income.

Chris Elliott

As the Chief Economist and Vice President, 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 $100-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 modeling and forecasting.

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