All that glitters is not gold. Canada’s foodservice industry is in uncharted and uncertain waters where a busy restaurant does not imply a healthy bottom line for restaurant owners.
Responding to our latest Restaurant Outlook Survey in July, the vast majority of table-service restaurant operators told us they were either losing money just to keep their doors open, or barely scraping by:
- 31% said were operating at a loss.
- 22% said they were just breaking even.
- 12% said they were making a pre-tax profit of less than 2%
This is typically one of the busiest times of year for our industry. If foodservice operators aren’t making a profit now, things will only get worse for them as we move into the fall and winter months.
Based on a previous survey by Restaurants Canada, 85% of independent table-service restaurants and 83% of quick-service restaurants took on new debt due to COVID-19. For table-service restaurants, 44% had taken on debt between $50,000 and $100,000, 34% had debt greater than $100,000 and 23% had debt of less than $50,000. Given the accumulated debt, and that so many continue to operate at a loss, it is more difficult for businesses to pay back loans.
As one operator summarized about the current foodservice landscape: “It’s not good out there – many will fail over the next year. It feels like we are dealing with the reality of the pandemic now.”
The results for July are based on a survey of 508 respondents representing 11,290 foodservice locations across Canada. The full results of the Q2 2022 Restaurant Outlook Survey report will be available soon on Restaurants Canada’s member portal.