Foodservice industry sales plummet 50% in May

Published July 23, 2020

Although commercial foodservice sales improved on a month-over-month basis in May 2020 compared to April, sales still plummeted by a staggering 50% compared to May 2019. This is on the heels of a 62.9% drop in sales in April.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Canada’s commercial foodservice industry generated sales of $3.1 billion in May compared to $2.3 billion in April.

The vast majority (67%) of overall spending at foodservice establishments in May was generated by quick-service restaurants. By comparison, 27% of total sales were driven by full-service restaurants. This is not surprising given that many full-service restaurants were not able to open, and those that were open, had limited off-premise options in May.  Typically, the split between quick- and full-service restaurants is even, which each segment accounting for 44% of total foodservice sales. The remaining 12% of total foodservice sales were generated by caterers and drinking places.

On a year-over-year basis, drinking places reported the largest drop in sales, down a stunning 85.4% in May compared to May 2019. Although full-service restaurant sales tumbled by 68.9% in May, it was a modest improvement over the 79.6% decline in sales in April.  Caterer revenues fell by 74.3% in May, a decline that was relatively unchanged from April.  In contrast, sales at quick-service restaurants fell by 24.6% in May versus a 41.8% decline in April.

For more sales data by province by segment, download the latest May 2020 Fast Facts.

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