Following the devastating drop in sales in March and April, Canada’s foodservice industry continued on the slow road to recovery in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, commercial foodservice sales improved to $3.9 billion in June compared to $3.1 billion in May. Despite the steady improvement, however, monthly sales have a long way to go before returning to its pre-COVID-19 levels of $6.3 billion in February 2020.
On a year-over-year basis, commercial foodservice sales in Canada plummeted by 37.7% in June compared to June 2019. Due to strong consumer demand for off-premise orders, sales at quick-service restaurant sales fared better in relative terms than other segments, falling by 15.2% in June.
Although sales at full-service restaurants plunged by 52% in June, this is a relative improvement compared to the 69% decline in May. In June, provinces relaxed some physical distancing measures, allowing foodservice establishments to open the dine-in portion of their business at reduced capacity.
Caterers and drinking places continued to struggle, with sales falling by 70.9% and 68.3% respectively.
Preliminary survey data by Restaurants Canada points to a continued improvement in foodservice sales in July and August as consumers feel more comfortable going out and are enjoying the patio weather. The real test will be in the fall with the end of patio season and depending on whether we see another spike in COVID-19 cases.
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