Recovery in foodservice sales restrained by weak first half of 2021

Published May 20, 2021

With the strict lockdown measures implemented across several regions in Canada to contain the third wave, Restaurants Canada has revised its outlook for the first half of 2021. While there was little change to our original projection for Q1 2021, the third wave will lead to weaker foodservice sales in Q2 compared to our forecast earlier this year.

Restaurants Canada is now forecasting overall commercial foodservice sales in Canada of $14.4 billion in Q2, down from our original forecast of $16.5 billion. As a result, quarterly foodservice sales are now forecast to remain 27% below Q2 2019 levels. By comparison, foodservice sales for Q1 2021 are projected to be 32% below Q1 2019 levels. 

With the reopening of patios and an anticipated decline in the number of cases, foodservice sales in Q3 2021 are forecast to rise to $17.4 billion. While this represents an 8.3% increase over Q3 2020, sales are forecast to remain 16% below pre-pandemic levels due to weak foodservice spending by international tourists and business dining. In the fourth quarter, sales will further improve to $17.8 billion. Nevertheless, quarterly commercial foodservice sales are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until the fourth quarter of 2022.

Overall, Restaurants Canada is forecasting annual foodservice sales in 2021 to be $61.1 billion. While this represents a 10.4% increase over the $55.4 billion in sales of 2020, sales will remain 20.6% below 2019 levels.  In 2022, annual commercial foodservice sales are forecast to grow by an additional 24.2% up to $75.9 billion. This will be just 1.4% below 2019 levels ($77 billion).

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Restaurants Canada Digital

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