Restaurant Outlook Survey

Restaurant Outlook Survey

Learn how restaurateurs feel about sales and employment in the coming months, as well as what operational challenges they are facing. This quarterly survey, based on member responses, provides a progressive perspective on business conditions for the foodservice industry.

Latest Issue: Q3 2021

Free for members! Login or Become a Member for access.

The Restaurant Outlook Survey report is compiled from responses to a quarterly survey sent to participating industry operators across Canada.

Report Highlights

  • Nearly half (46%) of respondents said their sales in the third quarter were worse than expected. Many reported lower sales and a significant decline in traffic.
  • Roughly three-quarters of respondents said their sales in July and August were lower than the same months in 2019. The situation worsened in September, with 82% of respondents reporting lower sales compared to September 2019
  • While a greater share of foodservice establishments were operating without any capacity restrictions (rising from 20% in July to 26% in October), a sizable 63% of respondents said they were open for on-premise dining at a reduced capacity or restricted to outdoor dining only.
  • Nine in 10 respondents said that guests are required to show proof of vaccination for on-premise dining service at their establishments.
  • Six in 10 respondents said that these proof of vaccination requirements had a negative impact on their revenue.
  • More than seven in 10 respondents were receiving the federal rent and/or wage subsidy when this survey was conducted in early October.
  • If these subsidies are not extended, nearly 80% of respondents who still rely on them said they will struggle to keep paying their existing staff, and might have to cut back on their hours, which will require management to put in more time.
  • 93% of respondents reported a shortage of workers, with 50% saying that they are struggling with a significant staffing shortage.
  • Nearly six in 10 respondents are expecting to raise their menu prices by 4% or more, with 23% expected to raise menu prices by more than 7%.
  • 7% of respondents said they currently operate a virtual kitchen and another 8% are planning to open a virtual kitchen within the next five years.

Interested in participating in the Restaurant Outlook Survey?

Restaurants Canada encourages foodservice operators to participate in the Restaurant Outlook Survey to ensure results continue to be an accurate representation of our industry. Contact Chris Elliott at to receive the next survey. All participants get a FREE copy of the full report!

Looking for a sneak peek?

Download a preview of our report by filling out the form below.

Restaurant Outlook Survey

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