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: Q4 2019

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
  • For the fourth consecutive quarter, the share of respondents with lower same-store sales outnumbered those with higher same-store sales. This was due to a decline in traffic, most notably at full-service restaurants.
  • Nearly half of respondents said their financial performance in terms of net income in 2019 was worse than in 2018. The percentage of respondents that said their financial performance was better fell from 38% in 2018 to 26% in 2019.
  • The most significant contributing factors to worsening financial performance in 2019 were rising labour costs and fewer customers. For those respondents whose financial performance improved, tighter cost control and enhanced guest experience were most frequently cited as reasons.
  • Despite challenges, a greater number of respondents (41%) are optimistic about 2020 than are pessimistic (33%). The biggest sources of concern for 2020 are the economy and high labour costs.
  • The top priorities for restaurants are to reduce operating costs and improve the guest experience to meet economic challenges. Operators will also focus on improving staff training and increased marketing.
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.

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