Rising prices expected to impact restaurant visits

Published May 18, 2022

Food prices continued to climb in April as Canadians paid 9.7% more for food from grocery stores and 6.6% more for food from restaurants compared to April 2021. The increase in the price of food from grocery stores is the largest increase since September 1981, as consumers paid more for fresh fruit (+10.0%), fresh vegetables (+8.2%) and meat (+10.1%).

Consumers paid 6.6% more for food from restaurants in April compared to a year ago, with menu prices up at quick-service restaurants (+6.7%) and table-service restaurants (+6.5%).  In contrast, alcohol prices at licensed establishments rose by 3.8% compared to April 2021.

The combination of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, poor weather in some growing regions around the globe and rising input prices for fertilizer and natural gas have led to the recent surge in prices. Experts are forecasting that there won’t be much of a reprieve going forward.

According to Restaurants Canada’s recent survey of Canadian households, 90% of respondents said they are still receiving value for money when ordering from a table- or quick-service restaurant. Yet the rising cost of living is expected to impact their restaurant visits in the coming months.

In fact, 32% of respondents said that they would visit a quick-service restaurant “a lot less often” due to the rising cost of living.  For table-service restaurants, this figure rises to 37% of respondents. Another 36% of respondents said they would order from a quick-service restaurant or table-service restaurant “a little less often”.

Jess Landesman

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