By Chris Elliott, Senior Economist (Mar. 11/14) On the heels of a 5.1% increase in 2012, commercial foodservice sales advanced another 4.6% last year to a record $55 billion. Sales grew primarily due to rising disposable income (up 3.8%) and a greater number of independent restaurants.

Full-service restaurants fuel growth

Full-service restaurants led the charge, with a 5.3% jump in sales to match segment growth in 2012. Although quick-service restaurants saw a slight moderation in sales growth to 4.2% in 2013, they still make up the largest segment in the industry with $24.1 billion in annual sales.

Despite several years of strong gains, caterer sales continued to expand at a healthy pace of 4.7%. After four years of consecutive declines, drinking place sales turned a corner to rise 0.2%.

Newfoundland and Labrador on top

Provinces with the strongest economic activity in 2013 also reported the highest restaurant sales growth, with Newfoundland and Labrador leading the way with a 9.3% jump in sales. Rising disposable income and healthy economic growth lifted restaurant spending in Saskatchewan and Alberta by 7.2% and 6.2%, respectively.

As British Columbia said goodbye to the PST on meals, restaurant sales rebounded with a 5.9% increase in 2013. Sales in the province fell by 2.3% in 2011 with the introduction of the HST, and rose by a sluggish 2.0% in 2012. (The tax was in effect from July 1, 2010 to April 1, 2013.)

Ontario is home to the largest restaurant industry in the country, with $21 billion in annual sales. Solid gains across all segments pushed sales up by 4.3% in the province. In contrast, Quebec saw weaker sales growth of 2.7% due to lower spending at full-service restaurants and drinking places.

Poor economic activity and sluggish job growth restrained foodservice sales growth to 0.9% in Nova Scotia and 0.4% in New Brunswick.


See also:
•  Restaurant industry is third largest job creator in 2013
•  Consumer confidence hits deep freeze in December
•  What’s on tap for 2014: The economic outlook




Meet our Long Term Forecast! If you’re interested in what’s to come in the Restaurant Industry, then join Restaurants Canada’s Senior Economist, Chris Elliott as he gives us a sneak peek preview of the economic climate in Canada in this short teaser.

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