Restaurant Recovery And Rebirth

At long last, Canada’s foodservice industry is beginning to see signs of positive change.

With the release of Restaurants Canada’s 2021 Foodservice Facts, it is becoming clear that in 2022, the industry is expected to not only rebound, but grow more than originally expected, as consumers are showing a willingness to return to restaurant dining.

Foodservice Facts is an annual report presenting the latest foodservice statistics, trends and forecasts, along with a detailed analysis of how they will affect foodservice operators. The authoritative annual research report is a valuable tool for foodservice operators and chains to plan, invest and forecast their activities for the year ahead.

In April 2020, Canada’s foodservice industry experienced its lowest level of sales in over two decades. While sales were expected to improve in 2021, the third wave of the pandemic caused another shutdown, with the elimination of in-person dining affecting restaurants, foodservice operators and suppliers across Canada.

However, despite the setbacks and challenges, the industry has been resilient, innovating, embracing new technologies, and exploring new revenue streams. It will take some time to bounce back, but expectations for 2022 show a promising return to pre-pandemic numbers:

  • As of September 2021, almost 70% of Canadians (12 and older) are fully vaccinated
  • As a result of high vaccination rates, annual commercial foodservice sales are expected to increase to $63.9 billion, which is higher than the previous prediction of $61.1 billion. However, the industry is tempering optimism with vaccine passports coming into effect alongside a fourth wave of infection.
  • The projection of 2022 looks even more promising, as overall foodservice sales are expected to grow to nearly $80 billion, 3.8% higher than pre-pandemic levels

Chris Elliott, senior economist at Restaurants Canada, said that: “While the economic outlook has significantly improved, Restaurants Canada remains cautious when it comes to the timing of the recovery.”

Elliott continued: “We see our industry like a puzzle, trying to figure out what piece fits where, and figuring out how to fill in any gaps and holes in the industry. While our patios may be filling up and we can see that small pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel, it is not the time to relax or fall into old habits. We have survived the storm and now it’s time to learn from it.  It’s time to cautiously, yet optimistically, finish the puzzle.”

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