In 2022, operators in the food service industry in Canada continued to recover as most restrictions were lifted by midyear and Canadians felt more comfortable going to bars and restaurants. Sales increased 26.6 per cent in 2022 compared with the previous year and were higher than pre-pandemic levels (+7.7 per cent) for the first time since its onset, reported Statistics Canada on Wednesday.
“Receipts at full-service restaurants, the hardest hit subsector during the pandemic, rose 37.6 per cent as the lifting of restrictions allowed these businesses to operate at full capacity. Limited-service eating places (+13.9 per cent) fared well during the pandemic and continued to see sales growth in 2022. Receipts at special food services (+52.1 per cent) flourished as workers continued to return to the office, air travel increased, and stadiums opened to sports and concerts at full capacity. Sales at drinking places rose 48.4 per cent as patrons returned to their favourite bar, tavern or nightclub,” said the federal agency.
“Although 2022 was a year of recovery for the food service and drinking places industry, it still had its challenges. Three years into a global pandemic, the industry saw sales finally surpass the 2019 pre-pandemic level but only at limited-service eating places (+13.1 per cent) and full-service restaurants (+6.3 per cent). Special food services (-4.8 per cent) and drinking places (-14.1 per cent) remained below their pre-pandemic levels.”
StatsCan said prices continued to rise in the subsector as the prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 6.7 per cent in 2022 compared with 2021, while the prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments increased 4.2 per cent over the same period.
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