The restaurant industry in Canada has always been a multicultural hub of varying tastes, and the foodservice sector is the fourth-largest industry in the country. Before the pandemic hit, residents either visited restaurants daily for an early coffee on the way to work or to celebrate special occasions.
However, as Canadian restaurant industry statistics make clear, the COVID-19 pandemic caused sales to nosedive and compelled restaurant closures. Most food chains have tried to deal with the crisis by developing their delivery services, but the industry is still reeling.
Despite the present situation, Canadians have always had a special relationship with the restaurant industry.
What do we mean by that?
It’s an important point of entry into jobs for a majority of young Canadians.
It offers a place for meeting and greeting friends and family.
It’s the industry that entrepreneurs have their eyes on to build their businesses.
Let’s get our hands on some statistics about the restaurant industry in Canada to see how it’s doing.
Astonishing Statistics on the Restaurant Industry (Editor’s Choice)
- Canada has over 97,000 restaurants and bars.
- The food industry in Canada employs 1.2 million people.
- The COVID-19 pandemic hit the restaurant industry hard, causing a 33% drop in sales.
- 22 million Canadians visit restaurants daily.
- Coffee shops in Canada have a market size of US$ 4.84 billion as of 2021.
- Montreal has 26.81 restaurants per 10,000 people.
- Between 2006 and 2016, restaurant sales rose by 50%, while the Canadian population climbed up by 11.4%.
Canadian Restaurant Industry Statistics Pre-COVID-19
1. 54% of Canadians eat out once a week or more.
(Source: Mordor Intelligence)
The restaurant industry of Canada has always thrived. When asked the reason for preferring to go out to restaurants/bars, over half of Canadians responded that it is due to convenience and the scope for socializing.
The food and drinks market records general growth because of an increasing frequency of Canadians dining out and their time-pressed schedules.
2. The restaurant industry turned over annual sales of $85 billion in 2017.
The restaurant industry has shown steady growth from $61 billion in sales in 2010. This quickly rose to $68.4 billion in 2013 and $85 billion in 2017.
But what kind of restaurants made the highest sales?
Was it family restaurants or takeout corners?
Read on to find out.
3. Canadian restaurant industry statistics for 2014 stated that quick-service restaurants made sales per seat of $12,603.
Next in the ranking were fine dining restaurants, which turned over sales worth $12,373. Family restaurants made sales worth $11,913, while fast casual restaurants in Canada turned over $11,139.
4. As of 2018, the menu prices of Canadian restaurants recorded an annual rise of 2.5%, Canadian restaurant industry statistics from 2018 confirm.
Previously, this rise was attributed to fluctuating food prices. Since 2017, prices have risen because of increased labour costs.
5. The average restaurant revenue in Canada in 2015 was around $626,000.
More than two-thirds of these establishments have shown consistent profits ever since. Pubs and bars recorded higher average revenue in the same year at $646,500. As of 2016, along with sales, the number of establishments had also grown to 94,415 in all.
6. McDonald’s Canada recently expanded its reach to beat the competition with 1478 stores in 2019, up from 1417 in 2012.
(Source: Mordor Intelligence)
The number of Subway stores in Canada was 3,240 in 2017. The competition is stiff, with restaurant chains investing heavily in marketing campaigns. So, in 2018, McDonald’s spent more than US$ 88 million on TV ads.
In the same strain, in 2017, Domino’s Canada boosted its advertising budget to US$ 40 million, up from US$ 34.5 million in 2016.
7. The number of restaurants in Montreal was counted to be 26.81 restaurants per 10,000 people as of 2014.
(Source: Eater, cntraveler)
Montreal trumps San Francisco, which has a restaurant density of 21.44 restaurants per 10,000 people. Montreal also has the highest number of restaurants in Canada.
Hailed as the poutine capital of the country, Montreal has several popular restaurants. Their signature delicacies are:
Restaurant Paulo & Suzanne
Known for its chicken popcorn poutine and the extreme chicken grilled cheese.
Dessert offerings such as Mississippi mud pie and bread pudding.
Boucherie Abu Elias
Delicious lamb, shish taouk, kafta, filet mignon, and sausage sandwiches.
Known for its pleasing ambience and dishes like pig loin on a bed of oyster mushrooms.
Specializes in bistro foods like steak frites, veal sweetbreads, and poached salmon.
Hoogan et Beaufort
Must-try items on their menu include grilled octopus served over creamy burnt-pepper yogurt and shareable rib steak.
8. According to Canadian restaurant industry statistics from 2020, the number of restaurants in Vancouver was 715.
Breaking down these numbers into categories, Vancouver houses 392 quick-service eateries and 135 full-service sit-ins.
According to Vancouver restaurant industry statistics, there was a net gain of 71 food and beverages businesses between 2012 and 2018. Altogether, 436 businesses opened, and 365 closed during this period.
9. The number of restaurants in Toronto stood at 7,500 in 2020.
According to Toronto restaurant industry statistics, the sector employs 64,000 workers in all, and the total annual wages rolled out stand at $3.2 billion.
The sectors of employment with their respective share in the industry are:
- Bakeries – 34.5%
- Others – 16.8%
- Beverages – 13.5%
- Confectionery – 8.7%
The leading companies in Toronto’s food and drink market are Fiera Foods Company, George Weston Limited, Kraft Heinz Canada, Maple Leaf Foods, Nestle Canada, and Unilever Canada.
10. Canadian restaurant industry statistics reveal the rate of sales in foodservice has been higher than the population rise at 245% vs. 21.8%.
These statistics reflect the post-war boom in the industry. But if we shift closer to present times, the trend persists:
Between 2006 and 2016, restaurant sales rose by 50%, while the population grew by 11.4%.
The Effect of COVID-19 on the Restaurant Industry in Canada
11. Canadian restaurant industry statistics from 2021 reveal there are over 97,000 restaurants, bars, and caterers all over the country.
(Source: 150 Stat Can)
The people working to manage these places are actively braving against the virus. Currently, the accommodation and food sector employs 1.2 million people, which translates to 6.4% of the country’s total employment.
It has opened up 273,400 indirect jobs in related industries.
12. Restaurant sales statistics show the food and drink sector took a hit from the pandemic, with sales dropping to a record low of $2.44 billion in May 2020.
As the pandemic raged through the country, sales by food and drinking places in Canada suffered a sharp drop. In February 2020, sales stood at $5.68 billion. But as travel restrictions and business closures intensified, they fell to $2.44 billion in May 2020.
This is the lowest number in the history of the Canadian restaurant industry. Overall, this indicates a 33% fall in sales compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
13. Canadian restaurants receive 22 million daily visits.
(Source: 150 Stat Can, Canada.ca)
These visits are housed by a considerable number of restaurants that are open in present times. The number of restaurants in Canada is 64,870. These are operating with sizeable employment. On the other hand, 17,181 restaurants are currently indeterminate.
14. Coffee shops constitute a sizeable portion of the restaurant industry in Canada, with a US$4.84 billion market size in 2021.
Coffee and snack shops in Canada have had a steady share of the market since 2011 when it was US$ 3.55 billion. Canadian restaurant industry statistics from 2019 reveal sales skyrocketed that year, and the market size amounted to as much as US$ 4.91 billion.
15. The coffee industry in Canada is worth $6.2 billion, statistics confirm.
(Source: Franchise Direct)
Canada is called the Great White North for a reason. The long winters make coffee the go-to beverage of the people.
Here’s a fun coffee fact:Canadians drink more coffee than tap water! Click To Tweet
As a result, a striking 160,000 jobs in cafes are created thanks to Canadians’ fondness for coffee every year.
16. An important sector of the food industry in Canada is specialty foods, constituting 25% of all Toronto food processing plants.
This makes Toronto’s industry truly multicultural and an important exports center. Specialty foods have grown twice as fast as other sectors. The estimated growth rates of specialty foods are 12% a year in the upcoming five years.
Full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, self-service restaurants, cafes, bars, and 100% home delivery and takeout outlets all play their role in the food service industry in Canada. Street stalls/kiosks and fast food centres are two subcategories of quick-service restaurants.
Suffice it to say, you won’t run out of stops on a Canadian food walk.
Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal or just a coffee, Canadian restaurants have it all.
MTY Group, Tim Hortons, Subway, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Yogen Fruz, A&W Foodservices, and International Dairy Queen are the largest restaurant chains in Canada by the number of outlets.
As Canadian restaurant industry statistics confirm, it has been a strong player in the market and a lucrative employment site.
If the federal government provides sector-specific aid to the food industry, the damages caused by the pandemic can be reversed. We might see country-wide programmes to revive restaurants as travel restrictions ease slowly.
2019 numbers suggest that the quick-service restaurant industry of Canada is worth US$27.2 billion. This shows an increase over the previous year’s figure of US$27.1 billion.
The restaurant industry of Canada turned over annual sales worth $85 billion in 2017.
Yes, the full-service restaurants, in particular, are growing at a high rate.
Canadian restaurant industry statistics reveal the industry employs 1.2 million people, accounting for 6.4% of the country’s employment.