Foodservice Equipment Reports

Canadian Restaurant Sales Slowed In 4Q, Says CRFA

The number of Canadian restaurant operators reporting increased same-store sales in fourth quarter 2012 fell to 33% from a robust 44% in the third quarter, according to data from the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s quarterly Restaurant Outlook Survey. The changes are against the same quarter the prior year. A slowing economy, bad weather, concern over the “fiscal cliff” in the U.S. and the negative impact of the National Hockey League strike were among the reasons cited for the slowdown. Still, the gain was in line with the 35% average gain in same-store sales reported in the first two quarters of ’12.

The NPD Group earlier reported that restaurant traffic rose 1% in Canada in the third quarter, the best gain of any of the 10 major foodservice markets other than China that NPD tracks, with total spending up 3.4%.

Looking forward, Canadian operators remain reasonably optimistic about the next six months. Some 24% expect their same-store sales to rise over the first half of ’13, down only slightly from 25% in the third quarter. And the percentage expecting sales to decline during the next six months fell from 23% to 21%.

Rising food costs remain operators’ chief concern, with 64% citing it as negatively affecting their business. But that number is down from 77% a year ago, and the percentage of operators saying their food costs rose fell to 59% from 70% in the third quarter.

The full Restaurant Outlook Survey can be found at the CRFA website at crfa.ca.