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Food services and drinking places, April 2020

Released: 2020-06-24

Food services and drinking places sales — Canada

$2.4 billion

April 2020

-39.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.L.

$31.2 million

April 2020

-33.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — P.E.I.

$12.4 million

April 2020

-28.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.S.

$58.4 million

April 2020

-41.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.B.

$49.6 million

April 2020

-31.5% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Que.

$405.4 million

April 2020

-45.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Ont.

$927.5 million

April 2020

-40.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Man.

$92.9 million

April 2020

-25.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Sask.

$81.1 million

April 2020

-24.6% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Alta.

$348.4 million

April 2020

-33.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — B.C.

$376.1 million

April 2020

-42.8% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Y.T.

$3.9 million

April 2020

-24.3% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.W.T.

$3.6 million

April 2020

-14.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Nvt.

$1.4 million

April 2020

6.5% increase

(monthly change)

Sales in the food services and drinking places subsector fell 39.7% (seasonally adjusted) to $2.4 billion in April compared with the previous month, with businesses across the country being closed for the entire month due to COVID-19 regulations. Lower sales were reported across all industry groups and in every province.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Sales in food services and drinking places
Sales in food services and drinking places

Further information can be found in the "Food Services and Drinking Places Sales" dashboard. This web application provides access to data on sales in food services and drinking places for Canada, and by province and territory. This dynamic application allows users to compare provincial and territorial data through interactive maps and charts.

COVID-19

In March, a sequence of unprecedented government interventions were put in place related to COVID-19, including the closure of non-essential businesses, travel restrictions, and public health measures directing Canadians to limit public interactions. During this time, all provinces restricted access and implemented closures to businesses in the restaurant industry, which continued for the entire month of April and into subsequent months. Based on respondent feedback, more than half (56%) of food service and drinking places operators reported being closed at some point in April, while 41% reported being closed for the entire month.

COVID-19 restrictions cause deeper drops in full-service compared with limited-service restaurants

The largest decline in dollar terms was reported at full-service restaurants (-57.6%) followed by limited-service restaurants (-22.8%), special food services (-59.5%) and drinking places (-79.1%).

Full-service restaurant sales fell by more than half in April (-57.6%) compared with the previous month. Across the country, dining rooms were closed for the entire month of April, with take-out and delivery being the only options. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of full-service restaurants were closed for part of April, while almost half (47%) were closed for the entire month.

Limited-service restaurants saw less of a drop in sales in percentage terms (-22.8%), with sales buoyed by take-out and delivery. Sales decreased as dining rooms closed, as well as stalls in shopping malls. Almost one-third (31%) of limited-service restaurants were closed at some point in April and 18% were closed for the entire month.

Sales of special food services, particularly food contractors and caterers, fell 59.5% as schools and businesses continued to be closed and flights, sporting events, concerts, and events such as conferences and weddings were cancelled. More than half (60%) of special food services were reported being closed in April, while roughly half (49%) reported being closed for the entire month.

Sales at drinking places saw the largest decline in percentage terms (-79.1%), as nightclubs and bars were closed and many do not have take-away food options. Most (89%) drinking places were closed at some point in April, while 79% were closed for the entire month.

Sales decline in every province

Every province reported lower sales in April amid the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting restrictions and closures in the food services and drinking places subsector. Ontario (-40.7%), Quebec (-45.4%) and British Columbia (-42.8%) reported the largest declines in dollar terms.

Year-over-year sales decrease

The figures in this section are based on unadjusted (that is, not seasonally adjusted) estimates.

Due to the effects of COVID-19 on the food services and drinking places subsector, unadjusted sales for April were down 61.4% compared with April2019. Sales fell in each of the following industry groups: full-service restaurants (-78.1%), limited-service restaurants (-40.6%), special food services (-74.7%) and drinking places (-90.5%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year percentage change in sales in the food services and drinking places subsector, by industry group, April 2020
Year-over-year percentage change in sales in the food services and drinking places subsector, by industry group, April 2020

Year-over-year sales decreased in each province by roughly 50% or more, with Ontario (-62.4%), Quebec (-65.8%) and British Columbia (-63.8%) reporting the largest declines.

Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.2% in April compared with April2019, and prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments increased 2.1% in the same period.


  Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and are expressed in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. Seasonally adjusted data are data that have been modified to eliminate the effect of seasonal and calendar influences to allow for more meaningful comparisons of economic conditions from period to period. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Trend-cycle data are included in selected charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. These data represent a smoothed version of the seasonally adjusted time series and provide information on longer-term movements, including changes in direction underlying the series. For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Data for the current reference month are preliminary. Usually, unadjusted data are revised for the previous two months, and seasonally adjusted data are revised for the previous three months. Both seasonally adjusted data and trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be large and could even lead to a reversal of movement, especially for reference months near the end of the series or during periods of economic disruption.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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