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Food services and drinking places, July 2020

Released: 2020-09-23

Food services and drinking places sales — Canada

$4.6 billion

July 2020

17.1% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.L.

$56.2 million

July 2020

10.5% increase

(monthly change)

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

$16.0 million

July 2020

-10.9% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.S.

$106.5 million

July 2020

10.0% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.B.

$88.5 million

July 2020

6.8% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Que.

$925.6 million

July 2020

32.3% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Ont.

$1,698.5 million

July 2020

23.3% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Man.

$156.4 million

July 2020

5.0% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Sask.

$139.1 million

July 2020

11.2% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Alta.

$633.8 million

July 2020

5.7% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — B.C.

$757.4 million

July 2020

6.6% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Y.T.

$4.9 million

July 2020

3.2% increase

(monthly change)

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

$4.4 million

July 2020

21.7% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Nvt.

$1.4 million

July 2020

-3.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Sales in the food services and drinking places subsector increased for the third consecutive month, up 17.1% (seasonally adjusted) to $4.6 billion in July compared with June. With most businesses across the country open under new rules and restrictions, higher sales were reported across all industry groups into the summer months. When comparing July 2020 with July 2019, unadjusted sales were down by one-quarter (-24.5%).

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

Following many closures to businesses in the restaurant industry in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses started to reopen in May, allowing dine-in and patio services under strict guidelines. Restaurants across the country continued to reopen in July. Based on respondent feedback, 14% of food service and drinking place operators reported being closed at some point in July, down from 29% in June, 42% in May and 56% in April. Meanwhile, 8% reported being closed for the entire month of July, compared with 12% in June, 22% in May and 41% in April.

Sales in the food services and drinking places subsector continue to increase

Sales at full-service restaurants increased by more than one-third in July (+36.2%) compared with June, as dining rooms and patios continued to re-open as the summer began. Fewer full-service restaurants (14%) were closed for part of July, compared with 32% in June, 44% in May and 65% in April. Meanwhile, 8% were closed for the entire month of July, compared with 11% that were closed for the entire month of June, 21% in May and 47% in April.

Sales at limited-service restaurants increased by 4.5%. The number of limited-service restaurants that were closed for part of the month decreased to 10% in July, compared with 13% in June, 25% in May and 31% in April. Fewer than 1 in 10 (9%) were closed for the entire month, similar to June (10%) and May (11%), but an improvement over April (18%).

Sales of special food services increased by almost one-third (+30.5%), as food-service contractors, caterers and mobile food trucks slowly started to serve businesses, flights and events that began to operate again. Overall, 16% of special food services reported being closed for part of July, down from 34% in June, 49% in May and 60% in April. More than one-tenth (13%) reported being closed for the entire month, compared with 21% in June, 34% in May and 49% in April.

Sales at drinking places also saw a large increase (+40.8%), as bars, pubs and some nightclubs continued to reopen. The number of drinking places that were closed at some point in July decreased to 23% from 56% in June, 85% in May and 89% in April. Many reopened throughout the month, with 10% closed for the entire month of July, compared with 23% in June, 59% in May and 79% in April.

Nine provinces reported an increase in sales in July. Ontario (+23.3%) and Quebec (+32.3%) reported the largest increases in dollar and percentage terms. Prince Edward Island (-10.9%) saw the only decrease on a seasonally adjusted basis as the decrease in summer tourism prevented the typically large seasonal increase in sales.

Year-over-year sales in the food services and drinking places subsector 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 July were down by one-quarter (-24.5%) compared with July 2019. Sales fell in each of the following industry groups: full-service restaurants (-31.4%), limited-service restaurants (-10.1%), special food services (-60.7%) and drinking places (-47.7%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year percentage change in sales in the food services and drinking places subsector, by industry group (2019 vs. 2020)
Year-over-year percentage change in sales in the food services and drinking places subsector, by industry group (2019 vs. 2020)

Year-over-year sales decreased in every province, with Ontario (-30.0%), British Columbia (-25.8%) and Quebec (-19.4%) reporting the largest declines in dollar terms. Prince Edward Island (-34.6%) showed the largest decline in percentage terms.

Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.1% in July compared with July 2019 and prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments were up 1.9% 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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