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Food services and drinking places, December 2020

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Released: 2021-02-18

Food services and drinking places sales — Canada

$4.2 billion

December 2020

-8.0% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.L.

$65.9 million

December 2020

0.2% increase

(monthly change)

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

$21.1 million

December 2020

-17.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.S.

$108.1 million

December 2020

-12.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — N.B.

$89.7 million

December 2020

-1.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Que.

$722.3 million

December 2020

-6.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Ont.

$1,611.6 million

December 2020

-9.9% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Man.

$119.6 million

December 2020

4.9% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Sask.

$129.3 million

December 2020

0.8% increase

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Alta.

$527.0 million

December 2020

-16.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — B.C.

$788.6 million

December 2020

-2.9% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Y.T.

$5.8 million

December 2020

-2.8% decrease

(monthly change)

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

$4.8 million

December 2020

-3.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Food services and drinking places sales — Nvt.

$1.5 million

December 2020

F

(monthly change)

On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales in the food services and drinking places subsector fell 8.0% to $4.2 billion in December 2020. Decreased sales were reported in full-service restaurants (-18.3%), limited-service restaurants (-1.9%) and drinking places (-18.9%). Sales increased 5.5% in special food services. Lower sales were reported in seven provinces with Ontario (-9.9%) and Alberta (-16.2%) posting the largest decreases.

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

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

COVID-19 pandemic takes a bite out of restaurant sales

The figures in this section are based on seasonally unadjusted estimates.

In 2020, the food services and drinking places subsector was directly affected by measures imposed by the government and by anxiety among Canadians about the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in March, all provinces imposed restrictions and closures. Large-scale business losses were experienced across the subsector, with unadjusted sales falling 28.2% in 2020 compared with 2019.

With many dining rooms closed across the country, restaurants transitioned to take-out and delivery as their primary means of conducting business. Best-positioned to make this transition, limited-service eating places saw sales decline by 13.4% in 2020. In comparison, over the same period, full-service restaurants saw a far greater decrease in sales (-37.5%), partly because of their larger share of sales coming from alcoholic beverages (18.8% in 2019). Drinking places and special food services saw the largest decreases in 2020 because of full closures and limitations on indoor gatherings. Sales at drinking places declined 47.8% and sales of special food services were down 48.3% in 2020.

The largest decreases in both dollar and percentage terms were in the most populous provinces: Ontario (-31.1%), Quebec (-31.3%), British Columbia (-25.4%) and Alberta (-24.6%).

Prices continued to rise in the subsector as the prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 2.2% in 2020 compared with 2019, while the prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments increased 1.4% over the same period.


  Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and 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 to complement 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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