Alberta’s Foodservice Outlook

QSR & Drinking Places Increase Sales vs. FSR

Alberta’s commercial foodservice sales showed a year-over-year nominal change of 1.7% in 2015, but sales were forecast to slow down to 0.6% in 2016, whereas BC’s sales forecast was 7.5% and Manitoba’s was 3.4%.

Foodservice Sales Growth by Segment in Alberta

Total Full-service
Caterers Drinking
2015  1.7%  0.9%  4.3%  -5.6%  -2.3%
2016 (Jan-July)  -0.2%  -4.1%  4.4%  -3.6%  0.8%
Source: Restaurants Canada and Statistics Canada


Top Issues Impacting Operators

Food costs 79%
Weak economy 79%
 Labour costs 74%
 Credit card merchant fees 53%
 Liquor costs 37%
Competition from new restaurants 37%
Weak customer demand 37%
Shortage of unskilled labour 26%
Shortage of skilled labour 16%
Gasoline prices 11%

Source: Restaurant Outlook Survey – Q2 2016

Restaurant owners are very concerned about the impact that an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 will have on their businesses. 94.4% believe it will have a very negative impact and 89% will increase prices as a result. 78% stated they will decrease labour hours, 49% will lay off staff, and 27% will explore self-service solutions like touch pads.

Alberta’s commercial foodservice industry is an important economic contributor representing $8.9 billion in sales in 2015. That number was forecast by Restaurants Canada to remain the same in 2016.