TORONTO — Canada’s restaurant industry is poised for its 25th consecutive year of growth in 2016, with sales expected to increase 3.8 per cent to $62 billion, according to a new report from Restaurants Canada. When non-commercial foodservice in settings such as hospitals and hotels is factored in, restaurant industry sales will add up to more than $77 billion in 2016.
Manitoba and British Columbia will lead the way in 2016, with projected growth of 4.3 per cent, while in comparison, Newfoundland and Labrador is estimated to grow by only 1.8 per cent.
However, the report also speaks to challenges in the industry, as surging labour and food costs are eating up an increasingly large slice of restaurant revenue.
“Restaurants are a catalyst for the Canadian economy,” said Donna Dooher, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada. “They’re an important part of every community, they account for more than one million jobs and they generate billions of dollars in spin-off spending for everything from agriculture to technology. When restaurants thrive, Canada thrives.” She noted that despite the strong growth in the category, the average pre-tax profit margin is just 4.2 per cent, down from 5.8 per cent in 2001. “Restaurants are contending with increasing labour, food and beverage costs and with finding the workers they need to grow their businesses.”