Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Canadian restaurateurs more optismistic for 2012


May 1, 2012
By Canadian Pizza

May 1, 2012, Toronto – After a lacklustre start to the year, nearly 40
per cent of restaurant owners expect sales to pick up steam over the
next six months, according to the latest Restaurant Outlook Survey by
the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).

May 1, 2012, Toronto – After a lacklustre start to the year, nearly 40 per cent of restaurant owners expect sales to pick up steam over the next six months, according to the latest Restaurant Outlook Survey by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). To accommodate this growth, a quarter of restaurateurs are planning to hire more employees.

Average restaurant same-store sales rose by just 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a year earlier, but the economic recovery and onset of the busy summer season are boosting optimism. Restaurateurs are still plagued by rising food and labour costs, however, as well as rising gas prices.

Survey highlights
The results from the first quarter of 2012, released yesterday, show a marked improvement in the restaurant industry’s optimism:

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  • 38 per cent of restaurateurs expect sales growth to pick up speed over the next six months – compared to 22 per cent of respondents in Q4 of 2011.
  • 19 per cent predict sales growth will slow down, compared to 31 per cent in Q4.
  • 43 per cent expect sales to be about the same.
  • 25 per cent will hire more staff over the next six months, compared to just 12 per cent in Q4, and the majority (61 per cent) will maintain employment levels.

Restaurateurs face the same pressures identified at the end of 2011, with the top two obstacles being rising food prices (cited by 71 per cent of respondents) and growing labour costs (cited by 60 per cent). An increasing number of restaurateurs say rising liquor and gas prices are taking a toll on business.