Canadian Pizza Magazine

Customers returned to Canadian restaurants in first quarter

By Canadian Pizza   

COVID-19 Updates News Business and Operations

Full-service restaurants benefited from the pent-up demand to dine out, reports the NPD Group

Toronto — Physical and online visits to restaurants and commercial food-service outlets increased by 18 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, when traffic declined by nine per cent due to indoor dining restrictions, reports the NPD Group.

The Canadian food-service industry continued to show promising recovery in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year’s same quarter.

Consumer spending in the quarter grew by 27 per cent compared to a year ago when spending declined by 12 per cent, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the industry.

Full-service restaurants, hardest hit by pandemic dine-in restrictions, were the beneficiaries of pent-up dining-out demand. Compared to the previous year, visits to full-service restaurants have grown over the last four quarters. In the first quarter of 2022, full-service traffic increased by 47 per cent, and dollars grew by 52 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago. With dine-in restrictions lifted, most full-service restaurant customers chose to dine at the restaurants instead of using carry-out or delivery. Dine-in visits increased by 187 per cent compared to last year’s same quarter, when on-premises traffic declined by 74 per cent.


Quick-service restaurants, representing 70 per cent of commercial food-service traffic in Canada, increased traffic by 14 per cent in this year’s first quarter compared to a year ago. Consumer spending at quick-service restaurants increased by 18 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021. Like full-service restaurant customers, quick-service restaurant customers chose to dine in, increasing their on-premises visits by 118 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to a year ago, NPD reports.

The key restaurant dayparts of morning meal (breakfast and morning snack), lunch, and dinner grew visits by double-digits over the year-ago quarter. Morning meal traffic increased by 19 per cent, lunch by 18 per cent, and dinner visits by 17 per cent in the first quarter this year compared to last year’s first quarter. The afternoon snack was flat in the quarter versus last year.

“With Canada facing the same macro-economic headwinds as many nations — global unrest, rising inflation and interest rates, supply chain issues — the impact on the long-term restaurant recovery remains unclear,” says Vince Sgabellone, NPD food-service industry analyst. “But for now, restaurants are enjoying the robust return of customers, even as it braces for whatever comes next.”

Print this page


Stories continue below