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Food-service sales up in June: Statistics Canada


Sales in Canadian full-service restaurants, drinking places, limited-service restaurants and special food services were up 20 per cent in June 2021 compared with the previous month, as restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic eased throughout the country.

Sales in the second quarter of 2021 were up by almost a half compared with April, May and June of 2020, the first full quarter of the pandemic.

Sales in this subsector are up year over year, but still are lower than before the pandemic.

Receipts totalled $5.4 billion, reaching their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. Full-service restaurants (+53.2%), drinking places (+82.3%), limited-service restaurants (+2.2%) and special food services (+9.1%) all saw increased sales.

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Province by province

Eight of the provinces reported higher sales, with the largest increases in dollar terms being in Ontario (+18.9%), Quebec (+31.9%), Alberta (+26.1%) and British Columbia (+16.2%). Nova Scotia also had a large increase in sales (+28.0%), following a sharp decline the previous month because of restrictions on dining in restaurants. Sales declined in Prince Edward Island (-2.4%) and Newfoundland (-0.5%), as these provinces eased some interprovincial travel restrictions later in the month.

Sales in the second quarter of 2021 were up by almost a half compared with April, May and June of 2020, the first full quarter of the pandemic.

Sales in the food services and drinking places subsector are up year over year, but still lower than before the pandemic

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

More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent restrictions on the food services and drinking places subsector, unadjusted sales for June 2021 were up one-third (+32.2%) compared with June 2020. On a quarterly basis, sales in the second quarter of 2021 were up by almost a half (+45.0%) compared with April, May and June of 2020, the first full quarter of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, sales were still lower than before the pandemic. Sales in June 2021 were 16.4% lower than in June 2019, as companies in the food services and drinking places subsector pivoted to conduct business in a new reality this past year. This is an improvement over last month, where sales were almost one-third (-30.5%) lower than in May 2019.

In June 2021, prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.8% compared with June 2020, while prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments decreased by 1.3% over the same period.