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Restaurant operators have cautious outlook despite higher sales


Nearly half of Canadian operators reported higher same-store sales in the third quarter of 2015, said Restaurants Canada’s Restaurant Outlook Survey covering July, August and September.

That’s up from 40 per cent reported a year earlier and is the highest share since the association began conducting the survey in 2011.

Nearly six in 10 quick-service restaurants in Canada and over half of table-service restaurants reported higher same-store sales in the third quarter.

“Looking ahead, however, only 27 per cent of operators expect their sales to accelerate over the next six months,” the report said. This is down from 39 per cent in the previous quarter and 36 per cent reported a year earlier. This is due to the recession in Alberta, slower disposable income growth and weak job creation in the rest of Canada, the report said.

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Rising food and labour costs are the top challenges facing operators, said the report. Average food costs rose by 4.3 per cent in Q3 compared to Q3 2014, and a record 60 per cent of respondents said they plan to raise menu prices over the next six months.

The full report and past reports may be found on the Restaurants Canada website.