Canadian Pizza Magazine

Working from home may mean 30% in lost sales for hospitality over next year: report

By Canadian Pizza   

COVID-19 Updates News Business and Operations Trends

Halifax – As more people stay home to work, there will be shift in work locations that may be responsible for at least 30 per cent of lost sales in food service for this coming year, suggests a survey by the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University and data insights company Caddle.

The lab surveyed 10,851 Canadians on telecommuting and food expenses at the end of July 2020 to assess how many are thinking of changing their lifestyle to spend more time working from home.

Nearly a quarter of Canadians intend to work more often at home for the next year, although many Canadians either don’t know (18.4 per cent) or won’t know what they will do a year from now (22 per cent).

Quebec has the highest percentage with 28.9 per cent of respondents saying that they want to work from home more. Ontario is second at 24.8 per cent. As for age groups, millennials have the highest percentage with 25.3 per cent.


Of the group who said yes, 20 per cent said they would work from home on a full-time basis. Again, of the people who intend to work from home, more than half (57 per cent) plan to spend less at restaurants because of working from home. The highest rate in the country is Ontario, at 59 per cent.

36.4 per cent of respondents admitted they enjoyed working from home more than expected prior to the pandemic. The highest satisfaction rate was measured in Quebec, at 38.5 per cent.

Before the pandemic 36.8 per cent of respondents were going to a restaurant for a meal/break at least twice a week. That number goes down to 23.3 per cent when asked about plans after the pandemic is over. This is a significant drop of 36.6 per cent of people who intend to visit restaurants at least twice a week during the work week.

Numbers show though that more people are willing to visit a restaurant only once a week after the pandemic (76.7 per cent after versus 63.2 per cent before).

Ten per cent of respondents are looking at relocating since telecommuting is possible. The financial impact on the food industry will be significant as more people work from home and potentially outside of cities. Before the pandemic, the food retail/food service ratio stood at 59:41. Monthly food retail sales in Canada were approximately $7.7 billion, versus $5.3 billion for food service, according to Statistics Canada. In May 2020, the last month before restaurants started to reopen, the ratio went to 91:9, with food retail generating $7.8 billion in sales in May 2020 versus $891 million in food service.

The report concludes that, as more people stay home to telecommute, there will be notable shift in work locations that may be responsible for at least 30 per cent of lost sales in food service for this coming year.

Respondents were surveyed in July 2020. Funding for this survey was provided by data insights company Caddle.

Read the full report.

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