—Dine-in visits, full service, and afternoon snack period are the month’s bright spots
Toronto, December 19, 2022 — Canada’s foodservice industry recovery continued in November with an increase in consumer visits and spending, reports The NPD Group. November traffic to restaurants and foodservice outlets increased by 7%, and spending grew by 14% compared to a year ago. Full service restaurant visits increased by 17%, and quick service restaurant traffic grew by 7%. Retail foodservice, meaning prepared foods from convenience, grocery, and drug stores, declined by 9%, which turned the foodservice industry’s overall recovery trend slightly negative in November, down 1%, compared to the pre-pandemic level.
Dining at a restaurant versus carry-out, drive-thru, or delivery continues to be an industry bright spot. In November, on-premises visits grew by 35%; at the same time, off-premises traffic was flat compared to a year ago. The fact that Canadians are out and about more is evidenced by the 7% increase in afternoon snack visits compared to a year ago. All the primary meal dayparts posted gains in the month. Customer visits at the morning meal of breakfast or morning snack grew by 7%; lunch traffic increased by 6%, and supper visits by 9% versus a year ago, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry.
“The positive trend this month in afternoon snack visits demonstrates that Canadians are visiting malls, gas stations, and other retail settings. This is consistent with the growth in brick-and-mortar retail traffic NPD sees across the general merchandise categories it tracks,” says Vince Sgabellone, NPD foodservice industry analyst. “This confirms that consumers will be more inclined to purchase foodservice when they leave their homes. The ongoing challenge for our industry, especially as the winter months approach, is encouraging consumers to leave their homes more often.”