Food In Canada

Survey shows restaurants are still losing money and need help

By Food in Canada   

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July 7, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – The majority of foodservice businesses across the country are still operating at a loss and could take at least a year to return to profitability, according to a new survey from Restaurants Canada.

“Restaurateurs are eager to help rebuild the economy and revive neighbourhoods, but they’re going to need continued assistance from government to remain operational under ongoing restrictions,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada vice president, federal and Quebec.

The survey reveals many restaurants expect a year or more to recover. More than half of respondents whose operations are either open for takeout or delivery only, or now offering dine-in services under new restrictions, said they are continuing to operate at a loss.

When asked how many months they expect it will take their business to return to profitability:

  • 13 per cent said six months or less
  • 31 per cent said between seven months to a year
  • 36 per cent said between a year and 18 months
  • 20 per cent said more than 18 months

For the third month in a row, more than 90 per cent of respondents reported lower sales compared to the same period last year.

Given this reality, Restaurants Canada is calling on the federal government to extend and strengthen support for foodservice businesses in the following areas so they can continue contributing to Canada’s recovery:

  • assistance with labour costs
  • rent relief and commercial tenant protections
  • help with cash flow and rising debt levels

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. The industry lost more than 800,000 jobs by April and is on track to lose as much as $44.8 billion in annual sales compared to 2019 due to the impacts of COVID-19.

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