“The Canadian foodservice industry experienced solid growth in sales in 2018. However, unit volume sales dropped slightly in 2019,” says Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
The foodservice industry is made up of different sections. Traditional restaurants include sub-segments such as full-service and quick-service operations, caterers and drinking places. Non-commercial foodservice segments include retail, accommodation and institution.
She adds that quick-service restaurants are facing challenges with decreasing unit traffic and decreasing consumer spending per capita.
“Full-service restaurants, particularly independent and small chains, may be more agile and are a key segment in driving takeout and delivery.”
Technology is a significant factor behind improving customer experience.
“Customers expect to book reservations, access information and make payments when they want and where they want,” she explains. “With emerging technologies poised to disrupt the industry, businesses need to ensure they are not ignoring these trends. The COVID-19 pandemic provides evidence that investing in technology is becoming more important.”
Fernando adds that growth for these operations will come from those who are 40 and under.
“Providing solutions for what this age group needs by evolving to deliver on functional needs - the right food, at the right price, the right way - and emotional needs - feeling good about their choices - will separate those who increase guest counts and profits from those who do not.”
Read Trends in Retail’s Foodservice Market (PDF, 679 KB).
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