Industry Lens: Food Services—November 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, November 10, 2020
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This report examines the short-and medium-term economic and profitability outlook for Canada's food services industry.

Document Highlights

  • Many firms in the food services industry closed this past spring as part of efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although many restaurants were able to keep operating by offering services like curbside pickup, the industry suffered a steep contraction in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Muted tourism activity and historically low consumer confidence have taken a toll on the food services sector since the spring. This weakness in demand, combined with higher costs associated with the pandemic such as extra cleaning measures, will weigh on the industry’s performance for the foreseeable future.
  • The rise of ghost kitchens (kitchens with takeout or delivery options only) will weaken the demand for waiters and servers, permanently changing the labour composition of the food services industry. Top issues for employers

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