Albertans spent a little less at restaurants and bars in March
But spending at restaurants and bars was still well ahead of last year’s levels
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 1 June 2023 1 min read
Seasonally-adjusted restaurant and bar revenue in Alberta slipped in March.
After rising to an all-time high of just over $1 billion* in January, sales at Alberta restaurants and bars pulled back by 0.1% ($1.4 million) in February and another 2.9% ($29.4 million) in March.
National sales also decreased in March, falling by 2.2% ($169 million) compared to February.
Lower sales were seen in every province with Quebec (-3.8%) and Alberta (-2.9%) losing the most ground.
However, spending at restaurants and bars is well ahead of last year’s levels as many Albertans resumed dining out following the pandemic and the removal of public health restrictions. Sales in Alberta were 20.9% ($466.7 million) higher in the first quarter of the year than the same period in 2022 (unadjusted).
National revenue, meanwhile, improved by 27.1% ($4.4 billion) on a year-to-date basis.
Part of the jump reflects higher costs. The price for food purchased from restaurants in Alberta was up by 7.0% in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the same quarter in 2022 and prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments increased by 5.3% over the same period.
*In the April release from Statistics Canada, January’s sales were reported as $977 million but were revised up to just over $1 billion in the May release, making this the first time seasonally-adjusted monthly sales in Alberta reached this symbolic level.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Alberta accounted for about a quarter (23%) of Canada’s total farm cash receipts in 2022.
Today’s trivia question: What portion of total Canadian restaurant and bar sales in March 2023 were in Alberta?