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Looser restrictions boosted restaurant and bar sales in February

Total sales in Alberta reached $594.1 million in February, but this was $235.2 million (28 per cent) below sales 12 months earlier

By ATB Economics 27 April 2021 1 min read

Although still down compared to before the pandemic, seasonally adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta jumped by 15 per cent in February.

The increase coincided with changes to provincial public health restrictions that allowed restaurants, cafés and pubs to reopen* for dine-in service on February 8.

Total sales reached $594.1 million in February, but this was $235.2 million (28 per cent) below sales 12 months earlier.

Bars saw their (unadjusted) sales increase by 238 per cent in February. Sales were, however, still down by 62 per cent compared to February 2020.

Sales at full-service restaurants improved by 57 per cent compared to January, but remained 42 per cent below where they were in February 2020.

Sales at “limited-service eating places” such as coffee shops and fast-food restaurants slipped by 8 per cent in February and were off by 14 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

A third wave of COVID-19 led the province to reintroduce the prohibition against indoor in-person service as of noon on April 9.

Nationally, restaurant and bar sales rose by 7 per cent in February compared to January, but were down by 32 per cent compared to 12 months earlier. Year-over-year sales were down the most in Quebec at -39 per cent.

*The following conditions applied:

  • Establishments were required to collect the contact information of one person from the dining party.
  • A maximum of six people from the same household (or the two close contacts for people living alone) were allowed per table.
  • Liquor service had to end at 10 p.m.
  • In-person dining had to end at 11 p.m.
  • VLTs, pool tables, live music and other entertainment were not permitted.


Answer to the previous trivia question: Saskatchewan had the highest volunteering rate in 2018 at 85 per cent. The national average was 79 per cent.

Today’s trivia question: How high off of the ground is the Calgary Tower’s SKY 360 Restaurant and Lounge?

Although still down compared to before the pandemic, seasonally adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta jumped by 15 per cent in February

Although still down compared to before the pandemic, seasonally adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta jumped by 15 per cent in February


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