indicatorThe Owl

Cheque please: Restaurant and bar sales climb again in June

Sales started to rebound in May and were “only” 25 per cent below their pre-pandemic level in February

By ATB Economics 25 August 2020 1 min read

It has been a rough year for Alberta’s restaurants and bars with COVID-19 containment measures forcing the full or partial shut-down of many eating and drinking places starting in March.

Alberta restaurants and bars (excluding nightclubs) were allowed to re-open for dine-in service at 50 per cent capacity for seated customers in mid-May (higher case numbers kept the dine-in ban in place in Calgary and Brooks until June 1). The cap on numbers was lifted in mid-June as long as physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines are followed.

As a result, seasonally adjusted monthly sales fell by 59 per cent between February and April. Sales started to rebound in May and were “only” 25 per cent below their pre-pandemic level in February.

On a year-to-date basis, sales were down by $1.2 billion over the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019 (-26 per cent).

The numbers are similar for Canada as a whole except that the rebound has not been as high with June’s sales still down 38 per cent compared to their pre-pandemic level in February and 30 per cent lower year-to-date.

Monthly restaurant and bar sales in Alberta monthly sales fell by 59 per cent between February and April

Monthly sales fell by 59 per cent between February and April


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