Restaurant and bar sales not where they need to be
Unfortunately, we are likely to see more restaurants and bars go out of business this fall
By ATB Economics 23 September 2020 less than a minute
Seasonally adjusted sales at Alberta’s restaurants and bars were still down by 21 per cent in July compared to a year earlier.
This is markedly better than where things stood in April when year-over-year sales were down by 59 per cent, but it points to a sector that is still struggling.
Month-to-month growth continued in July with sales up by 6 per cent, but at a more modest pace than in May and June when sales bounced back by 39 per cent and 31 per cent.
The reduced pace in July suggests that the growth enabled by the initial reopening of the economy is plateauing and that the climb back to where sales were pre-COVID will be slow.
Fewer tourists, high unemployment, working from home, ongoing public health measures and cautious diners all weigh against a quick return to normal in the sector. As a result, we are likely to see more restaurants and bars go out of business this fall.