Dining out more in 2023
Restaurant sales were up by over 16% through the first half of 2023
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 28 August 2023 1 min read
Restaurants and bar sales remained on steady footing six months through the year.
Receipts at Alberta’s food services and drinking places rebounded in June, rising 1.3% to $9.9 billion compared to a national gain of 0.5%. Sales were 12.4% above June 2022 levels (versus +9.9% nationally).
Driven largely by an upbeat performance in the first quarter, revenues in the first half grew by 16.4% in Alberta over the same time last year, with double-digit increases observed across all sub-sectors: full-service, limited service, special food service and drinking places.
Revenues rose in every other province in the first half, with national sales up 18.2%. Adjusting for higher menu prices, real gains over this period were estimated at 9.3% for Alberta and 10.4% for Canada.**
While revenues are faring much better than last year, there are signs that higher interest rates and inflation are weighing on activity. Restaurant and bar sales leveled off in the second quarter after a run-up in early 2023 (see chart), and June sales remained below their January peak.
*Adjusted for seasonality.
**Estimated by deflating sales by “food purchased at restaurant” prices in the consumer price index for Canada and Alberta.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The official currency of Botswana is the pula, which means "rain" or "blessing”
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