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Restaurant and bar sales in Alberta

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 30 January 2024 1 min read

It may seem like a long time ago, but we just got new data on restaurant and bar sales up to November of 2023.

Here in Alberta, revenue stayed above the billion dollar mark for the third month in a row, and held fairly steady from the previous month (down 0.1%).*

Compared to the same 11 months in 2022, year-to-date (YTD) sales were a solid 13.5% higher in 2023.

Stronger YTD sales are positive news for a sector hit particularly hard by the pandemic and facing higher operating cost and labour shortages.

When we remove the role played by higher menu prices,** the improvement in YTD sales in Alberta is smaller at +7.3% and the monthly pullback compared to October is a more noticeable -0.7%.

The inflation-adjusted data point to a flattening of revenue growth that may continue into 2024 as Albertans seek to cut discretionary spending in the face of the cumulative impact of higher borrowing costs.

Nationally, YTD sales were up by 13.2% compared to 2022. After adjusting for higher prices, the YTD increase is a more modest 6.4%.

*All data in today’s Owl have been adjusted for regular seasonal variation.

**Estimated by deflating sales by “food purchased at restaurants” prices in the Consumer Price Index for Alberta and Canada.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The generative artificial intelligence chatbot known as ChatGPT was launched on November 30, 2022.

Today’s trivia question: Where and when did the first Pizza Hut open?

Seasonally-adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta remained above $1 billion for the third month in a row in November 2023

Seasonally-adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta remained above $1 billion for the third month in a row in November 2023


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