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Restaurant receipts stay strong, benefits not felt by all

Restaurant receipts stay strong, benefits not felt by all

Posted on: 11/28/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Spending at Alberta’s array of pubs and restaurants continued to sit near record highs in September. According to Statistics Canada, total receipts rang in at $796 million. This figure includes four major types of businesses in the food and beverage sector: fast food, full service, bars and pubs, and special food providers such as caterers.

September’s total was nearly one per cent lower than July which was a record high in Alberta ($803 million). Over the last complete 12 months, total receipts are up nearly 2.6 per cent.

Compared to other provinces, Albertans spent the second most on meals and drinks outside the home. In September, the average Albertan spent approximately $185 at restaurants or bars. British Columbia continued to sit in the top spot with spending at $208 per person. (Greater spending levels in BC are likely due to the higher level of tourism in that province.)

While Albertans continue to spend quite a bit of money on eating out, not every restaurant or restaurant worker is seeing the benefits of higher sales.

That may be due to the rising price of fresh fruits and vegetables and increased wages over the past year. Many restaurant owners have told The Owl they've had to dig into their revenues or raise prices to offset these higher expenses. Some workers have also said their tips have dwindled over the last couple of years due to both the recession and customers recognizing their higher pay.

Restaurant and bar receipts, graph

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