Many restaurants forced to pivot business model due to pandemic


Published August 27, 2020 at 11:19 pm


While the pandemic has been hard on all businesses, it has been especially hard on businesses within the foodservice industry.

In 2019, the foodservice industry generated more than $93 billion in sales and was on track to surpass $100 billion by 2021.

However, due to the pandemic, the restaurant industry is projected to lose between $21.7 billion and $44.8 billion in annual sales this year, according to Restaurants Canada.

“The greatest challenge our industry will face is the uncertainty that this crisis will have on restaurant businesses and how long the effects will last,” Chris Elliott, senior economist for Restaurants Canada, said in a news release.

“The foodservice industry will change from what we’ve known and continue to pivot and adapt its business model to survive,” he continued.

At the peak of business closures during the pandemic, on-premise orders accounted for just four per cent of sales compared to more than 50 per cent in 2019.

Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, many restaurants have been forced to adjust their business model.

More than half of restaurants have begun offering contactless payment options and contactless pick-up/curbside pick-up options.

Further, 20 per cent of restaurants have begun offering meal kits, which they intend to continue to sell moving forward.

“The strength of Canada’s restaurant industry is its creativity and sheer determination. While restaurant sales will one day return to pre-COVID-19 levels, the industry will be vastly different from before,” Elliott said.

“In the coming years, we will see the acceleration of many trends, such as the rise in ghost kitchens, alcohol delivery and the adoption of technology as restaurants focus on raising productivity,” he added.

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