TORONTO, ON – September 14, 2021 – To better serve its members with exclusive insights into Canada’s foodservice and hospitality trends, Restaurants Canada has partnered with CGA to release new COVID-19 Sales On Premise Impact Reports, highlighting critical alcohol velocity trends across Canada. Released monthly starting September 2021, each report will help Restaurants Canada members make better business decisions based on what Canadians prefer when it comes to dine-in alcohol orders.

Collected by CGA—the definitive source for On Premise measurement, insight, and research consultancy—the data shares critical information on trends such as value velocity and total market sales across Canada, including key province breakdowns, as well as beer, wine and spirit sector reporting and daily frequency trends each month. Restaurants Canada aims to provide  reporting to help restaurateurs and bar owners understand the different dynamics of On Premise alcohol consumption across cities and provinces as the market continues to diverge and evolve due to COVID-19.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with CGA to be able to provide additional value to our members,” says Todd Barclay, CEO of Restaurants Canada. “Knowledge is power, and a big key to helping restaurants navigate their businesses during COVID-19 and beyond. By providing our members with as much information as possible—now including exclusive data on alcohol consumption and velocity across Canada—we can help one of the hardest hit industries get back on its feet.”

Data for each report is collected and aligned with CGA’s highest standards from across a pool of point of sales (POS) systems from more than 1,000 outlets across Canada. The data provides a clear understanding of consumer behaviour, tracking date and time of every order, all as it is entered in the POS system, including drinks, food and non-food items, as well as tips, tax and discounts on each order.

“As CGA continues to expand its global reach, we are delighted to partner with Canada’s leading trade association for our beloved foodservice industry” says Scott Elliott, CGA’s Managing Director: Americas “It has been a difficult 18 months for the trade and high quality data and insights have never been more important to successfully navigate the new consumer and competitive landscape that now exists. Combining CGA’s best in class data with Restaurants Canada’s unparalleled industry expertise and reach can only be a good thing and we are really excited to work together for the good of the sector.“

While each report shares key velocity information, any brand-specific data is available directly through CGA. This partnership was built out of a long-standing relationship between Restaurants Canada and CGA; CGA has been a reliable source for Restaurant Canada’s Beer and Wine Report, released in the spring edition of MENU Magazine and the upcoming Spirits report in late fall.

Both Restaurants Canada and CGA are excited to be able to provide full segment data and reporting by province available for the first time on a consolidated monthly basis for the restaurant sector.

For more information,


Toronto, Sept. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Uncovering consumer confidence and preferences in an ever-shifting market as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Restaurants Canada is shining a light on what restaurateurs and chefs can expect with the release of the 2021 Discerning Diner Report. 

Based on findings from a survey hosted on the Angus Reid Forum on behalf of Restaurants Canada, the report shares that on the positive side, Canadians are looking forward to returning to restaurants, so long as safety measures are in place. 89% of Canadians are looking forward to eating out with friends and family, with 64% going so far as to say that dining out will be an important part of their lifestyle post-pandemic.

“Canadians may be ready to return to restaurants, however some of their tastes and priorities have changed,” says Todd Barclay, President of Restaurants Canada. “The Discerning Diner report provides our members with the information they need to make choices around everything from menu selections and customer service options, to marketing initiatives and possible new revenue streams that today’s consumer is interested in. As more Canadians return to in-person dining, restaurants will need to continue adapting to capture market share.” 

The restaurant experience is one that Canadians cherish, with 63% of young consumers (ages 18-34) missing the fun of eating out, and 61% sharing that they miss the atmosphere. The biggest thing that all Canadians miss about table-service dining is socializing and connecting with friends and family (72%). Despite this, 32% of Canadians are still tentative about eating in-person and plan to postpone their first in-person dining experience for anywhere between a few months of reopening, to sometime in 2022. This poses a significant challenge for the industry in the short- to mid-term as restaurants are unable to maximize in-person dining revenues with fewer patrons. 

Restaurants Canada has pulled together the top considerations for Canadians as the nation reopens its doors to diners, from food trends and  innovation that consumers are most excited about.  The full Discerning Diner report can be read here


Canadians are picky when it comes to their food delivery orders – the most important factors when choosing to order delivery range from consistency of food quality (73%), crave-able menu items (59%) and whether they’ve visited in-person before (51%), to more economical considerations like value for money (48%) and whether it has a low or no delivery fee (43%). 

  • 78% of Canadians have ordered delivery within six months prior to the survey.
  • Quebec ordered delivery the most, with 84% saying they had ordered within the last six months.
  • Once the pandemic subsides, delivery will be the preferred choice for 18-34 year olds when eating off-premise at a quick-service restaurant. 
  • For table-service restaurants, 39% of young Canadians said they will prefer to order takeout by going inside and picking up, while 37% will order delivery. 8% say they plan to order more once the pandemic subsides. 
  • 15% have ordered alcoholic beverages with food for delivery or takeout, on par with the 18% of Canadians that say they’re likely to do this.
  • Cocktails and beer (combined 35%) are the most likely to be ordered.
  • Consumers are twice as likely to prefer ordering delivery directly from a table-service restaurant by phone or restaurant app (20%) vs third-party apps (10%).

Cocktail and beer delivery stats suggest a greater possible market for restaurants to provide unique takeout and delivery options for consumers. It is expected alcohol sales will grow as suppliers and operators adapt packing and pricing models to bolster alcohol sales with delivery.

“The developments and improvements made to delivery and takeout containers, food quality and speed have made a lasting, positive impression,” says Barclay. “Restaurateurs and chefs will need to continue to innovate in order to increase margins on takeout and delivery, but they can count on people visiting in-person instead of just virtually as restrictions subside.”


The “support local” movement that helped sustain several restaurants during the pandemic won’t be going away any time soon, with more Canadians purchasing and ordering from their local restaurants directly, and for items other than just takeout or delivery. 

  • 87% of Canadians are interested in ordering food sourced from local farmers or using Canadian produce. 
  • Almost 25% of Canadians are interested in purchasing groceries from a restaurant in the future, just shy of the 28% that indicated an interest in purchasing meal kits.
  • 41% of consumers ages 18-34 indicated interest in monthly meal subscriptions, especially if offered at a discounted price.  

“These food trends are encouraging for the restaurants who adapted to pandemic closures by pivoting their business model to include local grocery and meal kit options for consumers,” says Barclay. “These findings reiterate the need for restaurants to look at new revenue streams in order to survive and grow.” 


With Canadians eager to return to in-person dining, what can restaurants be doing to stand out, re-engineer their menus, capture consumer attention and keep them coming back?

  • Seeing a restaurant on Facebook is reportedly just as effective as hearing about it in a commercial or an advertisement on tv/radio.
  • Instagram is among the top factors for 34% of Canadians ages 18-34 when choosing to try a new spot.
  • 38% of those 55+ are more likely to visit a new restaurant if they’ve received flyers or discounts in the mail.
  • 37% of Canadians would choose one restaurant over another if it offered contactless or mobile payment options.
  • 51% of those 18-34 would choose one restaurant over another if they can order online through a website or app to pick up at a restaurant

Convenience is key when it comes to technological innovations, especially when appealing to younger audiences. Data suggests that convenience and clarity go hand-in-hand – online ordering ensures that there are no miscommunications in what’s on the list. Word of mouth continues to be the most important factor for Canadians to try a restaurant for the first time, but the power of social media shouldn’t be overlooked.

 “With the amount of innovation that’s transformed the market over the past two years, there are several new ways to help bump your business to the top of someone’s must-visit list,” continues Barclay. “We’ve seen restaurants completely pivot their business model, market to completely new demographics with great success and implement new technology that streamlines efficiency.”

What your business offers is also just as important. After a tough lockdown, 78% of Canadians are interested in ordering comfort foods from restaurants, alongside foods that promote health and wellness (73%), natural or unprocessed foods (70%), or culinary cocktails with savoury, fresh ingredients (41%). Meatless and vegetarian entrée options remain most popular among Canadians ages 18-34 (54%), compared to those 35-54 (37%) and 55+ (27%). 


TORONTO, Ontario – September 7, 2021 – Odd Burger Corporation (TSXV: ODD), one of the world’s first vegan fast-food chains and the first to go public, today announced it has signed a franchise agreement for its first Western location in Calgary, Alberta, a first step toward establishing the chain throughout Canada.  

Franchisees Joanna and Jay Gandhi are currently seeking an ideal site to introduce Calgary to Odd Burger’s affordable, mainstream, healthy, satisfying vegan fast food.  

“Our first West Coast location is a major milestone toward positioning Odd Burger as a global brand,” said James McInnes, Odd Burger co-founder and CEO. “Strategic franchises are a big part of our growth plans of expanding throughout North America.” 

The Calgary location is expected to open within three months of site selection and permit approvals. It will follow the model of Odd Burger’s successful restaurants in Ontario – compact footprints optimized for fast service, takeout and delivery, affordability, and simplified employee training. Odd Burger smart kitchens feature modern on-demand cooking technology, online ordering, self-checkout kiosks, and cashless transactions.  

Odd Burger has locations in Toronto, London, Windsor and Vaughan, with two additional locations in Waterloo and Hamilton opening within a month. In addition to restaurants, Odd Burger also operates a manufacturing facility in London, ON where it creates its proprietary plant-based proteins and dairy alternatives such as burgers, chickUN fillets, sausage, and dairy-free sauces. 

About Odd Burger Corporation
Odd Burger Corporation is a chain of company-owned and franchised vegan fast-food restaurants as well as a food technology company that manufactures and distributes a proprietary line of plant-based protein and dairy alternatives to its locations. Odd Burger restaurants operate as smart kitchens, which use state-of-the art cooking technology and automation solutions to deliver a delicious food experience to customers craving healthier and more sustainable fast food. With small store footprints optimized for delivery and takeout, advanced cooking technology, competitive pricing, a vertically integrated supply chain along with healthier ingredients, Odd Burger is revolutionizing the fast-food industry by creating guilt-free fast food. Odd Burger Corporation is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ODD. For more information visit


Vancouver, BC — Over 1000 hospitality workers in hotels, motels, pubs, and liquor stores across 14 communities in BC overwhelmingly voted by 80% to ratify a new four-year agreement with Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR). This contract includes an extension of recall rights for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic — through to July 1, 2023 or when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the pandemic is over. After an 18-month effort, BC’s hospitality workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, have achieved a new standard securing the right of workers to return to their jobs as business recovers.

Workers fought to push back against an industry attack to replace their good living wage jobs with those at minimum wage and eliminate union health and pension benefits. HIR employers finally agreed to extend recall rights for all properties. Local 40 members only agreed to settle if their pension, health care, severance pay, and workload were protected. As well as winning unlimited recall rights to cover future crises such as pandemics and natural disasters, they won longer recall protection for regular seasonal layoffs, increasing from 6 months to 12. 

Workers at several HIR properties, such as Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Holiday Inn Vancouver, organized and participated in rallies earlier this year to protest the industry’s attempt to impose deep concessions which would have rolled back years of hard-won gains. UNITE HERE Local 40 called on HIR to find a path forward to address the impact of the pandemic on hospitality workers and their employers. HIR issued a lockout notice in mid-April, which would have disproportionately impacted women and racialized workers.

Jan Budd, a kitchen helper for 30 years at Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown, said: “It feels incredible to have been part of this huge victory, after so many months of fighting against the industry. I can breathe a sigh of relief now knowing that I won’t have to start all over again at minimum wage. HIR finally respected our years of service, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back at work again as business eventually recovers.”

Fe Taala Casas, a room attendant for 26 years at Inn at the Quay in New Westminster, said: “I’m over the moon. We fought very hard since the pandemic started to make sure all of us would have jobs to go back to once Covid is over, and in the end, we won just that. I’m very proud that we were able to make sure recall rights would be extended, and that we protected our pension and health care. This victory sends a strong signal that other hospitality employers should be making sure no one loses their job because of this pandemic.”

The new contract covers hospitality workers in Vancouver, Victoria, Coquitlam, Richmond, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Abbotsford, Harrison Hot Springs, Kamloops, Castlegar, Port Alberni, Mackenzie, Prince Rupert, and Fort St. John.

While HIR has extended recall rights, some BC hotels such as the Pacific Gateway, Hilton Metrotown, and Coast Bastion still refuse to commit to returning workers back to their jobs. The union launched the Unequal Women campaign in March to call attention to hotels that refuse to guarantee workers — many of them women and immigrants — the right to return to their jobs as the industry recovers.


This week we went out with our latest press release calling for sector-specific support from the next federal government to ensure foodservice businesses can help create a million jobs in recovery and prevent labour shortages from becoming a long-term crisis.

According to our latest Restaurants Canada survey:

  • 80% of respondents said they were finding it difficult to hire back-of-house staff and 67% were having trouble filling front-of-house positions.
  • 42% of respondents said they expect the number of unfilled positions in their establishments to increase over the next year, while 38% said they are unsure if the number of unfilled positions will improve or get worse.

On the other side of the coin, the latest Labour Force Survey data from Statistics Canada show that foodservice and accommodation accounted for close to half of all jobs added to the Canadian economy in June and July (136,100 of 325,000), but there are still nearly 230,000 fewer workers in the foodservice sector than before the pandemic.

Bringing Canadians back to work in restaurants would fill nearly all of the 246,000 jobs still missing from the Canadian economy since February 2020; this would fulfill federal election promises to create over a million jobs in recovery and restore the national employment rate to pre-pandemic levels.

Please read the full release, click here, and do not forget to visit for more information on how the next federal government can help save our restaurants. 

While there, you can also watch our video featuring operators from across the country sharing what they need to preserve their livelihoods, restore pandemic job losses and keep contributing to vibrant communities across the country.

Vaccination Q/A Now Available

Over the past few months, there have been a number of questions surrounding vaccinations and the foodservice industry. We reached out to Mike MacLellan, Partner at CCPartners who helped us answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have received from employers and employees. You will also find a webinar recording sharing the latest information and insight.


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