Ninety percent of Torontonians plan to dine at sit-down restaurants this summer

Interac Association survey reveals restaurant dining trends in the GTA (CNW Group/Interac Association)

Survey commissioned by Interac Association, Presenting Sponsor of Summerlicious, reveals GTA dining trends

TORONTO, July 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Bistros, cafés, pubs and eateries will be busy this summer with nine out of 10 Torontonians anticipating dining out at sit-down restaurants, according to a new survey by Interac Association. And there's further good news for restaurateurs: six out of 10 Torontonians say the city's dining scene has improved since last year.

Interac Association, presenting sponsor of Summerlicious, released the findings to coincide with the launch of the City of Toronto produced culinary celebration, which kicks off tomorrow and runs to July 20. Interac Association is also pleased to announce that, as part of the sponsorship, for every Summerlicious meal purchased with Interac® Debit, it will donate one dollar to Second Harvest, Canada's largest food rescue program, up to a value of $30,000. This donation provides 60,000 meals for Second Harvest's more than 200 agencies in Toronto.

"Following our inaugural sponsorship of Winterlicious, we are delighted to act as Presenting Sponsor of Summerlicious and introduce this new charitable component to our sponsorship," said Caroline Hubberstey, Head of External Affairs, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation.  "When consumers choose to pay with Interac Debit, they not only help Toronto's Second Harvest, they also help the restaurateur's bottom line by choosing a payment method that is secure, convenient – and low-cost."

The survey, conducted by Strategic Counsel in June 2014, found most GTA residents don't view themselves as adventurous or sophisticated diners. Almost half (46 percent) consider themselves "casual and comfortable" diners, one-in-five (21 percent) see themselves as "family-friendly" diners and one-in-10 say they're "local and sustainable" diners.

Nearly all (97 percent) Torontonians said that "quality of food" was an important factor when dining at a sit-down restaurant important, followed by good value (74 percent) and good service (70 percent).

As for choosing where to go, GTA diners overwhelmingly (91 percent) said friends and family recommendations influence their restaurant decision, followed by overall buzz (49 percent) and online reviews (46 percent), such as TripAdvisor*, Yelp**, OpenTable+, Urbanspoon++ and Chowhound. Torontonians also value restaurant reviews from newspapers or magazines (36 percent) and those found on social media (16 percent), such as Twitter^ or Facebook^^.

The survey also revealed that more than one-third (36 percent) of diners sometimes snap a picture of their meal to share on social media. Starting July 4, online foodies can tweet or Instagram® a review of their Summerlicious experience with the hashtag #InteracFoodCritic for a chance to win a daily prize of $200. Visit www.twitter.com/interac or www.instagram.com/interac for more information.

The omnibus survey was conducted by The Strategic Counsel among a representative sample of 600 adult residents (age 18 and over) in the Greater Toronto Area. The survey was conducted online between June 11th and 16th, 2014. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation
A recognized world leader in debit card services, Interac Association is responsible for the development and operations of the Interac network, a national payment network that allows Canadians to access their money through Interac Cash at 60,000 Automated Banking Machines and Interac Debit at 766,000 point-of-sale terminals across Canada. Interac Flash®, a secure contactless enhancement of Interac Debit, allows Canadians to pay for items instantly with their Interac chip debit card at a reader that supports Interac Flash.

Interac Association was founded in 1984 and is comprised of a diverse membership that includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies.

Other related services offered by Acxsys Corporation, whose shareholders are the architects of the Interac network, include: Interac Online, for secure online payments made directly from a bank account; Interac e-Transfer®, for the transfer of money from one person's bank account to another person's bank account using an email address or mobile phone number; and international services, which provide Canadian cardholders with point-of-sale access at nearly 2 million U.S. retailers, and PULSE, Discover, Diners Club International and UnionPay cardholders access to ABMs in Canada.

About Summerlicious
Summerlicious, presented by Interac Association, offers diners unique, three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at exceptional value, served at more than 200 of Toronto's top restaurants from July 4 to 20.

Since Winterlicious and Summerlicious launched in 2003, about 4.6 million meals have been served with more than $200 million in economic activity generated for the local restaurant industry. The Licious programs are produced by the City of Toronto.
More information about Summerlicious, including a complete list of restaurants and menus is available at http://www.toronto.ca/summerlicious. Follow Summerlicious on twitter @LiciousTO (#LiciousTO), facebook.com/LiciousTO and instagram.com/liciousTO.

Interac, Interac Flash, Interac e-Transfer, and the Interac logo are registered trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under license.
* TripAdvisor is a registered trade-mark of TripAdvisor LLC.
** Yelp is a trade-mark of Yelp Inc.
+ OpenTable is a registered trade-mark of Opentable, Inc.
++ Urbanspoon is a registered trade-mark of Wanderspot LLC.
^ Twitter is a registered trade-mark of Twitter, Inc.
^^ Facebook is a registered trade-mark of Facebook, Inc.
Use of third party owned marks does not imply a license has been granted.  All marks remain the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Interac Association

Image with caption: "Interac Association survey reveals restaurant dining trends in the GTA (CNW Group/Interac Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140703_C3768_PHOTO_EN_4077.jpg

For further information: Teri Murphy, Interac Association / Acxsys Corporation, tmurphy@interac.ca, 416-869-7171,