Survey: Food, labour and credit card costs are top challenges for restaurant operators

TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - A majority of Canadian restaurant owners say that business is stable or growing, but they are being hit hard by rising costs for everything from food to labour to credit card processing, according to the latest Restaurant Outlook Survey by Restaurants Canada.

Higher food costs are a concern for 70% of respondents, and higher labour costs are a concern for 68%. In addition, 42% of respondents are struggling with escalating fees charged by the big banks to process credit card payments.

"The good news is that business is growing and restaurant operators want to add more jobs," says Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada. "The bad news is, their operating costs are growing at an even faster pace. This, combined with labour shortages in some regions, creates a very challenging business environment."

The Restaurant Outlook Survey covers the second quarter (April through June) of 2014 and results represent more than 8,000 businesses across Canada, including restaurants, bars, caterers and other foodservice operations.

Top 5 challenges for foodservice operators:

1)     Food costs (70% of respondents)
2)     Labour costs (68%)
3)     Credit card merchant fees (42%)
4)     Bad weather (33%)
5)     Shortage of skilled labour (32%)

Restaurants Canada is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers.  Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper. 

Canada's restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information:

Media Contact: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, 416-649-4254 or pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org