Survey: Bad weather dampens business outlook for restaurants

TORONTO, July 24, 2013 /CNW/ - A weak economy coupled with a deluge of bad weather around the country has dampened business expectations for restaurant operators.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association's (CRFA's) latest Restaurant Outlook Survey shows 31 per cent of restaurateurs expect sales to pick up speed over the next six months, down from 40 per cent the same time last year. Hiring intentions have also cooled - 21 per cent plan to hire more people over the next six months compared to 29 per cent last year.

"One in two of our members is concerned about the economy, and their sales and hiring plans reflect this," says Garth Whyte, CRFA President and CEO. "Expectations in our industry are a gauge of the broader economy. Indeed, pundits are forecasting Canada's economic growth to remain soft in the second half of 2013 with modest job creation ahead."

The Alberta flood and a cold, damp spring in many parts of the country were also an issue.  Twenty-eight per cent of respondents noted that bad weather had a negative impact on business, compared to 19 per cent in 2012.

Despite these challenges, most restaurateurs are planning to hold employment levels and menu prices steady for the next six months.

About the survey
CRFA's Restaurant Outlooks Survey covers the second quarter of 2013 and tracks business conditions for nearly 9,800 foodservice establishments across Canada. For more information, visit www.crfa.ca/research.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.

Image with caption: " CRFA's Restaurant Outlook Survey for Q2 of 2013 reveals the top challenges facing restaurant operators (CNW Group/Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130724_C9412_PHOTO_EN_29239.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca.

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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