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  • From healthy resolution to a health revolution
    Q1 2015 the most common health claims on menus at the top 200 Canadian chain restaurants are gluten free vegetarian and organic Local independent restaurants boast vegetarian gluten free and vegan as their top healthy choices Restaurant operators have responded to the consumer desire for healthy foods by increasing the number of nutritious items on their menus According to Technomic Canada s MenuMonitor for Q1 2015 the most common health claims on menus at the top 200 Canadian chain restaurants are gluten free vegetarian and organic Local independent restaurants boast vegetarian gluten free and vegan as their top healthy choices No antibiotics please These categories are not surprising as they mirror the current bestselling cookbooks on Amazon Today s consumers are more sophisticated and environmentally conscious than ever They want to eat foods that are perceived as fresh natural and less processed An increasing share also wants to know their food is produced ethically and sustainably This consumer interest has made lighter fare gluten free and antibiotic free the fastest growing health labels on Canadian menus What Canadians are eating Restaurants are doing their part to stay on top of these trends but are consumers just all talk Will they actually embrace healthier menus Technomic s 2014 Canadian Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report found 61 per cent of consumers consider at least five of the last 10 meals they purchased at a restaurant to be healthy In 2012 just 50 per cent felt this way Also the majority of consumers 64 per cent want restaurants to highlight nutritious choices in a dedicated healthy section of the menu presumably to make them easier to find It looks like Canadians are responding well to healthier choices on the menu The Alkaline diet However keeping up with these trends isn t always simple

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Fromhealthyresolutiontoahealthrevolution.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Recovering visits from vegetarian customers
    excluding breakfast Together vegetarian entrées are the sixth most popular food category in Canadian foodservice they re more popular than non Asian seafood beef or pork dishes and each Asian food category Restaurants and suppliers should be talking more about this customer Canadians are showing changing behaviours in the types of vegetarian entrées they choose and restaurants have opportunity to adjust to this momentum Since 2011 the vegetarian share of entrées has fallen from eight per cent to seven per cent a decline of 55 million servings a year Much of the meals vegetarians have to rely on revolve around finding an item on the menu that typically includes meat and hoping there is a meatless option i e salads pasta or pizza with no meat These types of items are what drive the declines for vegetarian entrées Sandwiches and entrées designed specifically for the taste and nutritional interests of vegetarians gain share and drive growth in a challenged market While you ll never hear me say a disparaging word about a four cheese pizza pecan and goat cheese salad or fettuccini Alfredo accommodating vegetarians by just removing the meat can leave them with an unsatisfying experience Much of a recipe s flavour and nutrition is built around the protein and merely removing it can make a customer feel like a nuisance and leave them feeling like something is missing they may be missing protein flavour texture chef inspiration or the focal point of the dish If removing that protein doesn t come with a price cut they may also have trouble perceiving value Finding an entrée or sandwich designed to appeal to not just accommodate the interests of vegetarians is getting easier McDonald s has offered a few variations of vegetarian wraps that relied not only on cheese as

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Recoveringvisitsfromvegetariancustomers.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The upside of a down Canadian dollar
    more international tourists and boost exports which is good for business in many parts of the country What s pushing the loonie down Due to lower oil prices the Canadian dollar which was at par with the U S dollar in 2012 now sits at US 0 79 A resurgent American economy also adds downward pressure on the dollar In the second half of 2015 the United States Federal Reserve will likely raise its key interest rate which will further strengthen the American dollar at the expense of our loonie Our economy and industry will see changes for some time to come as the Canadian dollar is expected to remain below US 0 80 into mid 2016 The tourists come back After struggling since 2001 tourism saw a modest revival in 2014 Canada hosted 25 6 million international visitors last year the highest number since 2010 Although this figure is almost half of the tourists that came to Canada in 2000 it still shows a 1 6 per cent increase over 2013 The Canadian Tourism Commission expects the lower oil prices and loonie will fuel a rebound in visitors Despite the wintry weather travel to Canada in January jumped 5 4 per cent on a year over year basis Exports to grow A lower Canadian dollar will also make our exports more attractive The export driven economies of Ontario and British Columbia stand the most to gain and will lead the country in economic growth in 2015 What your restaurant can expect If your restaurant is in Ontario or British Columbia you can expect to see strong sales The robust export driven economies of these provinces will raise disposable income and consumer spending this year Operators in Alberta Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador will see weaker sales but there is

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/TheupsideofadownCanadiandollar.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • It’s a crude world: The fall of oil prices
    could stay low for the next couple of years This dramatic collapse in prices has implications for Canadians Some will benefit others will struggle and the restaurant industry will see a bit of both Who wins After enduring years of rising gas prices most Canadians welcome the relief at the pumps BMO Financial Group estimates that Canadian households will save 20 billion a year which works out to 1 500 per family But what will Canadians do with these savings While a sizeable portion will likely be used to pay down the massive household debt it s fair to assume a small slice will go to discretionary spending If just 5 per cent of the additional 1 500 is spent at restaurants foodservice operators would earn an extra 1 billion no small feat Lower oil prices and the corresponding drop in the loonie will also spur manufacturing production and jobs which benefits Central Canada the most Ontario for example will post the strongest economic growth in 2015 advancing 2 6 per cent A lower dollar and falling gasoline prices will draw more foreign tourists which means busier restaurants and more sales Certainly the restaurant industry in many parts of the country has much to gain Who loses As with most things in life not everyone will reap the benefits of falling oil prices Alberta Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador all have economies heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry and will bear the brunt of the impact In fact Restaurants Canada s Restaurant Outlook Survey for Q4 of 2014 showed it s mostly Alberta operators who felt the pinch of dropping gas prices a reversal of fortune as high gas prices pushed the province s foodservice industry to the front of the pack for many years After enjoying some

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/ItsacrudeworldThefallofoilprices.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The shrinking footprint of Canadian restaurants: Openings and closures of units in 2014
    2014 is now closer to the size it was in 2005 resting around 69 200 a decline of four per cent Those declines impacted mainly independent operators while chains netted out growth of 25 units It s no coincidence that during this time traffic to independents declined by five per cent while chains remained flat The NPD Group CREST YE December 2014 Many of these closures for independents came out of the casual dining Asian category impacting large markets like Ontario and British Columbia but not Quebec where declines are sourced to a greater variety of independents So what types of restaurants are opening Who can restaurants expect more competition from In what categories should new operators open Who should sales teams target Top chains are earning share and opening up stores Most suppliers target large chains like Tim Hortons Subway Starbucks or McDonald s that have large and growing footprints across Canada They re an important competitive target for stealing share as well However these large chains can take a long time to make carefully weighed decisions through their deep organization and not everyone can come out on top If you thought focus was already tightly held on those chains it s only getting tighter The fastest growing chains stem from smaller or emerging markets Frozen yogurt and juice smoothie shops open units to take advantage of snacking occasions while top chains focus on meals Fast casual Mexican sushi and Thai concepts take business from more traditional sources of these foods Demand for categories is fast growing but still quite small Frozen yogurt is ordered in less than one per cent of visits to restaurants Mexican food is ordered in less than two per cent of visits to restaurants and fast casual chains capture about half of that The

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/TheshrinkingfootprintofCanadianrestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Spending at restaurants in 2014
    at restaurants in 2014 July 10 2014 Tweet Leave a comment Spending at restaurants is largely determined by household budgets which are being squeezed by modest disposable income growth and rising household debt 27 743 Average household debt excluding mortgages in 2013 28 853 Average household debt excluding mortgages in 2014 164 Total debt as a share of disposable income in 2013 87 Total debt as a share of disposable

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Spendingatrestaurants2014.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Economic forecast: A look back and a look ahead at the key industry indicators
    May 28 2014 Tweet Leave a comment A look back and a look ahead at the key industry indicators 1 7 Real GDP growth in Canada in 2013 2 4 Real GDP growth in Canada in 2014 22 500 Number of jobs created in Canada in 2013 247 000 Number of jobs created in Canada in 2014 3 5 Disposable income growth in Canada in 2013 3 8 Disposable income

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Economicforecast.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Infographic: Canada's restaurant industry
    Control Staffing Wages Salaries Training Recruitment Retention Workplace Safety Business Finance Accounting Business Plans Success Stories Franchising Business Strategy Buyers Guide Restaurants Canada Buyers Guide Q Would you enter into a promotional partnership with other local businesses Link Click here Diane Chiasson Chris Elliott Roger Mittag Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Infograhic Canada s restaurant industry May 1 2013 Tweet Leave a

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Canadarestaurantindustryinfographic.aspx (2016-02-14)
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