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Dining in The Great White North: Evaluating the Foodservice Landscape of Canada

Brandon  Gerson
by Brandon Gerson November 16, 2016
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It’s more than bacon, poutine and maple syrup! Those unfamiliar with the Canadian foodservice landscape may believe that “The Great White North” lacks culinary excitement. In reality, Canada is home to a vibrant and diverse foodservice industry that produces innovative cuisine. CHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice data and analytics firm, recently evaluated data within its Easy2FIND foodservice database to provide foodservice suppliers with insight into the latest trends in the Canadian foodservice landscape.

As of November 2016, Easy2FIND contains records on more than 184,000 foodservice operators across Canada.
 
Considering the Canadian hospitality data available in Easy2FIND, of the more than 11,000 hotels within Canada, 87 percent are Independent units and 13 percent are considered chains. Furthermore, 34 percent of Canada’s Independent hotels offer guests the opportunity to dine at in-house restaurants.

The Canadian restaurant landscape is broken down into approximately 53 percent Full Service Restaurants (FSR) and 47 percent Limited Service Restaurants (LSR). Table service is provided FSR and the bill is paid after eating, whereas in LSR ordering and paying is generally done at a counter before food is served.

Further breaking down the restaurant landscape, 92 percent of Canadian FSRs are Independent, and only 8 percent are Chains. Considering LSRs, 44 percent are Independent and 56 percent are Chains. CHD Expert identifies a Chain as a brand with 10 or more units in operation.

Many mid-sized and regional chains, such as Boston Pizza, Mr. Sub, and Second Cup have a strong presence across Canada. Boston Pizza, for example, has more than 350 chains in operation across Canada.

Tim Hortons is perhaps the best known Canadian chain, with more than 3,500 units listed as in operation in Canada within Easy2FIND. (In comparison, there are more than 700 Tim Hortons chains operating in the United States, according to Easy2FIND.) In 2014 the merger between Tim Hortons and Burger King was completed and the brands continue to operate separately under Restaurant Brands International. In addition to Tim Hortons, the brands that round our the top five most prevalent chain restaurants in Canada are Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and A&W Restaurant.

With regard to Menu Types, Varied Menu ranks first with 22 percent of the market, followed by Pizza & Pasta (13%), Beverages (12%), Other Asian (10%), and Sandwich/Soup (8%) to round out the top five.

By comparison, in the USA the top 5 most prevalent menu type breaks down as follows: Varied Menu (18%), Mexican (9%), Pizzeria (8%), Hamburger (7%), Sandwich (7%). 

"Canada is home to a unique foodservice landscape, and has much to offer suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors in terms of growth and expansion,” said Catherine Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert The Americas. "CHD Expert is proud to offer a variety of foodservice market solutions, such as call center lead generation and market research, for the country of Canada to help suppliers identify white space opportunities and navigate the foodservice industry in ‘the great white north.’”

CHD Expert evaluated the most recent data within its foodservice database and packaged the most interesting facts and figures into an infographic designed to help foodservice industry professionals better understand the Canadian foodservice landscape.

To access the 2016 Foodservice Landscape in Canada Infographic in its entirety, please visit: http://info.chd-expert.com/2016-canada-infographic

 

To request specific information about any operator in Canada, please email sales@chd-expert.com. Or, for a Free 7 day access to CHD Expert Easy2FIND Canada, please visit: http://info.chd-expert.com/chd-expert-canada-free-trial

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