Description

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Dining Out: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – Canada market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Dining out is a nearly ubiquitous consumer activity; in a typical three-month period, nine in 10 consumers visit a quick-service or full-service restaurant. Yet the industry is facing an existential crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ripple effects. It is therefore necessary to not only assess the damage of the current crisis, but to understand consumers’ dining out behaviours overall. If restaurants hope to rebound from these unprecedented times, they will need to be more strategic than ever, using consumer insights to inform their tactical decisions and bring diners back to the struggling industry.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.

What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Two seemingly hyperbolic statements illustrate the current state of dining out: foodservice has arguably been the hardest-hit consumer industry by COVID-19 and 2020 so far has inarguably been the most challenging time in restaurant history Scott Stewart
Senior Foodservice Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview
                • Impact of COVID-19 on restaurants
                  • Figure 1: Short, medium and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on dining out, July 2020
                • Opportunities
                  • Providing familiarity in uncertain times
                    • Building on new behaviours that COVID-19 has created
                      • Challenges
                        • Finding the right promotion to leverage
                          • Walking a fine line with marketing messaging
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Foodservice is a stable industry, but is facing unprecedented declines
                              • Restaurants operate on slim margins, making it hard to survive closures
                                • Dining out is closely connected to disposable income
                                  • Consumers’ safety concerns could impact restaurant visits
                                  • Market Factors

                                    • Foodservice is a stable industry, but is facing unprecedented declines
                                      • Figure 2: Canadian restaurant sales, 2006-19
                                      • Figure 3: Restaurant sales, March 2019-May 2020
                                    • Restaurants operate on slim margins, making it hard to survive closures
                                      • Figure 4: Dadawan Food Instagram post, May 2020
                                      • Figure 5: Mediamatic Eden Instagram post, May 2020
                                    • Dining out is closely connected to disposable income
                                      • Figure 6: Canadian unemployment rate, June 2018-June 2020
                                    • Consumers’ safety concerns could impact restaurant visits
                                      • Figure 7: Comfortable with visiting restaurants, July 2020
                                      • Figure 8: Wearing a face mask in public, April-July 2020
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Recipe Unlimited has expanded its brand portfolio
                                      • FSRs are finding ways to adapt to the realities of COVID-19
                                        • Third-party delivery services are making it difficult to remain profitable
                                          • Lessons to be learned in how to discount prices strategically
                                            • Dining out will look different until COVID-19 is no longer a threat
                                              • Smartphone ordering will become much more common
                                                • Artificial intelligence is the next logical step
                                                • What’s Working?

                                                  • Recipe Unlimited has expanded its brand portfolio
                                                    • FSRs are finding ways to adapt to the realities of COVID-19
                                                      • Figure 9: The Keg Steakhouse Instagram post, May 2020
                                                      • Figure 10: Scaddabush Instagram post, May 2020
                                                      • Figure 11: Alo Restaurant Instagram post, April 2020
                                                  • Challenges

                                                    • Third-party delivery services are making it difficult to remain profitable
                                                      • Figure 12: Tock Instagram post, March 2020
                                                    • Lessons to be learned in how to discount prices strategically
                                                      • Figure 13: McDonald’s Canada Facebook post, May 2019
                                                  • What’s Next?

                                                    • Dining out will look different until COVID-19 is no longer a threat
                                                      • Smartphone ordering will become much more common
                                                        • Figure 14: McDonald’s Canada Instagram post, April 2020
                                                      • Artificial intelligence is the next logical step
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • QSR usage and brands
                                                          • FSR usage, visit drivers and ordering behaviours
                                                            • Using dayparts to predict impacts from COVID-19
                                                              • The role of technology in restaurants
                                                                • Menu item promotions
                                                                  • New trends in restaurants
                                                                  • QSR Usage and Brands

                                                                    • Most consumers visit QSRs
                                                                      • Figure 15: QSR visits, by age, April 2020
                                                                      • Figure 16: QSR visits, by household income, April 2020
                                                                    • Chains dominate the QSR landscape
                                                                      • McDonald’s and Tim Hortons are the clear leaders
                                                                        • Figure 17: QSR brand usage, April 2020
                                                                        • Figure 18: QSR brand usage: McDonald’s vs Tim Hortons, by age, April 2020
                                                                        • Figure 19: QSR brand usage: McDonald’s vs Tim Hortons, by race, April 2020
                                                                        • Figure 20: Tim Hortons True Stories: Proud Fathers, March 2017
                                                                        • Figure 21: QSR brand usage: McDonald’s vs Tim Hortons, by region, April 2020
                                                                      • Starbucks attracts a unique consumer
                                                                        • Figure 22: Visited Starbucks in past three months, by age and gender, April 2020
                                                                        • Figure 23: Visited Starbucks in past three months, by race, April 2020
                                                                    • FSR Usage, Visit Drivers and Ordering Behaviours

                                                                      • Two thirds of consumers visit FSRs
                                                                        • Decision factors highlight consumer priorities at FSRs
                                                                          • Most consumers look for good service
                                                                            • Figure 24: Reasons for choosing an FSR, April 2020
                                                                          • Deciding on the best menu strategy
                                                                            • Figure 25: Reasons for choosing FSR: specific menu items vs something for everyone, by gender and parental status, April 2020
                                                                          • Familiarity vs something new and different
                                                                            • Figure 26: Reasons for choosing FSR: familiarity vs something new/different, by age, April 2020
                                                                          • Optimizing revenues with add-on menu items
                                                                            • FSRs need diners to order more drinks
                                                                              • Figure 27: Beverages ordered at FSR, April 2020
                                                                            • Appetizers, sides and desserts face similar challenges as paid beverages
                                                                              • Figure 28: Food add-ons ordered at FSR, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 29: Food add-ons ordered at FSR, by race, April 2020
                                                                          • Using Dayparts to Predict Impacts from COVID-19

                                                                            • QSRs will be impacted by fewer people out at work
                                                                              • Figure 30: QSR dayparts, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 31: QSR dayparts, by employment status, April 2020
                                                                            • FSRs’ challenges will stem from the dinner daypart
                                                                              • Figure 32: FSR dayparts, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 33: FSR dinner visits, by household income, April 2020
                                                                            • Using dayparts to uncover opportunities for FSRs
                                                                              • Figure 34: FSR lunch visits, by race, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 35: FSR breakfast/brunch visits, by age and gender, April 2020
                                                                          • The Role of Technology in Restaurants

                                                                            • Tablets can be a useful tool to improve FSR dining experiences
                                                                              • Figure 36: Tablets at FSR, by age, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 37: Tablets at FSR, by parental status, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 38: Tablets at FSR, by language spoken at home, April 2020
                                                                            • Tech could be a creative solution to COVID-19 challenges
                                                                              • Figure 39: Paramount Fine Foods Instagram post, June 2020
                                                                            • Online research plays a significant role in the foodservice industry
                                                                              • Figure 40: Online research for restaurants, by age, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 41: Online research for restaurants, by race, April 2020
                                                                          • Menu Item Promotions

                                                                            • Restaurants need to do cost-benefit analysis on promotions
                                                                              • Figure 42: Promotional menu items most likely to order, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 43: QPC BLT | McDonald’s Canada, January 2019
                                                                              • Figure 44: Big Mac Bacon | McDonald’s Canada, June 2020
                                                                            • Health and plant-based promotions should only be used strategically
                                                                              • Figure 45: Promotional menu items most likely to order: health-focused and meat-free items, by gender, April 2020
                                                                              • Figure 46: Promotional menu items most likely to order: health-focused and meat-free items, by race, April 2020
                                                                          • New Trends in Restaurants

                                                                            • Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious
                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes towards waste reduction in restaurants, April 2020
                                                                              • Using alternative proteins to give consumers a healthy, eco-friendly option
                                                                                • Figure 48: Plant-based meat at restaurants, by age, April 2020
                                                                                • Figure 49: Higher priority on eating healthy, by age, June 2020
                                                                                • Figure 50: Maple Leaf Foods Instagram post, June 2020
                                                                                • Figure 51: Plant-based meat at restaurants, by race, April 2020
                                                                                • Figure 52: A&W Canada Twitter post, October 2014
                                                                                • Figure 53: A&W Canada Twitter post, October 2018
                                                                                • Figure 54: Burger King Twitter post, July 2020
                                                                              • Consumers want what they want, when they want, where they want
                                                                                • Figure 55: Ordered breakfast items outside of breakfast hours, by age and gender, April 2020
                                                                                • Figure 56: Ordered delivery from FSR, by age and gender, April 2020
                                                                                • Figure 57: Dine in at a grocery store, by age and gender, April 2020
                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                                  • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Terms

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