Inflation is sweeping through the Canadian economy, particularly in the food & beverage industry. The wages are rising, food costs are sailing, and consequently, suppliers have raised their prices as well.
As per the Restaurants Canada 2024-25 Federal Budget Submission, survival of Canadian restaurants is becoming challenging due to skyrocketing food prices and higher wages.
In this blog, we will walk you through the challenges that the Canadian restaurant industry is facing and share some insights on how these eateries can survive rapid inflation.
Restaurants surviving inflation in Canada
Canadian restaurants are in a tough spot. They are facing greater challenges in 2023 due to inflation than they did in 2020 when the pandemic first hit. Although restaurants are known for their resilience, the problems they have right now are very serious. Surprisingly, as food prices hike, almost half of restaurants and eateries are either dropping revenue or are just breaking even.
In the words of Kelly Higginson, president, and CEO of Restaurants Canada, “One-third of restaurants across Canada are losing profit due to high food prices, limited available workers, and new regulations that make it hard to turn a profit.” That is why this segment badly needs assistance to keep on operating, maintain jobs, brace economic growth, and support Canada’s F&B revival.
Top survival tips for Canadian restaurants
1. Do a comprehensive menu audit
You can cut your costs by doing a comprehensive menu audit. This means carefully going over your menu to figure out which meals are successful and easier to execute. By optimizing your menu, you are able to consolidate ingredients that are used across multiple dishes to reduce inventory and wastage. Moreover, you can zero in on advertising and marketing those dishes to sell more.
2. Manage your supply chain
You can optimize your supply chain through inventory management and local procurement. Investing in a robust inventory management system can help prevent problems like stock outs or overstocking. Having optimal inventory levels significantly contributes to cost control and smooth operations. Moreover, locally sourcing ingredients can improve cost savings as well as sustainability. By cultivating local partnerships, restaurants can not only cut costs but also offer fresh ingredients, something that can positively impact consumer perception.
3. Use technology and online ordering
Online ordering is a terrific way to increase sales without having to raise staff expenses. Customers who place online orders don’t pay for a server; instead, they pay for their meal and the service. If you don’t already, you must think about integrating online ordering (website and mobile app ordering). You can select an interface that meets your goals and price range from a series of available online ordering options.
4. Encourage packaging and recycling initiatives
Food wastage is yet another significant expense for restaurants. Just to give you a perspective, 7% of an average restaurant’s total costs are linked to food waste. You can cut down on food waste in several manners, including:
- Ensure that you are ordering a suitable amount of food. Another is to do a rotation and store your food appropriately.
- Instruct your staff about the correct way of dealing with food.
- Integrate environmental standards and give easy-to-follow guidance to the staff.
5. Foster customer loyalty
Developing and nourishing strong relationships with customers, especially in the service industry, is very important for maintaining profitability even in challenging times. Providing excellent customer service not only attracts customers, but also retains them and creates a devoted customer base that continues to support your restaurant.
All things considered, inflation is hard on all businesses, but especially those operating in the F&B industry. But amidst these challenges, restaurants can survive and thrive with the right assistance and tactics. The best restaurants in Canada can keep supporting their local communities, the economy, and their standards via these helpful recommendations and cost-cutting techniques.
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