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CRFA: restaurateurs to hold employment levels steady


February 15, 2013
By Bakers Journal

Feb. 15, 2013, Toronto – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) recently conducted a Restaurant Outlook Survey, with
results showing that despite concerns about the economy in the fourth
quarter of 2012, most Canadian restaurant operators plan to maintain or
add to their current staffing levels.

Feb. 15, 2013, Toronto – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) recently conducted a Restaurant Outlook Survey, with
results showing that despite concerns about the economy in the fourth
quarter of 2012, most Canadian restaurant operators plan to maintain or
add to their current staffing levels.

"The Restaurant Outlook Survey for Q4 of 2012 shows 58 per cent of
restaurateurs believe a weak economy is affecting their business, up
from 45 per cent in Q3. Nevertheless, 62 per cent of operators plan to
hold employment levels steady for the next six months, while 16 per cent
expect to hire more employees," the CRFA said in a press release.

“Clearly our members had cause for concern given the economic
uncertainty late last year,” said Garth Whyte, CRFA president and CEO,
in the release. “On the bright side, the U.S. has averted its fiscal
cliff crisis, which means consumer confidence should be improving.”

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Food costs moderate
The CRFA says rising food and labour costs have historically been the
top two factors affecting business in CRFA’s survey. The weak economy
took the number two spot in Q4, moving labour costs to third place.
While food costs remain the biggest concern for operators, they were
cited by 64 per cent of respondents in Q4 compared to 74 per cent in Q3.

“Food costs are moderating, which gives the industry some comfort,”
Whyte said. “However, they are still high on a historical basis. The
good news for Canadians is that most operators are planning to hold menu
prices and employment levels steady – which means restaurants will
continue to play a key role in communities across the country.”

Survey highlights
Other results from Q4 of 2012 show various factors affected the industry:

  • 26 per cent of respondents reported weak customer demand;
  • 23 per cent were affected by bad weather, up from just 12 per cent in Q3;
  • 27 per cent were impacted by rising gas prices, down from 35 per cent in Q3; and
  • 17 per cent were hurt by the NHL lockout.