Restaurants are in for a long, tough haul.
Canadians are planning to spend less on eating out and ordering take-out food as the economy reopens from the pandemic.
This is revealed by a study released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday (July 22).
The study was based on a nationwide survey.
Canadians were asked which items they intend to spend less, more and the same compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The largest proportions of Canadians who indicated that they wanted to reduce spending were often in areas related to discretionary spending,” Farhana Khanam and Sharanjit Uppal wrote in the study.
The study is titled "Expected changes in spending habits during the recovery period".
According to the study, the item that had the “highest proportion of Canadians stating that they expected to spend less compared to prior to the pandemic was eating at a restaurant, with 51% saying so”.
“This was followed by entertainment (37%), clothing or apparel (32%), recreation (32%), and ordering take‑out food (31%),” the paper noted.
By contrast, Canadians plan to spend more on essential items.
“One spending category that had a higher proportion of people stating that they would be spending more rather than less was groceries,” the study stated.
For groceries, 19 percent of respondents reported that they would spend more, 10 percent said that they would spend less, and seven in 10 stated that they would spend about the same.
“These results are not surprising, given that a significant proportion of respondents stated that they would spend less on eating at restaurants and ordering take‑out food, thus increasing the demand for groceries,” according to the study.
The paper also went on to note that the most recent Consumer Price Index release reported that the price of certain food items increased in recent months.
“Other spending categories that had more people saying that they would be spending more rather than less were education (with 18% expecting to spend more and 12% expecting to spend less), utilities (16% vs. 7%), housing (8% vs. 5%), and medicine (5% vs. 4%),” the study stated.
Going back to eating at restaurants, 48.7 percent of respondents between the ages of 15 and 34 reported that they will spend less at these food establishments.
For people aged 35 to 54, a proportion of 53.8 percent indicated that they will spend less on restaurants.
For those of ages 55 and over, 50.4 percent reported that they will spend less on restaurants.
Financial difficulties and health concerns were the majors behind shifts in planned expenses.
“Among those who reported that they were very concerned about the health risks of ‘going to restaurants and bars’, for instance, 67% said that they would spend less on eating at a restaurant, compared with 29% among those who reported that they were not at all concerned,” the study stated.