With all the Christmas parties and year-end festivities, the month of December is a good one for the food and beverage business. It is the high point in the winter months, usually producing stronger revenues for restaurants and pubs than November or January, February and March.
This past season tracked right on that historical line.
Revenues for food and beverage outlets were higher this past December, according to the latest StatsCan report. That supports the notion that overall consumer spending is holding its own. Total sales exceeded $160 million. That was about half a million stronger than the comparable month a year earlier.
That’s not the biggest increase – less than a percentage point – but it is in line with the increases seen across the rest of the nation. Only Manitoba saw revenues fall back.
The biggest gains were in drinking establishments, followed by full-service restaurants. Though we saw a pull-back for speciality food servers such as catering companies. But when all the numbers were in, the year generated revenue growth of just over five per cent for the industry nationally.