Canada’s Top 200 restaurant chains improve results, face continued challenges

The Top 200 Canadian Restaurant Chains, which account for over $25 billion and nearly 60 percent of the Canadian commercial restaurant industry’s total sales, experienced a $741 million, or 3 percent increase in sales in 2010. While that number is an improvement over 2009, it does reflect an industry still operating in a difficult economic environment. Unit growth was modest, with the net addition of 73 new restaurants, down from 290 net new units in 2009.  

“The industry is continuing to grow. But looking at a breakdown within the Top 200 chains we see that just less than half had positive growth, while 86 of the Top 200 chains experienced declining sales,” says Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. “The key for operators is to understand where that growth is occurring and implement lessons learned throughout the industry into their own business models.”

To help those aligned with the Canadian foodservice industry stay abreast of opportunities and trends, Technomic has teamed with Kostuch Media to release the Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report.

Findings include:

  • Tim Horton’s continued to lead the Canadian foodservice industry in terms of both sales and units. McDonald’s and Subway both outpaced Tim Horton’s sales growth, but came in second and third respectively in terms of total sales.
  • Of the Top 200 chains, 91 experienced growth in 2010. A total of 17 chains grew at a rate greater than 20 percent, 14 grew between 10 and 20 percent, and 60 chains grew between 0 and 9 percent. 23 chains had sales that were flat from 2009 to 2010.
  • New entrants into the Top 200 include a broad variety of restaurants. Midscale family style restaurants, limited service, fast casual and traditional casual dining chains are all represented by new entrants into the Top 200.

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