Are High Food Prices Limiting Your Foot Traffic?
By Dwayne Reno
Since the Loonie's slide in February, Canadians have been adjusting to higher than normal food prices at local grocery stores. A recent poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute shows that customer spending habits are changing as food prices continue to increase, here. This week I would like to look at some of these poll results and how foodservice operators can adjust to current customer spending behaviors.
What has happened since February 2016?
Since February 2016 Canadians have seen prices increase on many staple food items. According to the Angus Reid poll “more than half of all Canadians (57%) say it’s become more difficult to afford to feed their households in the last year. Just 4 per cent say it’s easier”. The poll also found that the price squeeze is being felt by Canadians from all walks of life including middle-class and higher income families.
Furthermore the poll indicates that 71 per cent of Canadians are switching their brand preferences to more affordable options and 61 per cent are cutting back on meat. However one of the biggest findings in the report stated that “72 per cent of Canadians have pulled back from eating at restaurants”. These results indicate that Canadian foodservice operators will have to find new ways to generate higher cheque averages from limited customer traffic during the coming months.
Growing Profits in 2016 & beyond
With increased competition thinning out foot traffic and Canadians tighten up their peruse strings, foodservice operators will need to continue to focus on their current customer pools if they want to increase profits. Another way to generate profit is to reduce your food costs. This is great for any restaurant, bar or cafe looking to save money quickly. Furthermore differentiating your brand will help customers figure out what kind of experience and food they can expect at your location.
New places to eat are opening daily across the GTA, each given customers more choices than ever before. Also customers are much more educated about the food they eat and are using search engines and customer review sites to make buying decisions. Going forward foodservice operators will have to stand out among competitors, reduce food costs and work on new ways to increase average cheque sizes from limited foot traffic; if they wish to increase profits.
If you would like to know more about how BBA's secondary services can help your restaurant, bar or cafe increase cheque averages, manage food costs and differentiate you from your competitors, here.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
Once a month, Building Block Associates serves up some food for thought with our foodservice Social Chat Blog.