Experts Weigh in on the International Restaurant Trends

Restaurants across the world are being impacted by similar consumer trends, but also experience unique challenges specific to their markets. With that in mind, we sat down with Shanna Munro, president and CEO at Restaurants Canada and Simone Galante, founder and CEO of Galunion Consulting Company in Brazil to discuss the topic of International Restaurant Trends and to see what they are seeing develop in their local industries.

As Munro points out 2018 was a record year for the foodservice industry in Canada. Sales hit 89 billion, which is a 5 percent increase compared to last year. 

However, she says this growth hasn't necessarily been driven by a surge in traffic. She attributes this to higher labor costs, food costs, utility rates, and operating expenses for operators who have had increase pricing for customers to cover some of these additional costs. 

But there has been some significant growth due to demographic & social changes.  

"The industry has actually doubled in size since 2000 in Canada. Canadians love to get out of their homes and connect with their family and friends. What better place to do so than at a restaurant? So the millennials and generation z has been leading that change, but at the same time, the stay-at-home economy is driving some of this change and driving delivery sales through the roof," says Munro.

In Brazil, the industry was optimistic for this year due to the new social climate. The recent presidential election was supposed to inspire some economic reforms. However, with the slow movement of the reforms, there's a lack of disposable income impacting the growth in the restaurant industry in Brazil. 

"We're going to have around 3 percent or 2.5 percent growth this year. Last year was just 1 percent. We are facing a lot of challenges in the foodservice market. We have a 12 percent unemployment rate and this rate hurts the foodservice opportunities," says Galante.

In Brazil, about 80 percent of restaurants are independents. Chains from other countries that have tried to penetrate the market have struggled. But Galante does point out that there's quite a bit of fast casual growth in the country. 

Watch the clip above to get more insights into these markets. Want the full video? It's available exclusively now for On-Demand members. Learn more about Foodable On-Demand now. 

6.4 Million Canadians have Reduced or Eliminated Meat From Their Diets

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The plant-based movement has spread all over the world, especially in Canada.

According to a recent study by the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University, millions of Canadians are consuming less meat, influencing restaurants to offer more plant-based options to accommodate.

Specifically, 82 percent of Canadians still eat meat, but 6.4 million said they have reduced or eliminated meat in their diets. Consumers residing in Ontario, in particular, consume less meat than those in Atlantic Canada.

According to the report, "women are more likely than men to limit or eliminate their meat intake and more likely to replace it with other proteins."

The study also found that the majority (63 percent) of the vegans surveyed were under the age of 38.

Many consumers are choosing to eat plant-based proteins since they are more sustainable.

"By 2050, there will be more than 10 billion people on the planet, and while people will still be eating animal protein, plant-based proteins that are more sustainably produced are a credible alternative."

Restaurants have had to adjust to the consumers' changing diets whether by adding more plant-based meals or giving guests the option to sub a meat protein with a plant-based one.

"We have been making a real effort to be more plant-based, and many restaurants are trying to be a bit more mindful of trends, the environmental impact and food costs. Even in our diets at home, we've found ourselves putting more veggies at the center of the plate," said Nick Benninger, Fat Sparrow restaurateur.

Benninger's restaurant Marbles in Waterloo has embraced the vegan trend completely and offers a vegan prix-fixe menu on Tuesdays. This vegan-themed night has certainly paid off and has become one of the restaurant's most crowded nights.

Read more about the plant-based surge in Canada at “CBC.”

Want more data on the plant-based movement and how it is gaining momentum? Watch the On Foodable Industry Pulse episode below to see how 51 percent of chefs have added vegan items to their menus this year.

Air Canada Releases Top Restaurants List

Air Canada Releases Top Restaurants List

Every year, the airline Air Canada releases a list of the best restaurants in the Great White North to entice more food-loving travelers to make a trip.

This year, it's not surprising to see that restaurants from the country's most popular culinary destinations like Toronto and Montreal made it on the list, but some gems in smaller towns in Ontario also landed on the list.

The No. 1 restaurant on the list is The Restaurant at Pearl Morrissette.

This French culinary gem features a seasonal "ever-changing multi-course menu" in Jordan Station, Ontario.

“If you let someone see a menu before a meal, they’re usually going to start telling you about everything they see that they don’t like,” said Daniel Hadida, co-chef at The Restaurant at Pearl Morrissette about the blind tasting menu in an interview with “The Globe and Mail.” “We cook with a lot of weird ingredients, but we’re hoping our guests can trust us and try something new.”

Since the restaurant is an off-suit of the popular winery Pearl Morissette, each food course is specifically designed to pair with a wine selection.

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