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. 

The Restaurant Industry Exploits Millennials According to TVO's Corey Mintz

The Restaurant Industry Exploits Millennials According to TVO's Corey Mintz

At a Restaurants Canada conference, Chris Elliot, who is presenting Restaurants Canada’s 2018 research says to food reporter Corey Mintz and a room of restaurant owners and marketers, “The pie is not growing here. The only way to grow your market share is to steal market share from someone else.”

Mintz and the rest of the attendees already know this. Foodservice sales in Canada have increased 31 percent in the past 10 years but that growth is slowing.  

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The State of the Restaurant Industry in Canada

In late 2015, Foodable Network branched into the Canadian market and began to cover industry news and trends in major culinary destinations like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. This quarter, we officially kick off our expansion of original Canada-based content, including a Top 25 Restaurants ranking and a ton of original video content. In sync with this rollout, we are also excited to announce a new media partnership between Foodable and Restaurants Canada and the annual Restaurants Canada Show, a three-day event that recently gathered about 15,000 attendees this year.

In this “On Foodable Weekly” episode, host Paul Barron sits down with Donna Dooher, the president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, at the 2016 Restaurants Canada Show in Toronto, which featured more than 600 exhibitors this year. 

“We have 90,000 foodservice operations in Canada,” says Dooher. “As you know, we’re a large country geographically, but population-wise, we’re only about 33 million people, so that’s a lot of restaurants.”

Of this year’s show, which was dubbed “Unleashed,” Dooher says, “In our humbled Canadian way, we’re very quiet about all the great things we do, and we’re trying to change that at the show. We’re really trying to raise the profile of the industry.”

At this year’s Restaurants Canada Show, the craft beer pavilion was impressively put together, an effort showcasing the rise of craft brew in the Canadian market over the past couple of years. “We have this wonderful terroir — we have the water and the land, we can grow the barley and the hops,” says Dooher. “So we can really develop unique, regional beers right across the country. And I think that’s a great attribute to hospitality and Canada, and that’s one of the reasons why we have such a strong presence with the craft brewers this year.”

Craft has, of course, become a larger movement beyond just beer, including distilled spirits, mixers and non-alcoholic beverages, cheese, and other aspects of the culinary world. “I think the food consumer in Canada is very savvy — they’ve always been very savvy consumers. They know a lot about food, they’re passionate about food, and I think operators respond well to that by not only delivering interesting products, but also educating the consumer even further,” she says.

Having filmed in restaurants and food trucks throughout Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto, a few things we’ve noticed thus far is the elevated culinary direction, high-end design, and unique passion weaved into Canada’s culinary scene.

“We’ve always had a rural attitude toward food embedded in our DNA,” says Dooher. “So not only do we have these great culinary hubs in the big cities, but right across the country — from Newfoundland all the way over to Sooke [Vancouver Island] — we just have amazing foodservice operators and growers and producers and winemakers and brewers.”

Though we focus a lot on Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto, Dooher refers to Quebec as the “culinary jewel in the crown of the country.” Known for its history and heritage, Quebec’s culture is embedded with a European influence that invades the rest of the country.

“Our population demographic is changing so quickly and we’ve always had open arms to the entire world to come and be part of our country,” she says. “And, unlike being a melting pot, the diversity still stays, so not only do we have communities and neighborhoods, we also have the heritage of those people who are coming from different countries to live here with us.”

Watch the full episode above to learn more!