Who loves a slice of pizza paired with their favourite glass of wine? Or an Alberta-made burger with a tasty craft beer? According to new data, many Albertans!
In August, total receipts from restaurants and bars across the province were $754 million, 1.4 per cent higher than July and two per cent greater than the 12-month average. Receipts are above where they were at this point last year, too (+0.3 per cent).
So why is Alberta’s restaurant and bar sector doing well?
One explanation links back to tourism. The continuation of a lower Canadian dollar and an invigorated US economy have resulted in another banner year for Alberta tourism. And of course, tourists have to eat! Further, more cash-strapped Albertans may have stayed home this summer rather than vacationing abroad and have spent their vacation dollars eating and drinking out.
Another explanation has to do with options. Alberta is starting to earn a reputation for its restaurants. Over the last number of years, Albertans have demanded new restaurants and bars. Even in a downturn, many still want to try those trendy new spots.
Tonight, many of us may dress up and go out for a few drinks. This could cause October’s restaurant and bar receipts to nudge higher, too. Happy Halloween!*
*Courtesy of Nick Ford • Economist, ATB