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Food service and drinking places sales rose 3% in May: StatCan

Sales at restaurants increased in the month as pandemic restrictions lifted
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Statistics Canada says sales in the food service and drinking places subsector increased 3% to $7.4 billion in May, the highest value since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the series.

The agency said Tuesday sales at drinking places rose 6.1% in May while full-service restaurants recorded a 3.1% increase and limited-service restaurants nudged up 1.9%.

The category of special food services, which includes food caterers, food trucks and companies that supply food under contract such as through concessions, cafeterias or airlines, soared 8.1%.

Statistics Canada said each province reported higher sales as most had lifted restrictions by May.

Ontario reported the biggest increase in food service and drinking places sales at 3.8%.

Though Quebec only removed its mask mandate in mid-May, it had the second highest increase in sales at 3.5%.

Unadjusted sales in May were up 62.2% compared with May 2021 and 12.7% compared with May 2019, the agency said.

Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 6.8% in May, compared with the same month a year ago, while prices for alcoholic beverages served in licensed establishments increased 5.5%.

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