Those unfamiliar with the Canadian foodservice landscape may believe that “The Great White North” lacks culinary excitement. In reality, Canada is home to a vibrant and diverse foodservice industry that produces innovative cuisine. CHD Expert, a Chicago-based foodservice data and analytics firm, evaluated data within its Easy2FIND foodservice database to provide foodservice suppliers insight into the latest trends in the Canadian foodservice landscape.

Easy2FIND contains records on more than 184,000 foodservice operators across Canada. Considering the Canadian hospitality data available, of the more than 11,000 hotels within Canada, 87% are independent units while 13% are considered chains (CHD Expert identifies a chain as a brand with 10 or more units in operation). Furthermore, 34% of Canada’s independent hotels offer guests the opportunity to dine at in-house restaurants.

The Canadian restaurant landscape is broken down into approximately 53% full-service restaurants (FSR) and 47% limited-service restaurants (LSR). Table service is provided at FSRs and the bill is paid after eating, whereas in LSRs, ordering and paying is generally done at the counter before food is served.

Further breaking down the restaurant landscape, 92% of Canadian FSRs are independent, and only 8% are chains. Considering LSRs, 44% are independent and 56% are chains.

With regard to menu types, varied menu ranks first with 22% of the market, followed by pizza and pasta (13%), beverages (12%), other Asian (10%) and sandwich/soup (8%) to round out the Top 5.

By comparison, in the United States, the Top 5 most prevalent menu types break down as follows: varied menu (18%), Mexican (9%), pizzeria (8%), hamburger (7%) and sandwich (7%).

"Canada is home to a unique foodservice landscape, and has much to offer suppliers, manufacturers and distributors in terms of growth and expansion,” says Catherine Kearns, general manager at CHD Expert The Americas.