CHICAGO In 2009, the top 200 Canadian restaurant chains increased sales by 1% and increase overall units by 1.3%, as the economy began to ease out of the recession. With total sales of C$23.9 billion, the top 200 Canadian chains accounted for more than 50% of the Canadian restaurant industry, according to the new 2010 Technomic Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report.

Findings include:

  • Tim Hortons’ continued to lead the Canadian restaurant industry in 2009 with an estimated C$4.9 billion in sales. U.S. quick-service chains McDonald’s and Subway ranked second and third, with an estimated C$2.7 billion and C$1.1 billion, respectively.
  • The fastest-growing chains with sales totaling more than C$1 million were Cora’s Breakfast & Lunch (sales up an estimated 23.9%), Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill (sales up an estimated 8.7%) and Starbucks (sales up an estimated 7.9%).
  • Limited-service restaurant chains registered sales growth of 1.8% for a total of C$17.1 billion, while growing units by 1.3%, totaling just more than 20,000.
  • Full-service restaurant chains saw sales totaling C$6.8 billion, a decline of 1%. F.S.R. units managed to increase by a marginal 0.7%, which brought the total to 3,247 stores.

"The Top 200 Canadian chains continue to grow sales while cautiously growing units by adapting their concepts to meet the needs of today’s Canadian consumer," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic. "By focusing beyond pricing to key factors such as food quality and freshness, the leading chains have created a new value paradigm that may include premium, organic and local ingredients, as well as better-for-you foods."