NATHAËLLE MORISSETTE THE PRESS
The MTY Food Group, which can be found in particular behind restaurants such as Mikes, Ben & Florentine, Bâton Rouge and Tiki-Ming, experienced a 30% drop in turnover for its brands located in Canada. during its fourth quarter, the results of which were released Thursday. The restrictions linked to the health crisis are forcing the company to review its strategy regarding its locations in office towers and food fairs.
Times are obviously hard for the restoration of the country. According to data revealed by Statistics Canada on Thursday, restaurant sales fell 28.2% in 2020 compared to 2019. Quebec is the most affected province with a decrease of 31.3%, followed by Ontario with 31.1%.
MTY, for its part, was not spared by these declines. In our neighbors to the south, however, the group’s turnover increased by 4%. “In the United States, apart from California and New York City, it’s pretty much business as usual “, says Éric Lefebvre, CEO of MTY, adding that there are many more restrictions on this side of the border. “In Canada, it’s still a really important part of our income that comes from food fairs, office towers or restaurants with table service. In Quebec, we think of Ben & Florentine, Allô! Mon coco, Baton Rouge, Mikes, all these restaurants are being cut off from a large part of their income. “
And teleworking, which has almost become the norm since the start of the crisis, forces the group to question the location of its establishments and counters. “We will definitely reassess all of this,” says Mr. Lefebvre. The occupancy rate in buildings in city centers will drop significantly. You have to adapt to that. Food fairs, right now, are about 15% of our locations, so it’s not a big part of our portfolio, but it’s still an important part. “
“We have to review the economic model with regard to occupancy costs, mainly rents which were very, very high,” he adds. Perhaps from now on, we will be forced to negotiate more closely with our donors, otherwise the economic model will no longer work. “
SUBURBAN AND ONLINE SALES
Long before the pandemic, MTY was already relying on the suburbs to establish its brands there. With the city centers almost deserted, and the popularity of nearby restaurants, this trend is expected to increase. “Our growth did not come from large urban centers, it came more from the suburbs”, underlines the boss of the group.
“The business proximity is there for real, especially in a context where we will have a lot of take out orders. It is increasing rapidly. So proximity is going to be important in the future. “
– Éric Lefebvre, CEO of MTY
With this in mind, we want to focus more on online sales. These have also grown during the year 2020 for all establishments (Canada and the United States), reaching $ 636.4 million, or 19% of turnover, compared at $ 199.2 million or 6% in 2019.
Éric Lefebvre recognizes, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done in Canada. “We have a lot of different technologies in our network. Of course, we have technological investments to make. If there is one thing that disappoints us this year, it is in terms of online sales in Canada, where we think we could do better. We are working hard on this, he assures us. There are a lot of projects underway to improve this. “
In fact, Yuzu Sushi restaurants, one of the brands that experienced growth in sales over the past year, also performed well in terms of online sales. “We have stores where everything is in place, like Yuzu, online sales are on fire,” he says.
A more widespread drive-through service and the possibility for customers to order directly from their phone are also part of the projects under study for MTY establishments.
MTY FOOD GROUP
– Fourth quarter sales: 891.4 million, a decrease of 13% compared to the same period in 2019
– Revenues in the fourth quarter: 127.2 million, compared to 156.8 million in the previous fourth quarter.
– Number of establishments (November 30, 2020): 7,001 establishments in operation, including 113 operated by the company, 6,867 franchisees and 21 in joint ventures
– Geographic distribution of establishments: United States (55%), Canada (38%) and international (7%)
SALES DECREASES FOR THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT SECTOR IN CANADA IN 2020
– Total decrease in Canada: 28.2%
– Quebec: decrease of 31.3%
– Ontario: decrease of 31.1%
– British Columbia: 25.4%
– Alberta: 24.6%
– Restricted service restaurants (without table service): 13.4% drop in sales
– Full-service restaurants: decrease of 37.5%
– Drinking places: decrease of 47.8%
Source: Statistics Canada