Restaurant Guide

picture of a plate of food on a wooden table with wine glasses and cutlery Welcome to the Restaurant Guide.

Use the navigation to explore four sections designed to help you focus your secondary market research.  

This guide will not only help you to become more efficient with your research time but it will also save you money by directing you to reputable sources to learn about your market.  But first, take a deep breath because secondary market research is a journey and it will require work. The definition of a market can vary from a broad industry to a specific market niche.  Also, the geographic scope of your market may vary across a municipality, a region, a country or the globe. In new or emerging markets there may be very little information or data published so you will have to dig and possibly look at comparable, more established markets. This guide will help you to organize your work and prioritize your research questions. We aim to save you time by directing you to the information you can use to make better business decisions. Feel free to jump into whatever section is most applicable to your business goals now.

Related Guides

Photo Credit: Photo by Jay Wennington from Unsplash

Categories

Food & Drink

Getting Started

Start Right

  • Read books related to your industry and business planning
  • Review sample business plans for ideas
  • Find capital

Checklist

  • What does a comparable business or marketing plan look like?
  • Are there books about running a business in this industry?
  • What funding or financing opportunities might be available to me?

 

 

 

Find Books

Need Inspiration? Pick Up A Book!

This section will introduce several "how-to" books on business to help you get started with your research. These books will primarily introduce you to business plan writing. These books will also introduce general business types such as retail and service business models.

Find Books Using Relevant Subject Headings

  • Restaurant management
  • Food service management
  • Food service industry
  • New business enterprises -- Management
  • Small business -- Management

Google Books 
Google Books is a search feature offered by Google. It enables users to search the full text of approximately 10 million books that Google has scanned and stored in its digital database. It also offers previews of books that are currently still in print.

Worldcat 
A global catalogue of library collections from various libraries around the world. You can search for books on business planning, new enterprises, start-ups, or your specific industry. You can search for all the locations with copies of a specific item, and then locate the item in a nearby library. In Worldcat, you can also view research articles and other digital content directly online.


Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>

Outlook Online
A search portal to BC's post-secondary and public library collections (93 libraries). 

Find Business Plans

Review Sample Plans for Ideas

In the page below you will find examples of successful business plans. Researching your business plan can be a very time-consuming experience, but it is an essential and worthwhile investment. Your business plan will become your most important day to day operating tool. The information resources and strategies in this guide will help you create an effective plan and increase your chances for business success.

Review Sample Plans for Ideas

Most books about starting a business will include examples of business plans, as well as business planning templates. In addition to books, online business resources frequently include sample business plans. Here are a few to get you started.

Business Plans

Bplans.com
This site offers a selection of free sample business plans, as well as articles on business planning. Bplans.com also sells business planning software.

Business Plans Handbook, Gale Publishing
This is a database of actual business plans written by North American entrepreneurs seeking financing for their businesses. Includes examples of many start-up business ideas. Access is available through many BC public libraries, made possible by a generous donation from the Sutherland Foundation. Affiliates of UBC can start here.

  • Restaurant
  • Pasta Restaurant
  • Restaurant - Butcher Hollow Bar B Q
  • Fast Food Restaurant
  • Vegetarian Fast Food Restaurant

Marketing Plans

Mplans.com
This site provides a selection of free sample marketing plans. Mplans also sells marketing plan building software.

 

Find Capital

In this section you will find links to information on funding for your business. No business can function without money to pay for overhead expenses and production or product costs. It is also unusual for a business founder to have the capital to fully fund their business. The sources in this section will help you consider the best source of funding for your business.

Suggestions for Obtaining Capital

With proper planning and a few resources to guide you on your way, identifying and securing capital to start and grow your business becomes a much smoother and gentler process.

There are several ways to secure the capital needed to fund your business:

  • Government Funding: This is money that the government gives you to fund your business, based on your application to the funding grant. There are other types of government assistance you might wish to explore here: Business Grants and Financing.
  • Personal Savings: This involves saving your money from your current employment to invest in your business.
  • Personal Loans: This option means using your personal credit to secure a loan or using your personal credit card for business expenses.
  • Crowdfunding/Micro-Lending: Crowdfunding and micro-lending are both alternative ways of raising capital that involve having large groups of people pre-buy your product before it is launched or loan you small amounts that you can then use to finance your business.
  • Private Financing/Equity Financing: This types of financing come in the form of loans from banks or individuals. It is obtained through your business’ credit availability or through providing equity in your business in exchange for money. This financing involves going into debt or giving up some control of your business.

Need More?

Funding & Financing Page

Check out this page in the Learn Business Basics section of our site to review a growing list of different ways to raise capital for Canadian businesses. It has many funding resources to explore that fall into the categories above, and well as sections with opportunities specifically for Indigenous, women, and youth entrepreneurs, as well as regional funding opportunities.

Below, we have some resources that can help you find funding options for your business:

Find Industry Info

 Conduct Your Industry Research 

  • Find information specific to your industry to help you succeed
  • Write your industry overview
  • Start your market analysis

Checklist

  • What are NAICS or SIC codes for the restaurant industry?
  • What are the risks, trends, opportunities and outlooks for the restaurant industry?
  • What is the forecast for the Canadian restaurant industry? What trade associations, magazines, agencies and websites are connected with the restaurant industry?
  • What are the regulatory requirements in the restaurant industry?
  • Have there been technological changes in the restaurant industry that I should be aware of?

Tip: Make a note of any questions you have, the resources in this section can help you answer these and complete the checklist.

Industry Codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

At the start of your research, it may not be clear what specific industry you should be examining. A good strategy is to find out if your business idea is classified in an industrial classification system. These systems organize industries by assigning them a numeric code. The most commonly used system is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  Once you know your Industry Classification Code you can use this number to:

  • Find industry-specific statistics on government websites or in library databases
  • Generate lists of competitors in company directories

Another common classification system is the Standard Industry Code (SIC). NAICS have most replaced the SIC, but the SIC is still used by some commercial databases. Finding and using these classification systems to effectively search can be tricky, so don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help.

Try These

Type
Code Description
NAICS 72 Accommodation and Food Services
NAICS 7225 Restaurants and Other Eating Places
NAICS 722511 Full-Service Restaurants
NAICS 722513 Limited-Service Eating Places
NAICS 7223
Special Food Services
NAICS 7224 Drinking Places
SIC 58
Eating and Drinking Places
SIC 5812 Eating Places
SIC 5813
Drinking Places

»Search or browse all NAICS or SIC codes on the NAICS Association website. Some NAICS codes are different in Canada, you can search by keyword or browse Canadian NAICS codes at Statistics Canada or Canadian Industry Statistics. To search for a SIC code using a NAICS code and vice-versa use the NAICS & SIC Crosswalks.   

For more information about planning your industry research and industry codes, check out the video tutorial for Module 3: Planning Your Industry Research.

Library Databases

The Expensive World Of Business Information

Believe it or not, you cannot find everything in Google! Have you ever done an online search and found the perfect industry report only to find that it costs over 5K? Did you know that libraries pay for many expensive databases that could be helpful in your secondary market research? Search engines like Google can only provide direct access to freely available information. Most of the web, including business information, lives in databases behind expensive paywalls. This paywall protected section of the internet is known as the deep web. Fortunately, some libraries pay to subscribe to databases so they can provide free access to their patrons - and many business databases can contain useful information such as articles, market research, and company reports.

There are several strategies you can use to access relevant business information on the deep web. First, we urge you to look up what business resources your local public or academic library can provide access to. Each database has its own arrangement, with unique interfaces and search features. It helps to know the structure and search terms of the specific database you are working with in order to retrieve effective results. Also, it is important to know that library databases are restricted by specific usage agreements. It can help to consult with a librarian if you have trouble navigating a specific database. They may also be able to help you find comparable information elsewhere. Libraries with robust business collections might also have useful e-books, directories and trade journals. As you conduct your secondary market research you will likely need to consult both free and deep web resources.

For more information about how and why to use business databases, check out our video tutorial, Module Four: Conducting Your Industry Research.

Business Resources at Academic Libraries 

Colleges and Universities with business programs will have useful business collections you may be able to get access to through their academic library. Often these academic libraries can provide the general public with access to their collections, which include electronic resources like databases and e-books. For example, they could have alumni or community cards, and can provide temporary "guest" passes in certain situations. Contact your local college or university library to see what they can provide. Please note: you probably will not get access to their electronic resources with remote access.

UBC Library Business Databases

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you may have access to business databases through the David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons through the links below.

Full Listing By Title or Full Listing By Subject

There are two different ways to identify databases, use 'by title' if you already know the name. Otherwise, you can use the list 'by subject' to find starting places for doing market research, finding articles or researching companies. To learn more about how you can access library resources if you are a community user or temporary visitor check out the UBC Library Community Users & Visitors Guide. Community users and temporary visitors may have additional access restrictions to specific databases because of license agreements.

Provincial Library Database Partners

How to access:Check out the database list and note the License Participants to find out which institutions have access. Otherwise, contact your local post-secondary library to see what they offer.

BC Electronic Library Network (ELN) Research Databases

ELN licenses databases with partner academic libraries. These include LexisNexis, Canadian Newstand, Hoovers, CBCA Business, ABI/INFORM Complete and others that may be of interest to business researchers.

Databases For Industry Research

ABI/INFORM Collection

How to access: UBC affiliates and in-person library patrons can learn more about ABI/Inform from the UBC Library website.

Created by ProQuest this database contains full-text articles from over 1,000 business magazines and journals that track business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics.

Start here: BMI Country Industry Reports Canada Food and Drink Report - Q3 2018. (2018). London:Business Monitor International

Business Source Ultimate

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Includes financial data, books, videos, company profiles, SWOT analyses, industry profiles, country reports, market research reports and case studies.  Also includes information on industry trends, forecasts, outlooks, competitors, how to run a specific business and much more.

  • Start here: Datamonitor. (2017, November) Foodservice Industry Profile, Canada.

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Provides access to general and specialized business information, current events, and reference materials, including popular and academic journals. Excellent for tracking trends for your specific product or industry.

  • Start here: Rozin, T. (2018). Mobile Meals. Foodservice & Hospitality, 51(9), 35

Canadian Newsstream

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Canadian Newsstream

Provides full-text access to many Canadian national and regional newspapers. Content is updated daily, following a two-day embargo period. Some content dates back to 1985. You can easily set up an article alert service and receive email updates on your search results. All you need to do is complete your search and click on the Save search/alert link near the top of your results. Provide your email address and then set the notification frequency and you're good to go! Try searching your industry, track information on your competitors or any other topic of your choice.

First Research Industry Profiles

How to access: If you are UBC student, staff, or faculty you can access many of these reports through ABI/INFORM.

Covers over 900 industry segments. Updated on a quarterly basis, these industry profiles contain critical analysis, statistics and forecasts to help you engage key prospects, coach key clients, and deepen customer relationships. You can search for reports by NAICS, SIC or keyword or browse by category.

IBISWorld Industry Reports

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

IBISWorld research is an independent, professional publisher of high-quality market research reports. These reports analyze the underlying structure and external forces that drive an industry.

BCC Research Centre

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Publishes 250 reports annually that are complete with market intelligence, five-year forecasts, statistical and analytical data, key players, market share, industry structure and dynamics, and technological shifts and trends.

Newspapers and News Sources - UBC Library Research Guide

How to access: The guide can be viewed through the link below. Individual resources and databases will have different access requirements.

UBC Library has an excellent collection of current and historical newspapers from B.C., Canada, and around the world. UBC affiliates will have access to these resources.

Industry News

In this section we have gathered some of the most popular information sources, such as trade journals, magazines, blogs, and association websites. Industry information is always changing. For the latest news, current issues and popular opinions, try following one or more of these sources. In addition, interacting with the websites that provide this information through commenting and asking questions may also provide you with more information.

Associations 

Trade associations often publish free industry newsletters that are excellent sources of information for your business plan. Such newsletters often have articles that cover in-depth topics on business management, manufacturing practices, how-tos, and current industry news.

British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) | The BCRFA is an industry organization that represents over 3,000 restaurant and foodservice businesses across British Columbia.

Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) | The CCFCC is Canada's largest professional chefs' organization. Its goal is to unite chefs and cooks across Canada in a common dedication to professional excellence.

Restaurants Canada | Restaurants Canada (formerly the CFRA) represents every sector of Canada's foodservice industry. Check out the Industry Issues and Research sections.

National Restaurant Association (US) | The National Restaurant Association represents more than 380,000 restaurant-related businesses in the US. Check out the Operations section.

Canadian Franchise Association | The voice of the Canadian Franchise industry, connects people with franchise opportunities and promotes best practice. Check out their Directory for restaurant franchise opportunities.

Magazines & Trade Journals

Trade journals (often called magazines or trade publications) can be very useful in helping you find current articles relating to business research. Contact your local research library to determine which trade journal subscriptions they have. There are also free trade publications that you can access online. 

Eat Magazine | BC-based food and wine magazine featuring restaurant reviews, recipes, wine recommendations, and more. Published bi-monthly, print and digital.

Food in Canada | The voice of the Canadian food and beverage industry. Published 9 times per year, print and digital.

Canadian Restaurant News | Official magazine of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, print and digital (CRFA).

Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine | Canada's hospitality business magazine. Provides foodservice operators with information on how to successfully grow their businesses. Published 12 times per year, print and digital.

Modern Restaurant Management | Focused on all aspects of restaurant management news this online magazine posts news items on a daily basis, incorporates profiles, trends and expert advice.

Consultant Websites

MarketWatch - Industry Analyzer
The Industries section contains current data on Dow Jones Industry Sectors. Aggregate data as well as company-specific data is available.

Vault Industry Profiles
A free source of industry information. Use the Industry Profiles to research news, company information, and industry-specific sample professions. Basic monthly membership is free and offers access to blogs, discussion forums, and job listings.

As with all sources, news articles and blogs should be carefully evaluated. For information on how to evaluate your information, watch video tutorial Module Five: Using Information Responsibly.

Government Websites

In this section we have gathered some of the most reliable freely available online government and employment websites for you to use in your research.

Canadian Websites

WorkBC | Find current employment outlooks, labour market information, relevant links, and a geographic representation of the BC workforce. Start by searching your Industry Profile.

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada
Provides market research, industry statistics, licensing information for intellectual property, and information about doing business internationally. The Industry Canada site features interactive applications such as customizable trade reports, cost calculators, and online business planning guides. You can also search broad Canadian industry statistics.

The Daily - Statistics Canada
The premier source for Canadian statistical information, including census information. Search 'The Daily' releases by subject to identify corresponding census tables, latest news, and publications. Similarly, you can browse by data source, including surveys & questionnaires relevant to your market research, which also link to census tables, latest news and publications.

US & International Websites

Small Business Administration: Free Small Business Data
This site is created and managed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides a list of free sources of information that you can use to obtain data about markets in the US.

Regulations

Learn About Compliance Issues

When it comes to starting a business, one of the first decisions you need to make is the legal structure of your business - sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited company. You'll also need to register your business and you'll need to be aware of many municipal, provincial or federal regulations. The websites in this section will help you, there is also a useful “Restaurant and catering start-up checklist” list available from Canada Business .

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Permits and Licenses Search
Search for the permits and licenses applicable to your industry and location to meet all federal, provincial and municipal regulations.

General Business Resources

Small Business BC (SBBC)
SBBC is a great place to start for information on BC specific regulations and guidelines, for whatever stage you are in your business development. This is a great post on the topic.

BizPaL
This is the one-stop website to assist Canadian businesses that are just starting up, or expanding into new areas. BizPaL asks you a short series of questions about the nature and scope of your current or proposed business. Based on your answers, BizPaL provides you with a customized list of government permits and licences that you may require to operate your business. All of the information that you provide is kept anonymous, and you may save or print your results for future reference.

Canada Revenue Agency - Business
This section of the Canadian federal tax agency's website contains important taxation and documentation requirements that businesses operating in Canada must adhere to.

The Province of British Columbia
Provides information on programs and resources available to small business owners in British Columbia. Includes information on taxes and industry regulations. Start with the Permits, Licences & Registrations section.

In addition to general business licences, the restaurant industry requires specific licences and permits, examples include the Food Primary Licence and Food Service Permit.

Industry Specific Information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian federal government agency dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants in order to enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy.

Health Canada

Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. Health Canada is engaged in various activities related to health, including preserving and modernizing Canada's health care system, enhancing and protecting the health of Canadians, and communicating health promotion and disease prevention.

Find Competitive Info

  Conduct Your Competitive Research

  • Gather and analyze competitive information
  • Define your competitive edge
  • Use benchmarking tools to create your financial analysis
  • Find competitor information for your own organizational plan

  Checklist

  • Who are my direct or indirect competitors? Where are they located?
  • Who are the leading companies in the BC restaurant industry and what can I learn from them (e.g., what were their revenues)?
  • Are my competitors publicly traded and would their financial filings help me plan my own business?
  • What are my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and how can I add unique value?
  • Has there been any news coverage on my competitors announcing a new product, marketing strategy or personnel changes that can provide insight into my business planning?

Tip: Make a note of any questions you have, the resources in this section can help you answer these and complete the checklist.

 

Tips On Company Research

Company Research Tips

An in-depth investigation and analysis of your competition is one of the most important components of a comprehensive market analysis. A competitive analysis allows you to assess your competitors' strengths and weaknesses in the marketplace, and to implement effective strategies to improve your competitive advantage. Here are some research strategies for doing your competitive analysis:

  • Company directories can be used to create lists of competitors by industry, product line, size, etc.
  • Doing a company name search in a general research database is an excellent way to learn more about your competitor’s products, services, prices, and media coverage.
  • If your competitors are public companies, learn more about them by reading their financials and annual reports.
  • News archives provide a range of competitive information on both public and private companies.
  • Patents are a good way to learn about the technical and design features of a competitor's products. You can refer to this UBC Library Research Guide, created by UBC Engineering Librarians, if you are looking for patent information. Most of the resources listed are freely available.

For information on primary and secondary market research, as well as common sources for secondary market research, watch our video tutorial Module One: Introduction To Market Research.

Finding information on public companies is considerably easier than finding information on privately-held companies. Information on public companies is readily available online, or at your local library. Another good starting point is the list of resources in the next section of this Accelerator Guide: Find Competitors. Unlike public companies, private companies are not required to file with the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR). Searching for private company information is considerably more difficult and will require a lot of patience, and a healthy dose of creativity. 

Find Competitors

Learning About Competitors

To create a list of competitors and find basic information about them (e.g. number of employees, contact information) you will need to consult business directories. Many directories are available online for free, while others are fee-based commercial databases. You can find directories that are particular to an industry or geography. Your local library will likely have a good collection of directories that you can consult in person.

For further information about secondary market research, see our video tutorial Module Two: Secondary Market Research for Industry Analysis.

If you know of some public companies in your industry than annual reports can provide a great deal of useful financial information including sales volume, revenue increases, and total market share. You can search the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) for Canadian Company filings. If the competitor you are researching does business in the USA than you search the Security and Exchange Commissions equivalent, EDGAR, which provides free public access to corporate information including financial information and operations by reviewing registration statements, prospectuses and periodic reports filed on Forms 10-K and 10-Q. You also can find information about recent corporate events reported on Form 8-K that a company does not have to disclose to investors. You can use advanced search features to search by Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes.

Free Business Directories

Frasers
A comprehensive industrial directory and search tool, with information on products and services provided by Canadian industrial wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors. You can search by product name, company name, or brand name.

CanadaOne - Canadian Business Directory
CanadaOne has a directory of over 20,000 Canadian businesses.

Federal Corporations Data Online 
Free searchable database of federally incorporated/registered companies.

Hoovers
Provides information on 18 million US and international companies, both public and private. Hoover's reports are generated quickly, and are easy to read. A fair amount of information is provided for free, but much more is available with a paid subscription. If you know the company name or ticker symbol of any of the key players in your industry, try searching for their Hoover records to find key information. Use the link above for free information or contact your local library to see if they provide access. Affiliates of UBC may have access

 

Proprietary Business Directories

Business in Vancouver, Book of Lists
Comprehensive collection of BC business data compiled annually as the popular BIV Book of Lists. Provides data on over 1000 companies including: websites, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, top executives' names, company age, revenues, profits and much more. UBC affiliates and in-person community researchers can obtain access to a print version (here are details on how to locate it) or you can get your own online subscription

The Blue Book of Canadian Business
Detailed profiles for over 60 Canadian corporations, including missions/values, history, operations, social responsibility and executive biographies. Also contains directory type information for 2,500 Canadian companies, a ranking of the top 500 companies and a list of the top 400 Canadian stocks. UBC affiliates and in-person community researchers can obtain access to a print version of this periodical (here are details on how to locate it at UBC in Vancouver).

Reference Canada
Provides information on more than one million businesses throughout Canada. Includes name, address, phone number, contacts, number of employees, annual sales volumes, line of business, and credit rating. Vancouver Public Library subscribes to this online directory so check with your local library about access.

Mergent Online

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

Provides access to US and international public company data. This database also contains data on companies that were acquired, went bankrupt, liquidated or merged out of existence from 1995 forward. Users can compare companies and export data into programs like Excel.  

UBC Library Business Databases

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you may have access to business databases through the David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons through the links below.

Full Listing By Title or Full Listing By Subject

There are two different ways to identify databases, use 'by title' if you already know the name. Otherwise, you can use the list 'by subject' to find starting places for doing market research, finding articles or researching companies. To learn more about how you can access library resources if you are a community user or temporary visitor check out the UBC Library Community Users & Visitors Guide. Community users and temporary visitors may have additional access restrictions to specific databases because of license agreements.

Mapping Competitors

Online maps such as Google Maps or Bing Maps  and popular directories such as Yelp are a fast way to locate nearby competitors, and to get a better sense of the region your business operates within. Try searching for the name of your product or industry and narrowing your results by focusing the map on a specific location, such as a city or neighborhood.

SimplyAnalytics

This is an Internet-based mapping application that enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business, and marketing data variables. Check your local public or academic library for access. UBC affiliates can learn more and get access.

Trade Shows

Attending trade shows is an excellent way to learn more about your competitors. Contact local associations or read trade publications to find out what trade shows are coming to your community.

RC Show

RC Show is Canada’s largest food service trade event. Hosted by Restaurants Canada (previously the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association), who put on their first restaurant show in 1945. Includes exhibits, workshops, industry competitions, networking events and keynote speakers.

SIAL Canada

An international food and beverage trade show offering new and innovative food products.

Set Canada

This sister event to SIAL is an annual trade show dedicated to equipment, technology and service suppliers meeting the needs of food retailers and food-service professionals.

 

You may also want to consider attending or participating in consumer food and cooking events for inspiration or marketing exposure. Eat Vancouver and Culinaure Victoria are great examples to get started.

 

10Times.com

The largest worldwide online directory of trade fairs, business exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and seminars for various industries. Search for trade shows by industry, country, date, organizer, or venue.

Find Financial Benchmarks

One thing you will need to do in the financials section of your business plan is discuss how you will price your products and/or services, and how this compares to your competitors. You will need to develop a financial plan that includes your projected revenues and net income. The following resources will help you find financial information on competitors in your industry.

Free Tools For Finding Financial Info

SEDAR
A collection of corporate filings that are required by securities regulators, from companies operating in Canada. This website is an excellent source for information about a company's plans, competitive environment, markets, products, and assets. SEDAR is the Canadian equivalent of EDGAR.

EDGAR
Filings with the US Securities & Exchange Commission by companies listed on US exchanges. 10-K Formsinclude detailed information on company history, structure, financial statements, and other relevant data.

Finding Benchmarks & Ratios

Financial Performance Data (formerly SME Benchmarking Tool)
Tool for benchmarking your financial reports with others in your sector. Website also includes a collection of financial data and annual reports of various Canadian companies. For instructions on using the Financial Performance Data click here. To create a report using Financial Performance data click here.

  • Start here: Food Services and Drinking Places, use NAICS code 722 for all Food Service options, you use 722511 (Full-Service Restaurants) or 722512 (Limited-Service Eating Places).

Financial Performance Indicators for Canadian Business
Offers current financial ratios by industry, based on data provided by Statistics Canada. The indicators are designed to serve as financial performance benchmarks against which individual firms and industries can be compared. Affiliates of UBC, UNBC, UVic and SFU have access through Abacus Dataverse. If you are visiting, please contact your local library about access.

US Economic Census Data

Starting in 2002, data from the Economic Censuses was released as tables available online in American FactFinder.

Start here: Accommodation and Food Services

Proprietary Tools For Finding Financial Info

UBC Company Research Guide
This research guide was created by UBC business librarians. Follow this link to go directly to the section of the guide that features various UBC Library electronic resources that are recommended for searching for financial information on competitors, such as credit rankings, stock prices and invest analyst reports. You can explore the navigation on the right-hand side to find more recommended research sources on the general topic of company research.

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

Mergent Online

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

Provides access to US and international public company data. This database also contains data on companies that were acquired, went bankrupt, liquidated or merged out of existence from 1995 forward. Users can compare companies and export data into programs like Excel.  

Tools For Calculating Your Own Financials

Market Share & Size

Both market size and market share held by competitors are key factors when assessing the competitive environment. Keep in mind that there is no single source of market size and market share data. Market information is usually pieced together from various sources and is not often readily available for niche or emerging industries. One strategy is to combine a competitor's name or a comparable, established industry with the term market share in article databases or read market research reports. You will need to identify and describe your market – who your customers are and what the demand is for your products and services.

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

ABI/INFORM Collection

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

Created by ProQuest this database contains full-text articles from over 1,000 business magazines and journals that track business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics.

Business Source Ultimate

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Includes financial data, books, videos, company profiles, SWOT analyses, industry profiles, country reports, market research reports and case studies.  Also includes information on industry trends, forecasts, outlooks, competitors, how to run a specific business and much more.

eMarketer

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Or, contact your local public or academic library for their access details.

Global market research and trend analysis database that focuses on Internet, e-business, online marketing, media, and emerging technologies.

UBC Library Business Databases

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you may have access to business databases through the David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons through the links below.

Full Listing By Title or Full Listing By Subject

There are two different ways to identify databases, use 'by title' if you already know the name. Otherwise, you can use the list 'by subject' to find starting places for doing market research, finding articles or researching companies. To learn more about how you can access library resources if you are a community user or temporary visitor check out the UBC Library Community Users & Visitors Guide. Community users and temporary visitors may have additional access restrictions to specific databases because of license agreements.

Find Customer Info

 Conduct Your Customer Research 

  • Create your customer analysis
  • Identify your target customers
  • Demonstrate how your products and services satisfy your customers' needs

Checklist

  • Who is going to buy my services (e.g., couples, parents, other businesses)?
  • What is the future outlook of my target market?
  • What do people spend on eating out?
  • What is demographic data and how can it help me research my customers?
  • How often do people visit restaurants in Canada and British Columbia?

Tip: Make a note of any questions you have, the resources in this section can help you answer these and complete the checklist.

Demographic Data

The resources listed in this section will help you identify population characteristics, and help you develop your customer profile. This research will also help you identify geographic areas where the largest number of your potential customers live. This can be very useful when determining a location for your business, and also when formulating your marketing strategy. Don't forget that trade associations and trade journals collect information about customers and can be great information sources for this area of your research.

2017 Canadian Household Spending  - Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada is the national statistical office. The agency ensures Canadians have the key information on Canada's economy, society and environment that they require to function effectively as citizens and decision makers.

This table provides statistical information about household expenditures by Canadians broken down into a variety of categories. You can refine the table by region. You can view the full list of data tables from the 2016 census here

Socio-Economic Profiles - BC Stats
The socio-economic profiles consist of charts and tables for the various regional districts, health areas, college regions and school districts. Each region contains a map, demographic profile, economic hardship, labour market structure, education concerns, crime, health problems, children at risk, and youth at risk. The profiles are presented in a format that allows comparison to other regions in the province and to BC overall.

Census Profile - Statistics Canada
Provides Canadian community profiles from the latest Census of Canada. These profiles are very useful for comparing statistics on different municipalities or regional districts. Includes details on family characteristics, primary language, mobility, educational attainment, marital status, labour force activity, earnings, and mode of transportation to work.

Find latest data from the 2016 Census

Search type

 

Thanks to Catie Sahadath at the University of Ottawa Libraries for building this widget.

 

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

PCensus
Provides access to detailed Canadian demographic information including population, income, and spending levels by province, city, or postal code. PCensus can also generate custom reports using Census data. Contact Vancouver Public Library or your local research library to obtain access.

eMarketer

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Or, contact your local public or academic library for their access details.

Global market research and trend analysis database that focuses on Internet, e-business, online marketing, media, and emerging technologies.

Passport GMID

Passport GMID (formerly Global Market Information Database)

How to access: Check your local public or academic library to see about access. If you are a UBC student, staff or faculty member you can access this resource. Please note this is not available for walk-in library users.

Passport GMID, produced by Euromonitor, is an integrated information system providing business intelligence on country economies and demographics, consumers, lifestyles, companies and industries. 

Your Target Market

Sometimes doing your own market research is the only way to learn about your potential customers. If this is the case, you may need to conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, or some other form of data collection. But before you commit time and energy to this kind of research, be sure to try the sources listed in this section.

Survey of Household Spending - Statistics Canada
Raw data in table form from the Survey of Household Spending (SHS). This general resource provides information on household spending by demographics. Report includes detailed information on Canadian spending patterns, household equipment, and housing conditions. Also includes the ability to view data from British Columbia only; click on "Add/Remove Data".

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information and programs for those who raise animals or who grow plants for food, feed or industrial use. This web resource features a comprehensive collection of agricultural information including economic forecasts and statistics, policies and acts, incentive programs and other services.

Library Resources

Marketresearch.com/Freedonia Focus

How to access: Check your local public or academic library to see about access. If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

While you can search this website only some Canadian libraries provide full-text access to the market research reports on industries and demographics for North American industries. They can range from 50 to 400+ pages in length, and contain charts, tables, and graphs, and key facts. Marketresearch.com has varied industry coverage and includes US and international information.

  • Start here: Euromonitor International. (2018). Consumer Foodservice in Canada

ABI/INFORM Collection

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

Created by ProQuest this database contains full-text articles from over 1,000 business magazines and journals that track business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics.

  • Millennials' appetite for restaurants growing. (2018, Jun 07). NASDAQ OMX's News Release Distribution Channel

Public Opinion Polls

Roper Center for Public Opinion
Preserves the data from polls conducted by many leading survey organizations for the use of researchers, students, and journalists. Includes a section on how to analyze polls. Only for those affiliated with UBC.

Ipsos
Links to Canadian, U.S. and international polls. Includes polls on consumer goods.

Gallup

Global analytics firms that generates polls and reports, primarily focused on employee and consumer attitudes and behaviours

Primary Research

Sometimes doing your own market research is the only way to learn about your potential customers. If this is the case, you may need to conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, or some other form of data collection. But before you commit time and energy to this kind of research, be sure to try the sources listed in this section.