In my last post “East or West, which is best?” I discussed the demographic best suited to the restaurant market, and began my investigation into two popular Toronto restaurant areas, one in the west, (South Parkdale and Queen Street) and one in the east (Queen East and Riverdale). My aim was to decide whether a new, cutting edge restaurant would be more successful in the eastern or western area.
I now come to my findings concerning the social, cultural and economic backgrounds of the nearby districts in each case. In the west, I considered Dufferin Grove, Little Portugal, Niagara, Palmerstone (Little Italy), South Parkdale and Trinity Belwood. And in the east, I examined Blake Jones, Greenwood Coxwell, Moss Park, North Riverdale, Regend Park and South Riverdale.
First, since younger groups spend most money on eating out, I looked at the percentage of these populations between ages 15 and 54: 64.6% in our eastern area, 69.7 in the west, a significant difference of 5.1%. So the demographic in the west is definitely younger.
The east area is more ethnically diverse than the west, with a significantly high number of Asian and black people, who could make a high impact on local restaurant choices by preferring food from their own cultural background.
We turn next to size of household which, as we’ve seen, influences the frequency and amount of restaurant spending. There are more small households (1 and 2 persons) in the west than in east, with a high number of childless couples. The number of people living alone in the western neighbourhood is 2.5% higher than in east, while people living with family is 8.2% less in west. From these figures, we can deduce that the residents of the west districts tend to eat out more frequently, and devote a higher percentage of their income to restaurants.
Finally, if we turn to employment, we discover that the west’s population has a larger percentage of labour force than the east. 63.7% of the western population is aged 15+ in comparison to 55.3% in the east. Plus, unemployment in the west is 1% less than unemployment in the east. (In fact unemployment in our western neighbourhoods is 1.2% less than that of the city of Toronto as a whole). So there are definitely more employed and earning people in the west area.
In summary, our research into the two areas shows that in the west, the demographic is younger; there are more employed people there, living in small households – that is, single earners or dual income couples without children. Based on our analysis of the facts, we believe that a cutting edge restaurant will do better in the west.
PS If you would like to leran more about my analysis and please leave a reply and I would be happy to share with you specific numbers for each neighbourhood.