Afghan Kitchen Food

Surrey Spending Pattern Series: Growing Retail Market Opportunities in Restaurants and Dining

New data from a survey commissioned by the City of Surrey in November 2021 shows spending in several retail categories is above the BC average by more than 20%. The city’s affordable housing means households have more discretionary income – and the people of Surrey are not afraid to spend it.

Last week, we looked at Surrey residents' preferences in decking out their homes with furniture and décor. This week, we’ll be exploring our residents’ preferences and spending patterns in restaurants and dining.

Spending on Restaurants and Dining

Surrey residents love to dine out, and they spend 70% more than the average BC household doing so – an average of $452 per household per month. That’s more than $90 million a month. Restaurant spending is the higher in City Centre and Newton – areas which have a higher proportion of young people who typically spend more on eating out.

Currently 23% of restaurants checks are picked up outside of Surrey. The resulting $21 million in lost opportunity is just waiting to be seized by new restaurants ready to serve Surrey's exceptionally eclectic tastes. The ratio of restaurants to residents in Surrey is low compared to other cities like Vancouver and Seattle. Currently, there are only 1.42 restaurants per 1,000 residents, compared to Vancouver’s 4.6.

Regional statistics suggest opportunity exists for at least three additional restaurants per 1,000 Surrey residents – and they seem to know exactly what they want to eat!  Residents identified a mix of well-known restaurants like Cactus Club, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Red Robin, and fast-food options like Chipotle, Taco Bell, Tacomio, In & Out Burger, Pizza Hut, and Denny’s as top choices. But they don’t just want corporate restaurants – residents are also keen on having more fine dining options and expanded vegetarian and vegan choices. And similar to everyone everywhere, the people want more ethnic restaurants, microbreweries, and taphouses.

What's next?

Stay tuned next week for insights on apparel.

We will also be doing more consumer insights surveys in the future to learn as much as possible to help businesses thrive. Is there something else you want to know more about in our reports? Let us know!

Be sure to sign up for our Invest Surrey newsletter to be the first to hear the latest intelligence. Subscribe here: /subscribe

For more information about retail opportunities and investing in Surrey, you can always contact us at


Media Type