Dining and Innovation: Uncovering Hidden Value in the Restaurant Industry

Date: March 9, 2023

When we think of innovation in terms of scientific research & experimental development, restaurants and dining may not be the first industry that comes to mind. Perhaps unsurprisingly, restaurants and food production companies at every scale are at the forefront of innovation, constantly experimenting and developing new products to meet shifting consumer demand.

Serving Diners at Scale

Take, for example, ingredient development. One of our clients, a large Asian-style noodle chain selling over 5 million meals per year has extensively developed their processes over time to improve the quality and consistency of their product with the aim of making their recipes easier to mass-produce. Qualifying projects include perfecting the potato starch coating on its wok-fried chicken so it tastes better and holds on more securely, and creating a second unique batter specially designed for one of its prawn dishes.

Innovating to Accommodate Dietary Restrictions

Accommodation of dietary restrictions has become a focal point for many restaurants in recent years in response to consumer demand. As a result, the ability to reproduce popular foods and dishes, without allergens or animal products, has become a business imperative. We helped a popular Canadian doughnut business reclaim roughly $40k in project costs for the development of their vegan doughnut recipe. In their case, they weren’t even aware that the experimentation they undertook to develop the recipe qualified for a SR&ED claim!

Experimental Development in Fine Dining

From mass production to bespoke experiences, innovation is everywhere. Fine dining restaurants are constantly experimenting with ingredients and techniques to surprise and impress diners. One of our clients, a Michelin-star restaurant, created new ingredients and dishes with modified technology that appreciably improved upon what already existed in the industry. Because menus are constantly changed and adapted in the fine-dining industry to give diners new experiences, information regarding the creation of dishes is not readily available within the public domain. Our client was able to claim back costs associated with their projects including staff costs, testing of successful and unsuccessful dishes, and raw materials. And best of all, due to the nature of their work, we have been able to develop an ongoing working relationship with them to submit claims for any new recipes or ingredients that they experiment with that are eligible for a SR&ED claim.

Innovation is everywhere, and it is our job to find it. If you believe your business has undertaken projects that may qualify for a SR&ED claim, get in touch with our sales team by calling us at 604-629-8863, or emailing We would be happy to schedule a free discovery call to familiarize ourselves with your project.

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