Friday, May 17, 2024

44 years of all-you-can-eat: BC Ferries shuts down Pacific Buffet for good


It’s the end of an era.

Initially implemented as a temporary measure in response to the pandemic, BC Ferries has recently made the decision to permanently close the all-you-can-eat Pacific Buffet.

BC Ferries had provided the Pacific Buffet service on its Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route for an impressive span of 44 years.

In a media release on June 6th, BC Ferries announced its intention to permanently axe the onboard all-you-can-eat buffet whale simultaneously reaching out to their customers to find out what they would like to see take the buffet’s place.  

An online survey was launched and will be open for anyone to fill out for three weeks.

“The food industry has been significantly challenged by the pandemic; fewer food suppliers, supply chain unreliability, new attitudes about food safety and waste as well as record high food costs have forced all businesses to rethink their strategies,” said Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries CEO. 

“I know the hard decision to permanently close our buffets will be disappointing to those who used and loved them but the timing is right to re-think the space based on what our customers tell us.”

According to BC Ferries, the Pacific Buffet had been hemorrhaging money for years in the amount of approximately $1.2 million annually. In its last year, the buffet only attracted around 9% of their customers. 

BC Ferries says some of the options to replace the Pacific Buffet which have been previously explored but ultimately declined are:

  • Sports bar – DECLINED – inconsistency with the transportation company’s branding
  • On-Board Casino – DECLINED – the regulatory burden is a hefty one
  • Wedding and private reception space – DECLINED – not enough demand
  • Gym and Spa services – DECLINED – not enough good feedback

Until BC Ferries decides what to do with the space, Pacific Buffet will be opened as extra seating on all applicable sailings.

The Pacific Buffet’s replacement concept will be introduced in the fall.

Curtis Blandy

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