Account Login/Registration

Access KelownaNow using your Facebook account, or by entering your information below.




Privacy Policy

BC Ferries permanently closes on board all-you-can-eat buffet

BC Ferries is asking passengers for feedback on what to put onboard the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route after deciding to permanently close the Pacific buffet.

BC Ferries was initially forced to suspend the buffet service in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

<who>BC Ferries

While the decision is being made about what to do with the space, the buffet dining room will be open to provide extra seating during the peak summer travel season. Food and beverage services will remain available in the Coastal Café, Seawest Lounge and Arbutus Coffee Bar through the peak summer season.

According to BC Ferries, pre-pandemic, the buffet required seven staff members per sailing, or more than 80 crew in total and lost about $1.2 million annually.

And, price modelling found the buffet would continue to lose money even with a price hike of up to 30% due to the increased costs of food and labour.

In the last year the service operated, it attracted less than 9% of the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route’s 4.87 million passengers.

“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.”

The online survey will be open for three weeks asking people for ideas on what to replace it with a new offering is expected to be introduced to customers this fall.

Some options already explored include a sports bar, on-board casino, wedding and private reception space, and a gym and spa service, which all had issues around insufficient demand, unfavourable feedback, brand inconsistency or to much regulatory burden.

If you get value from KelownaNow and believe local independent media is important to our community we ask that you please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter.

If you appreciate what we do, we ask that you consider supporting our local independent news platform.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to

webcam icon







current feed webcam icon

Recent Livestream

Top Stories

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Youtube Listen on Soundcloud Follow Our TikTok Feed Follow Our RSS Follow Our pinterest Feed
Follow Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy