A limited range of hot food services will be restored on select BC Ferries routes, exactly three months after the ferry corporation decided to temporarily shut down non-essential food and beverage and retail options in response to COVID-19.
There will be hot food services on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Horseshoe Bay to Langdale routes, including a limited burger menu, chicken strips, fries, handheld breakfast sandwiches, hot oatmeal, packaged salads, brewed coffee and tea, beverages, packaged pastries, cold cereal, yogurt, and fruit cups. The Pacific Buffet on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route remains closed.
On the Tsawwassen to Duke Point route, passengers will have access to Bread Garden sandwiches, sushi, brewed coffee and tea, beverages, packaged pastries, cold cereal, yogurt, and fruit cups.
The ferry corporation says it is gradually reintroducing food services in a careful manner that abides with both provincial and federal health safety guidelines. These routes for limited hot services are also based on the increased traffic demand to sustain the options.
“BC Ferries is ensuring the safety of passengers and crew by supporting physical distancing in food service areas, enhancing cleaning and sanitization efforts and reducing the number of touch points,” reads a release.
“All hot food will be served in packaging for customers to take to their vehicles, outerdeck or limited cafeteria seating.”
For the 2018-19 fiscal year, retail activities generated $64 million in net revenue for BC Ferries, with food and beverage sales accounting for 72% of this revenue. It is the ferry corporation’s second largest source of direct revenue and provides a gross margin of about 60%, which contributes to net earnings and helps reduces the upward pressure on fares.
BC Ferries continues to operate with enhanced health safety measures, including a 50% passenger capacity on each vessel to help maintain physical distancing, and the requirement that all passengers bring a face mask or covering onboard.