Skip to content

‘Best Christmas present ever’: Burnaby Swiss Chalet gets last-minute reprieve, say staff

Restaurant was set to close forever on Dec. 27
Swiss Chalet is known for its roasted chicken dinners. The restaurant chain has closed many of its Metro Vancouver and B.C. locations in recent years.

The Burnaby Swiss Chalet restaurant was set to close forever on Dec. 27, but staff are telling customers – and the NOW – that they have received a last-minute reprieve.

Diners began emailing the NOW on Wednesday saying they were told by staff yesterday that the restaurant would be staying open. The NOW contacted the restaurant and staff said that management informed them Wednesday morning that the location would be staying open past Dec. 27 but weren’t sure for how long. Apparently, Swiss Chalet will stay open on a month-by-month basis.  

Parent company Recipe Unlimited told the NOW in an email that the Burnaby restaurant would stay open for a minimum of three months.

The Burnaby Swiss Chalet is the last one listed in all of British Columbia.

“Best Christmas present ever,” wrote one excited customer about the news.

“I’m so glad that they are going to be staying open,” said another. “I don’t know for how long, but I’ll keep going.”

Burnaby has seen a series of restaurant closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most recent being the Zeus Greek restaurant and Chez Meme French bistro on Hastings.

The news of the impending closure brought a wave of sadness in recent weeks as the company planned an exit from B.C.

Recipe Unlimited operates and franchises restaurant brands including Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, The Keg, St-Hubert, Montana's and Kelsey's. The company sold its Milestones restaurant brand earlier this year.

Recipe Unlimited Corp. recently reported a big increase in its third-quarter results with net income surging from last year and nearly doubling its 2019 profits.

The restaurant company says it earned $13.2 million or 23 cents per diluted share in the quarter, up from $5.2 million or nine cents per share a year earlier and $6.7 million or 11 cents per share in the third quarter of 2019.

Adjusted profits reached $27.6 million or 47 cents per diluted share, up from $16.1 million or 28 cents per share in the prior year quarter and $19.5 million or 31 cents per share in the 2019 period.

Total system sales for the three months ended Sept. 26 grew 23.3 per cent from a year ago to $834.2 million and up 48.5 per cent from the second quarter.

But they were down four per cent from the 2019 quarter as the number of restaurants decreased to 1,284 from 1,355 last year and 1,375 two years ago.

"We are encouraged by our third-quarter results and the enthusiastic return of guests to our restaurants," stated CEO Frank Hennessey, who noted strong earnings despite dining room closures at the start of the quarter.

E-commerce sales increased 16.9 per cent to $134.1 million compared with the prior year while retail and catering sales were up 8.2 per cent to $93.4 million.

  • With reporting by The Canadian Press