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‘Heartbreaking’: Burnaby Swiss Chalet shutting down as iconic company sheds locations

Customer shares thoughts on losing favourite restaurant
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 Swiss Chalet that has graced Lougheed Highway in Burnaby for many years is closing its doors forever.

The person who answered the phone at the restaurant told the NOW the restaurant’s final day will be on Dec. 27.

This follows a series of closures for Swiss Chalet, including the Kelowna location last month, and the Victoria and Port Coquitlam restaurants in 2020. The Burnaby location is the last one listed in all of British Columbia.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Gladys, a Burnaby senior who contacted the NOW. “I’ve been coming here for a long time. My ladies group has our monthly meetings here. It’s a part of our lives. The staff are just so wonderful.”

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