Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Vancouver Dining Landscape in 2010


jamiemaw
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would imagine we are going to have to come to grips with security zones, staffing shortages and big American chains rolling into town and paying outrageaous prices for medium sized Yaletown eateries.

I should also mention that in Salt Lake City, many hotels and restaurants put a bonus structure in place up to 2 years prior to the Games. From the point of inception to the day the Olympics end you earn x $ per shift in accrued bonus funds. This bonus was then paid to employees the week following the Games to ensure that hotel and restaurant staff were not poached by fellow restaurants or temporary vendors for the Games.

Something to keep in mind with our pending staff shortage...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would imagine we are going to have to come to grips with security zones, staffing shortages and big American chains rolling into town and paying outrageaous prices for medium sized Yaletown eateries.

ahhh to dream :wink:

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would imagine we are going to have to come to grips with security zones, staffing shortages and big American chains rolling into town and paying outrageaous prices for medium sized Yaletown eateries.

ahhh to dream :wink:

Some people plan on winning the lottery as their retirement plan.

This is mine.

Now, 4000 square feet with a 2:00 a.m. Liquor license, with the first right of refusal on 4000 square feet next door ( connected space and he and I already have a handshake as far as what his walk away price would be ! )

That is an 8000 square foot restaurant in Yaletown - Peter Fleming, where are you ? ( Flemings Steakhouse or PF Chang's China Bistro !!! )

That, or continue to work as I am.

Either way, I am OK.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And if the international media picked up on Torino's chocolate industry as the bellwether for the city (those bicerins of coffeee, chocolate and cream looked terrific), what will they capture here? Fowkian Pastrami, Nanaimo Bars, salmon garavlax?

I heard the focus will be on Armstrong cheddar and Money's mushrooms!

Memo, mmmakes mmmeals mmmarvelous! :biggrin:

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard the focus will be on Armstrong cheddar and Money's mushrooms!

Memo, mmmakes mmmeals mmmarvelous! :biggrin:

Wasn't that the Limey Baster?

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric's comments are consistent with my observations during the one major international event with which I was involved. Being hooked in with VANOC, the IOC, sponsors etc will be one key to getting major benefits from the event. Also, there'll be lots of people with special roles, liaison-type work, and expense accounts moving into town in the months leading up to the Games themselves - they'll all be looking for places to eat.

Vancouver's restaurants, with their focus on drinks and small plates, seem to me to be a natural fit with the major event crowd.

A very interesting subject and one that I have spent more than a couple of years studying…

I believe that Vancouver restaurateurs who plan ahead and work with VANOC will do surprisingly well.  Restaurants who contract their space out to Olympic sponsors will also do very well as most of these sponsors host dinners for their clients on a nightly basis.

In Salt Lake City, one restaurateur in particular did extremely well due to his contacts with the organizing committee and sponsors.  However, large and small restaurants just a block or two away from key Olympic areas and venues actually sat empty for most of the two weeks.  Even hotel restaurants where the major Olympic sponsors and the Olympic family stayed were quiet for most meals except breakfast.

Bag lunches and catering at venues did the key lunch trade.

A couple of other things that should be kept in mind:

1) The athletes will not travel around the province nor eat at restaurants during the games.  They typically stay in the athletes villages where all their food and accommodation is provided for them.

2) The majority of people who come to an Olympic city for the Games come solely for the Games, and do not explore outside the geographic region of the Games (at least during this visit).  Many will come back in the future to explore more if they like what they see during their time here.  In past host cities such as Salt Lake City and Sydney, areas outside of the geographic regions of the Games actually saw a decline in typical visitation during the 2 weeks of the Games and in the months leading up to them.

3) The number of tourists who will come to Vancouver for the Games who are not directly or indirectly tied to the Games may prove to be relatively small (similar to past host cities).  The people who are tied to the Games typically come in waves of 4 days and do not have time to explore the region as their time is limited.

All this being said, I am a huge proponent of the Games and I believe that it has the potential to create a significant increase in long-term demand not just for Vancouver and Whistler, but for the rest of B.C. and Canada.  The Games is only two weeks long and the majority of operators who bank on making a killing during that period will likely end up being disappointed.

In order to take advantage of the global publicity generated by the Games, it will be necessary for places such as the Okanagan and Vancouver Island to be highlighted to the media, IOC, corporate sponsors, etc. through dinners and other initiatives which will take place at Olympic venues.

This will be great opportunity for people to taste and experience the cuisine and wines of B.C. but it will be in the hands of event organizers and local chefs to ensure that the clients they are cooking for experience these ingredients.

I am looking forward to watching the progress of VANOC and being a part of promoting Vancouver and the rest of B.C. as a great culinary destination before, during and especially after the Olympic Games.

Cheers,

Eric

Cheers,

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vancouver's restaurants, with their focus on drinks and small plates, seem to me to be a natural fit with the major event crowd.

Ann beat me to it. The two biggest differences in the food scene in Vancouver to me are Sustainable Seafood and Small Plates.

Even in tree hugging California - I have not seen so many top notch restaurants embrace sustainable seafood - I think that this would be a great selling point to out of towners and hopefully raise the awarness of this issue to a world wide audience.

The other thing about Vancouver restaurants is the proliferation of small plates. Vancouverites are particularly comfortable with this notion of dining - with tapas, dim sum, sushi, and izakaya restaurants all embracing the shared plates. There are times that I long for a proper three courses - but the small plates are definitely here to stay.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the Olympics will be, in the end, a great boon to the restaurant industry in both Vancouver and Whistler.

The main thing will be remaining true to the ideals we embrace and hold dear and not selling out to pander to the big corporations that always accompany these kinds of events.

I will be freelancing during this event, doing hit and run guerilla oyster tactics.

Whistler will be facing the same problems as they always have.

Staff shortages, housing shortages and high prices.

A lot of experienced people are looking to leave before the games start.

This town cannot afford the "brain drain" that is about to happen here.

This will be the death of this town yet. I have lived here 10 years and it has not improved one iota all that time.

It is only a subject that comes up every municipal election and forgotten just as fast.

I, too, am not looking forward to the security checkpoints and the other daily inconvienences that hosting the Olympics will bring to this town.

But, we all knew there is always a price for hosting these games and it isn't always financial.

But in general, I hold great confidence in both Vancouver and Whistler establishments to pull it off with style.

We already host the world every tourist season and this is just a lot more tourists.

A lot more. :laugh:

Plain and simple.

Just my 2 cents.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main thing will be remaining true to the ideals we embrace and hold dear and not selling out to pander to the big corporations that always accompany these kinds of events.

I don't know about that.

Say the Royal Bank wants to book out the restaurant every night for a whopping fee, plus food and beverage service , before, during and after the games ( paralympics )

Set menus, set wines, set staff, set hours.

Having read Eric Pateman's above post, that does not seem such a bad idea.

I would think the Barefoot Bistro would / could command that sort of booking ?

I do not think the HSG would, but I might look into it.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've already had some big corporations approach us about the solid 2 weeks they are in town for this event and the owner turned them down.

Hardly seems fair to everyone else and hardly in the spirit of the event.

I understand how having a set menu and set number of people every night is a lot easier to do but that sounds real boring to me and what if the people are complete assholes?

Plus how do you get media coverage of your place if it is a private party every night?

And what is that worth when your place is shown in a billion homes all over the world?

Like I said earlier, just my 2 cents.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the same type of speculation that went on before Expo 86.

I know of a restauranteur that closed his restaurant in '86 because it was in Kerrisdale...and thought that because he was not close enough to the venue, that his restaurant would be idle.

HE WILL NEVER KNOW.

He is now in New York. Teaching at the CIA.

You guys need to do what is best for your business.

Each business has a different agenda.

Do what works for you.

But whatever happens... you make your own destiny.

Just my two cents :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main thing will be remaining true to the ideals we embrace and hold dear and not selling out to pander to the big corporations that always accompany these kinds of events.

I don't know about that.

Say the Royal Bank wants to book out the restaurant every night for a whopping fee, plus food and beverage service , before, during and after the games ( paralympics )

Set menus, set wines, set staff, set hours.

Having read Eric Pateman's above post, that does not seem such a bad idea.

I would think the Barefoot Bistro would / could command that sort of booking ?

I do not think the HSG would, but I might look into it.

From previous Games experience, I would not expect to see huge sums paid for room rentals or booking fees as most of these corporations are very good negotiators.

“We will fill your restaurant every night for the next week to 10 days, but we want fair prices for the food and beverages and all rentals fees waived" was not uncommon in Salt Lake City.

In Whistler, with its limited number of high-end eateries, I would expect that the BFB and Araxi will both eventually get booked out for private dinners most nights. The restaurant that did the best in Park City during the Games was at Stein Eriksen Lodge and it was booked out by Jet Set Sports. This is the group that any hotelier and restaurant company will want to work with. By far they offer the best rates and pay for quality, but they also have exceptional demands (i.e. they had an ice rink created in the middle of a hotel ballroom in DT Salt Lake) so Peggy Flemming could skate for guests during dinner).

Also, operators need to budget for the increased staffing costs during the Games (the bonus structure I mentioned earlier really needs to be built into the costs for those two weeks). Many operators in SLC discovered that the increased costs were not offset by increased rates.

As for the Paralympics, this will only have an impact in Whistler and it will be VERY MINOR. Most of the organizations and sponsors for this do not have any budgets so entertaining is at a minimum and unfortunately, the Paralympics themselves attract very few spectators.

While all of this may sound negative it is not meant to, I just believe that it is imperative that operators keep their expectations in check. This event is about promoting the region to the world, not getting rich in two weeks!

Cheers,

Eric

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric's 'bonus fund' system is a terrific suggestion; its similar to how some contractors/developers are bonusing the trades (especially the skilled trades) in our stretched construction labour environment.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With 23 million overnight stays in 2005, BC tourism numbers are up despite American stay-at-homes constrained by our rising dollar.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While all of this may sound negative it is not meant to, I just believe that it is imperative that operators keep their expectations in check.  This event is about promoting the region to the world, not getting rich in two weeks!

Very sound practical advice. Well said Eric.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I would rather be in Toronto when this 5 ring circus pulls into town as it will be a general pain in the ass.

I have heard horror stories about what happened in Park City and I figure that it is probably not worth the trouble.

Besides, you are already starting to see the greed come out in people and that is not the best human trait.

Whistler experienced something like this during the Mellenium new year.

Workers were evicted from their places in hopes that the landlord could make $20,000 for just the New Years period.

I had friends forced to live 4 to a bedroom and sleeping in saunas and closets due to the unbridled greed shown by these kinds of social parasites.

It was very satisfying to see them fall on their faces and being unable to rent their places even after New Year's due to their excessive greed.

This is just symptomatic of what is wrong with this event anyways.

Sponsored by huge multi-nationals, allowing professionals to participate instead of being exclusively amateur athletes just to boost their tv ratings.

The whole thing smells of unabashed greed and nothing else.

Besides, other than the 1984 Olympic Games none has ever made a profit.

And as the province will be on the hook for any cost over runs, this place will be unattractive from a financial point of view as well.

You might make a bundle while they are on only to pay it to the province in taxes to cover this mess.

You don't believe me? Ask anyone who lived in Montreal since 1976.

They are still paying for it.

I would rather watch it on tv from somewhere far, far away.........

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I would rather be in Toronto when this 5 ring circus pulls into town as it will be a general pain in the ass.

[ETCETERA.]

Enjoy your new $600 million driveway, OG. :biggrin: The long term benefit for Whistler is likely to be extraordinary, and well beyond the two week imbroglio.

Personally, I very much enjoyed the recent Olympics and many of the backstories of hard work and perseverance. Now, if only our men can catch our women :shock: we might do even better. To say nothing of the breeding possibilities if we do catch them.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there that much oppurtunity to turn a short term profit? My understanding is that the number of outside visitors during the two week period is in the thousands - nothing to sneeze at of course - but is it enough to drive a short term gold rush? In comparison didn't Expo 86 bring in millions of people?

I think Eric brings in a good point in that big spikes in restaurant business will be mostly driven by corporate events. The long term win - as others have already said above - is the attention that will be given to BC as a food region.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another front, do you think doing Dine Out in 2010 is a bright idea? Is it even feasible what with all the anticipated corporate buy-outs?

My gut says, "yes...now, more than ever", but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think too that while resort developers like IntraWest may be poised to cash in, things are not going to get any easier in terms of housing the people who actually live and work in Whistler, many of whom are in the service industry.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another front, do you think doing Dine Out in 2010 is a bright idea? Is it even feasible what with all the anticipated corporate buy-outs?

My gut says, "yes...now, more than ever", but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

To that add Cornucopia, which I think rightly deserves its place in the sun, i.e. in August, when it could really broadcast locality and not spectacle.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think too that while resort developers like IntraWest may be poised to cash in, things are not going to get any easier in terms of housing the people who actually live and work in Whistler, many of whom are in the service industry.

Finding and housing long-term service professionals in any resort economy (Hawaii, Napa, Tofino) is a universal challenge with only one solution: that a proportion of municipal development cost charges be deeded to affordable and attractive employee housing. Unfortunately, a lot of that got past Whistler, which is now largely built out and is reliant on tax revenues, much of which are collected from absentee owners.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another front, do you think doing Dine Out in 2010 is a bright idea? Is it even feasible what with all the anticipated corporate buy-outs?

My gut says, "yes...now, more than ever", but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

To that add Cornucopia, which I think rightly deserves its place in the sun, i.e. in August, when it could really broadcast locality and not spectacle.

I got the feeling Cornucopia was mostly spectacle in 2005. The media made a b-line for the tits and bumblebums, and I'd imagine if the swinging racks and dangling doodahs are on display again when the big time comes, the international media would focus on the Saturnalia and not the chow. The Euro-press would swarm over BFB, leaving the limpets and such up Cedar Creek.

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another front, do you think doing Dine Out in 2010 is a bright idea? Is it even feasible what with all the anticipated corporate buy-outs?

My gut says, "yes...now, more than ever", but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

To that add Cornucopia, which I think rightly deserves its place in the sun, i.e. in August, when it could really broadcast locality and not spectacle.

It would seem like a good idea to re position the dates for Dine Out that year, as it is on the lead up to the actual games. Something like April, re-themed to "We Love you Vancouver, you can come downtown again!"

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...