BURNABY, B.C., (April 22, 2016) — With the exception of special events, the Simon Fraser Student Society’s Highland Pub will be closed during the summer semester, from May 1st to the end of August. This closure stems from an in-depth analysis conducted by the SFSS of the current service delivery model.
Competition has been growing with the addition of coffee shops, restaurants and even a liquor store within easy walking distance for students, faculty, staff and visitors at SFU’s Burnaby campus. This competition, combined with increasing food costs, significant operating costs and declining patronage, has led to the SFSS having to cut its costs to ensure that the losses associated with our Food and Beverage operations are reduced. We will be using the summer semester to develop and assess a new business model for our Food and Beverage operations and will share more information as it becomes available.
Martin Wyant, CEO of the SFSS, is hopeful that we can develop a new model that will allow students to continue to have access to the type of social space that will enrich their experience. “We regret having to close the operations for the summer and are aware that this decision will be keenly felt by students and by our employees”, said Wyant. “We hope to emerge from our planning with a new model that will attract the level of patronage required to sustain our operations in the future.”
Enoch Weng, President of the SFSS Board of Directors, is also hopeful that a new model will emerge that will encourage students, faculty and staff to become regular patrons once again. “The Pub has definitely continued to be a great space for social gatherings, and is a place where students can unwind from the long days in classes and study sessions,” said Weng. “My vision is to see more added value and community to this place, and ensure that we reduce the deficit to allow for better spending of student dollars.”
Other SFSS Food and Beverage operations, such as Higher Grounds Coffee Shop and Ladle, will also see reduced hours during the summer semester, with a full closure from August 19th to September 6th. In the fall, the SFSS will also evaluate these operations in hopes that a new Food and Beverage service model will meet the needs of students and perform as a profit centre, rather than to continue as a heavily subsidized service.