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Surf, sand, sun and snacks: Park Board seeks your input to improve concession experience

May 18 2016

We want to know what food and beverages people want to buy at our concessions—Thai, Japanese, BBQ or hamburgers—and even if we should convert some concessions into another format with casual seating,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Spanish Banks East Concession

The Vancouver Park Board’s 13 concessions offer some of the best waterfront dining locations in the city, and the Board would like to see them offer some of the most diverse, tasty, and local food options in the city.

A staff report and recommendations will go to the Board this summer.

Strategy to improve concession food

The Board has hired a consultant to develop a business strategy to improve concession food and beverages to better reflect Vancouver. The broad review is also asking for feedback on serving liquor within licensed areas at concessions.

“The Board is seeking public feedback via an online questionnaire, interviews at concessions, and focus groups,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. “We want to know what food and beverages people want to buy at our concessions—Thai, Japanese, BBQ or hamburgers—and even if we should convert some concessions into another format with casual seating.”

The Serving Up a Fresh Concession Strategy comes as a result of a motion last November by Kirby-Yung directing staff to explore other concession operating models and give consideration to diverse business plans and the repurposing of existing locations.

Give us your feedback

Park Board staff will be interviewing patrons this long weekend at half-a-dozen concessions, such as at:

  • Spanish Banks East
  • Second Beach
  • Third Beach in Stanley Park

Take the online questionnaire

The questionnaire has been extended until May 29.

In addition, the Board is looking for people to participate in focus groups on May 31.

Concession history

Food concessions have been operating since the 1950s and early 1960s and some even earlier. As parks developed, food services became an integral part of a visit to parks and beaches.

The Park Board contracts out to private operators and is currently responsible purchasing food and beverages, as well as maintaining the buildings. Concessions operate on a seasonal basis starting April 1, except for the one at the Information Booth in Stanley Park, which is open year round.

Food trucks in parks

In addition to concessions, the Park Board issues permits for food trucks/food carts to operate at parks and beaches.

This year, the Board issued 21 permits—the most since food carts began operating in three park sites in 2012.