Kamloops restaurant cites lack of staff, reliance on delivery apps for closure
- This story was originally published May 25, 2022.
A German restaurant and bakery in Kamloops is closing its doors and its owner cites a litany of reasons for the tough decision.
On June 30, Passek's Classics will close its doors for the last time.
"I feel really bad we had to make this decision," said Harry Passek, who has owned the restaurant with his wife Susan for 14 years.
He said a combination of post-COVID factors led them to close the downtown restaurant, including a lack of staff and a lack of patronage now that public health restrictions have been removed.
"We're just not making the money we need to make here," he said, adding that he and his wife often work 12-hour days to keep the restaurant afloat.
Since COVID restrictions lessened and they were able to welcome people back inside, he said customers aren't coming in the doors like they used to.
"We were rocking it" before the pandemic, he said. Since then, much of their business has come from Skip the Dishes and other delivery services.
"I can't make money on that," Passek said.
While delivery services work for customers, it costs Passek's too much money to keep the restaurant afloat. After expanding to a larger building less than two years ago, he said it's "not worth losing my house" to keep the restaurant open.
He believes people are hesitant to go downtown due to homelessness and vandalism issues in the area.
Passek has worked 40 years in the restaurant industry, the last 14 of which were spent running his own restaurant which moved to three separate locations in downtown Kamloops. Now that Passek's is closing, he's going to help his employees find work at other local restaurants and find his own work as a chef without the stress of owning a business in a post-pandemic economy.
The decision means the closure of the only German-focused restaurant in the city.
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