2021: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 2nd Nov 2020.

  1. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    1,802
    Let's hope the advert is for a replacement for the grumpy woman who walked off in a strop during Oktoberfest (after table service was introduced) when we questioned her why she ignored our table to server 2 others even though we had our hand up the longest and she had acknowledged she'd come to us next!
     
  2. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    5,465
    Ah we all have off days, just took some time to settle into the new ways of working I think. I found the staff a pretty friendly bunch in the end, even in gale force winds and rain :tearsofjoy:.
     
    Skyscraper and Connor98 like this.
  3. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3,679
    Likes Received:
    4,061
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Bring back maccyD’s!!!!
     
    spinba11, Alsty, Matt878787 and 2 others like this.
  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    In terms of the park run things, what actually is "missing" compared to say 20 years ago.
    Whats now Woodcutters used to be a stage, then a BBQ and now is a permanent restaurant so I suppose that was a conversion from fast food to plated meals, but it was nothing 20 years ago and a stage before that.
    But McDonalds 3 locations are still Burger Kitchen. KFC is now Just Chicken and Pizza Hut serves pizza (but a buffet not takeout style).
    The cafe on Cred St has become a shop. But we have a new cafe Little Explorers Lunch box in CBeebies (I don't think the farm had any catering.
    Some outlets have been closed in the last few years but come and go, such as the outlets in Dark Forest (now run by Eastern Express I think) and some of the Mutiny Bay places come and go.
    Also in the last 20 years the Ripsaw arcade became a cafe and then shut again and Nemesis Nosh changed from a bus, to a static outlet in the old Nemesis shop, to a fish and chip shop which burnt down and got changed to a cafe.
    So I guess the Nemesis Nosh is a loss but we gained Rollercoaster Restaurant.
    But the only place that seems to be a long-term closure is Towers Bar & Grill.


    Overall I think it is speed of service that is the issue, coupled with the conversion of the Katanga Pizza/KFC from fast food to a buffet.
    There are more places to get plated meals now (Pizza buffet, Woodcutters, Rollercoaster) but one or two fewer takeaway options.

    Where is all the missing capacity?

    The main thing I would add now is a replacement fish and chips place.
     
    Buster11 and Skyscraper like this.
  5. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,647
    Likes Received:
    7,266
    Since the Smiler incident F&B wise the park has lost the following with no replacement:

    Towers St Bar and Grill
    Mexican Cantina
    FV Burger Kitchen
    Refresh @ Ripsaw Cafe
    Wobble World Cafe
    Courtyard BBQ

    There were other closures such as Forest Feast and Rehydrator Bar but they have reopened since and a new restaurant has opened in the form of Rollercoaster Restaurant but capacity is still down versus 2015.
     
    djtruefitt, jon81uk and Skyscraper like this.
  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    I forgot about courtyard BBQ that and Nemesis Nosh / Fish and chips are probably the biggest losses. The Ripsaw cafe is effectively replaced with the cafe in the old fish and chips i guess.
    Hadn’t realised Forbidden Valley Burger Kitchen wasn’t opening, I’m sure it was operating last time I visited?
     
    AT86 likes this.
  7. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    I used to love this one the memories I have are great of this cantina. Having fajitas for lunch, then round the corner for a ride on the flume and getting soaked in the sun! I honestly don't know how I don't miss the flume it was a classic, I guess wicker man has done a great job succesfully replacing such an iconic attraction
     
    GaryH likes this.
  8. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,647
    Likes Received:
    7,266
    It stopped being a Burger Kitchen a while back and did serve Hotdogs for a short time in peak periods in 2019 I believe but it wasn’t permanent.

    Yes the Coffee Lounge could be considered a replacement to Refresh @ Ripsaw but that is still one location down as previously there was Ripsaw and Fish and Chips operating.
     
    Skyscraper and jon81uk like this.
  9. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    5,046
    Contracting out any food and bev outlets seems insane to me. The margin in hot food is incredible. I just think Merlin need to get better at it rather than contracting out. I miss Towers Street bar and grill the most.

    Imagine being open as a full on pub after ride closed for steak, chips and beer. Sitting outside at sunset with the towers lit up on a summers evening with a tooth pick and a pint.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
    Rosie, Islander and pluk like this.
  10. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    1,802
    Oh yeah of course, and that's why we didn't officially complain or anything. We knew she/they were external staff but the thing that concerned me was many other people probably didn't know that and would've assumed they were Towers staff. We did mention it to the box office when we were in there about something else and they said they'd had other people complaining about the staff on the lawns too. So maybe it wasn't such an isolated incident as we first thought!
     
  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    For the temporary stuff they had for Oktoberfest on the lawns it makes some sense, they don't need to own the vans and stalls then, easier to get someone in to run the temp stuff.
    Other things such as passing the Forest Feast outlets on to Eastern Express I guess is just passing the risk on, so if they aren't busy then AT don't have the risk of unused stock and paying staff. However as things pick up I am surprised they don't bring those back in house.

    I'm sure they tried this and no guests used it. Why pay theme park prices when you can stop somewhere cheaper on the way home? At least Rollercoaster Restaurant offers a gimmick.

    Hopefully they get the Burger Kitchen re-opened this season as things get busier. It serves the same menu as the other outlets so should be easy enough to open. Although they really need more fast food with decent seating capacity.
    Courtyard BBQ should also return, or move to Towers St grill as a fast food option.
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  12. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    5,465
    The in house stuff that Merlin started was great. We had some really food additions, but as with anything we started to see a noticeable drop in quality (Mexican Cantina for example) to try and push up profit. This led to less people using them and ultimately the places being watered down into closure. That wasn't an Alton Towers only thing either, Thorpe Park, Chessington and even Heide Park also saw similar massive cuts to their F+B lineup. The first Burger Kitchen concept at Blackpool was incredibly good quality, it's a massive shame it didn't carry over.

    I still think there's real potential for something to be done as a post park restaurant on Towers Street though. It was attempted very very briefly at Woodcutters, but was never carried on enough to be established. It just needs the right promotion and pricing to be successful.
     
    Alsty and jon81uk like this.
  13. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,647
    Likes Received:
    7,266
    The park closing so early over the last few seasons hasn’t helped in terms of getting people to stay for a meal. Who wants dinner at 4pm?

    With hopefully longer opening hours (especially over the summer), having some outdoor seating at the Towers Grill terrace to show people that it is open and serving and some kind of offer to tempt them in (kids eat free? Happy Hour?) it could work.
     
    Towers jamie likes this.
  14. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    This also goes back to discussions about the Stargazing pods in the other thread too. They could sell packages when you book accommodation with dinner included on-park (probably only on days with 6pm closes though). That would encourage guests to use Towers St grill instead of the hotel restaurants and spread people out so there is more capacity. It could also be used to offer a breakfast upgrade for those in the stargazing pods. Or to help with capacity in the other restaurants at breakfast.

    Maybe on 6pm closure days there would be day guests interested in easting before they leave, but I'm just not certain the demand is there.
     
    pluk and Craig like this.
  15. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    5,465
    Bring back breakfasts on Towers Street for everyone to be honest, loved those back in the day!
     
    Rosie, Matt.GC, Rob and 6 others like this.
  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    They could copy Disney and do breakfast with CBeebies characters.

    (I know thats not what you meant, but I am surprised they haven't explored character meals as an option).
     
    Skyscraper and AT86 like this.
  17. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    6,214
    Likes Received:
    4,109
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    Going back to the (temporary) flat rides, it will be interesting to see how long the cycles are, as fair rides tend to have longer cycles than theme park rides. Also, could we see them being manually opped (operator controls speed, direction and length, etc) or with automatic cycles (operator hits start and the computer controls the cycle)? Have Towers manually opped flat rides before?
     
  18. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    I imagine for the one in forbbiden valley it'll have to be manually opped because the normal cycle looks way too intense for families. Same with waltzers
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  19. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Location:
    Essex
    Travelling ride cycles are generally longer when they are effectively serving as a 'come and ride me' advert. Ride durations fall dramatically when there are sufficient punters waiting to ride to fill the next cycle.

    These will probably run at a few minutes duration at the most. There will probably practically always be some level of queue and their job is to burn through them.
     
    jon81uk and Skyscraper like this.
  20. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3,679
    Likes Received:
    4,061
    Location:
    Cardiff
    What’s really missing from the park and the hotels is a decent high quality restaurant. Somewhere which is nice inside, with actual quality food, good service, and some nice ambience.

    It’s very difficult now I find to get a decent quality meal in both in the theme park and the hotels. People don’t mind paying for good quality but they do object to paying high prices for cheap low quality. Rollercoaster restaurant is a prime example of this, it’s high prices and low quality and you only have to see the trip advisor reviews to realise that.

    The food offerings in the park and hotels really need to be sorted out. I was looking through the reviews of splash landings restaurant the other day and it’s truly shocking. I remember when it first opened, the food was very very good and varied.

    Same with secret garden when that first opened, Angus steak burgers yum yum.

    Woodcutters is probably the better restaurant in the resort at the moment but it’s too small. I’m hoping this hasn’t been hit by cost cutting this year!
     
    Cheese, jon81uk and Alsty like this.

Share This Page