Food and Beverage 2016

GaryH

TS Member
Wonder now if they regret getting rid of the franchise units , e.g. McDonalds, given that Merlin would not having to supply the stock or the staff to run them....
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Wonder now if they regret getting rid of the franchise units , e.g. McDonalds, given that Merlin would not having to supply the stock or the staff to run them....
I'm sure we would all welcome the return of franchises. I doubt the park will be thinking this way though as some of the franchise fees for these brands are astronomical. The whole reason they went down the own brand route was so they could source their own stock and consumables to maximise margin on what they sold.
 

Leah

TS Member
Wonder now if they regret getting rid of the franchise units , e.g. McDonalds, given that Merlin would not having to supply the stock or the staff to run them....
Thought the reason McDonald's went was because it had ridiculously low hygiene ratings? That said though, I wouldn't mind kfc to return. I think the gravy they serve at fcc (and ffac last season) is actually oxtail soup, and though tower's wasn't as bad, legolands fcc was more grease than chicken last year.
 

GaryH

TS Member
Yeah it did have low ratings unfortunately. Pity because I think when McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC were on park the food offerings were actually pretty good, and the prices more reasonable! But yes, they got slammed in the hygiene ratings.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Thought the reason McDonald's went was because it had ridiculously low hygiene ratings? That said though, I wouldn't mind kfc to return. I think the gravy they serve at fcc (and ffac last season) is actually oxtail soup, and though tower's wasn't as bad, legolands fcc was more grease than chicken last year.

I thought it was Burger King that had the hygiene issues?

I have heard another reason McDonalds went was they wanted another 10 year contract (McDs had been there 1998-2007) that Merlin/Tussauds didn't want to offer. Burger King were willing to take a 3 year contract as I think it was planned that Merlin branded Burger Kitchen would take over after the three years.
 

Croftybaby

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
The majority of us applauded the move from big branded outlets to the introduction of in house catering. Chessington at this time was impressing us with the variety of high quality Merlin owned outlets and everything looked promising. Fast forward 8 years and I think it has been a massive missed opportunity.
I think now it would be a good time to bring back in some big brands. We are undoubtedly living in a culture dominated by brands, especially with the younger generation, seeing these brands on park in a classy way will no doubt offer better customer satisfaction ratings alongside releasing some of the pressure from the failing in-house outlets.
 

Ted

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
I'd give anything to have Maccies back on the park (and at Chessie as well).
 

CoasterCrazyChris

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
The majority of us applauded the move from big branded outlets to the introduction of in house catering. Chessington at this time was impressing us with the variety of high quality Merlin owned outlets and everything looked promising. Fast forward 8 years and I think it has been a massive missed opportunity.
I think now it would be a good time to bring back in some big brands. We are undoubtedly living in a culture dominated by brands, especially with the younger generation, seeing these brands on park in a classy way will no doubt offer better customer satisfaction ratings alongside releasing some of the pressure from the failing in-house outlets.

I agree that it can be quite exciting to see ordinary high street brands like fast food chains presented in a themed environment, it's like you have bits of familiarity weaved in to the unique world of the theme park.

When McDonalds/KFC/Pizza Hut were introduced in 1998 they were all heavily themed. In fact probably the best themed eateries that the park has ever had. There was Katanga Cookhouse, X-Sector Meltdown, Cred Street Diner, The Generator, Jester's Court......mostly themed very well to their respective areas.

Now what do we have? Essentially a cheaper knock off Merlin version of McDonalds/KFC but with even poorer quality food, inflated prices and restaurants so drab and uninspired they would look dated even in the most crap high street (putting vinyls of rides on walls does not count as theming).

In fairness Explorer's Pizza Pasta, Fresh Fish and Chips and the Mexican Cantina were decent when they first came along, but the menu's were slimmed and the quality dropped while the prices rose as ever.

You know its bad when you actually want them to bring back the brands.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Getting rid of franchises was a Merlin wide decision as part of a long term plan for the company to provide its own catering. Although some franchises remain at Thorpe and some other parks, it was nothing to do with a low hygiene rating in one outlet at Towers that triggered the company wide development of its own brand food development. I'm pretty sure there was a report to investors you could find online a few years back to do with the development of Burger Kitchen etc.

On a good day, I don't think the Merlin food is that bad actually. I just find it inconsistent, something which you don't get as much with big brand franchise outlets.
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
Some of the food is nice, I think fried chicken is also very good. But for the cost it's not good value at all. You can get nicer chicken at KFC for a lot cheaper than you can for a meal at fried chicken co. The same applies at burger kitchen, it's about £7.50 for a standard meal there now. The prices seem to rise and rise each year, and way more than the likes of KFC and McDonald's.

As for themed outlets. I wonder how much of that was decided by Alton towers/tussards or by the companies. I expect it was probably tussards who said you could have the franchise but you will have to spend a fortune refurbishing the restaurant to fit the area.

The only ones left that are nicely themed is pizza pasta at towers and KFC at Thorpe. The rest are all generic Merlin chains.
 

bluesonichd

TS Member
[QUOTE="djtruefitt, post: 163129, member: 121"nicer chicken at KFC .[/QUOTE]
You can't use nice and KFC in the same sentence ! ;)
 

CoasterCrazyChris

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Some of the food is nice, I think fried chicken is also very good. But for the cost it's not good value at all. You can get nicer chicken at KFC for a lot cheaper than you can for a meal at fried chicken co. The same applies at burger kitchen, it's about £7.50 for a standard meal there now. The prices seem to rise and rise each year, and way more than the likes of KFC and McDonald's.

As for themed outlets. I wonder how much of that was decided by Alton towers/tussards or by the companies. I expect it was probably tussards who said you could have the franchise but you will have to spend a fortune refurbishing the restaurant to fit the area.

The only ones left that are nicely themed is pizza pasta at towers and KFC at Thorpe. The rest are all generic Merlin chains.

Pizza Pasta is one of the park's better eateries but I wouldn't describe it as 'themed'.

I think the Tavern is the only real themed outlet on park now, left over from the days of Merrie England.
 

danni87

TS Member
Pizza pasta is kinda slow today. Big wait round the buffet for new pizzas, which I haven't seen every other time I've been.
 
Top