Food & Beverage 2019

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kydog1299, 21st May 2019.

  1. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    I wanted to make a topic for this subject after coming across an interesting poll of food quality, children’s meals (healthy options) and sustainability in visitors attractions and chain restaurants such as Nando’s & PizzaExpress across the UK.

    At no surprise Alton Towers & Legoland scored quite poorly. The report is dated 2018 but provides quite a good insight.

    A link to the report is here: https://www.soilassociation.org/our-campaigns/out-to-lunch/visitor-attractions-league-table/

    Obviously it’s a Theme Park, unhealthy food choices are to be expected, but it’s interesting how Chester Zoo scores quite highly.

    This just further strengthens the argument that food quality and sustainability is falling whilst prices are rising.
     
    Posted 21st May 2019
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  2. AGL

    AGL TowersStreet Member

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    Orb it wasn’t for the 20% discount, we wouldn’t think about buying food in park.

    We pretty much use the Burger Kitchens. They are what they are.
     
    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  3. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    I’m just still sad that McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut are gone from the park. I used to really enjoy a Big Mac in FV
     
    Posted 3rd Jun 2019
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  4. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    I suspect Towers were rather happy to see the "Brand Partners" (McD's / KFC & PizzaHut) leave. They were not run by Towers, but generated a disproportionate number of complaints, as to the guests eyes, "it was at Towers, so it's run by them". Their solution was to put the rent on the units up through the roof at the end of the 10yr contract, so McD's just walked away. Three of the worst performing McDonalds units in the UK in terms of customer satisfaction / mystery shop scores were all located at Alton Towers.

    McDonalds would never return to Towers for two reasons (1) - Merlin won't let them, as the Burger Company is so superior, why would anyone want McDonalds? & (2) the current McDonalds format is based on the "made for you" format with self order kiosks & table service where possible. Neither of these formats lend themselves to takeaway counter style of operation. A McDonalds near me has even closed down as it's in a listed building which cannot be easily adapted to accommodate the "made for you" self order kiosks.
     
    Posted 4th Jun 2019
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  5. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    At the time that the majority of the franchise outlets were removed at AT, I thought it was a great move. I didn’t want to eat food you could get pretty much anywhere on a day out to a theme park, I wanted a unique experience. Plus, Merlin outlets would offer AP discount.

    Fast forward to present day and the perpetual decline of in-house F&B, it’s now gotten to a point that I would actually prefer to see the return of the franchises.

    A sad comment on Merlin’s operation of these units.
     
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    Posted 5th Jun 2019
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  6. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    It is sad that a few years ago there was so much choice across the merlin parks for food. Now we have three burger kitchens, pizza buffet, fried chicken and a variety of hot dog outlets. With not much in between.
     
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    Posted 5th Jun 2019
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  7. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    You can have any colour food you like. As long as it’s beige.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  8. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    It's genuinely sad that the park offerings are so poor. If they had any interesting food I would be less tempted to just take a packed lunch and spend nothing on park.

    There are some amazing quick service F&B outlets in the Orlando parks - outlets like a BBQ smokehouse (like the one merlin axed from wickerman) could be so good (Disney equivalent Flametree at animal kingdom is fantastic).

    Somewhere that does food like ice cream waffles could also be great - all merlin need to do is pop down to one of the many trendy pop up markets that are around London and emulate the stalls they see there. There is even more profit margin in stuff like bbq and waffles than fried chicken and burgers because the ingredients aso cheep compared to the mark up you can charge....
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  9. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    The kebab wraps were nice, just a tad expensive at £5.

    Outsourcing the food is the way to go, but it will never happen these days.

    Long gone are the days when the professionals were left to their own respective remits.

    KFC, Pizza Hut and Mcdonalds on the food, Tussauds on the rides. Now they try to do it all and are crap at it. They just want profit. While the big fast food outlets are not the best, they are damn sight better than what is there and you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  10. wickermansam

    wickermansam TowersStreet Member

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    the days of mcdonalds and well know brands were the best, all it is now is cheap and nasty rat burgers
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  11. Danny

    Danny TPWW's no.1 Fan

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    A few of us spun quite negatively on the Rollercoaster Restaurant Roulette Wheel on Saturday.

    The vast majority of plates on our table were dirty and unclean, as was the cutlery. Drink service was painfully slow.

    Our meals came, three of which were sent back. One of the containers containing just chips had not been cleaned at all of its previous contents, with the remains still surrounding the walls of it.

    The meals that came back weren't all that reflective of the premium prices you're paying in there either.

    Considering there appeared to be six managers in there all at once, not a single one of them appeared to care. "We'll pass the feedback onto the kitchen" commented one of them with a face like a slapped arse as she took our full payments.

    On the positive side, a gaping hole in the wallpaper in gents toilets that appears to have been there since the start of the season has finally been replaced. Shame the love and care goes into the toilets and not the food or service.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  12. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    You actually gave them money after all that‽
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  13. Danny

    Danny TPWW's no.1 Fan

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    I'm not one for demanding an entire bill to be refunded, but we heavily hinted that the experience was shocking and that to pay the full (MAP discounted*) amount would still be a joke. They weren't having any of it.

    I'll be sticking with Eastern Express for the rest of the season. :)
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  14. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    While we on the subject of food quality... i saw an awful picture from the Rollercoaster Restaurant posted online today. In fact, I’ve actually put in spoilers here because it made me feel uneasy just looking at it.
    [​IMG]
    I’ve not been to Alton Towers yet this season, but hearing the food quality – which I’ve had too many issues with in the past – is still awful is not exactly making me want to go. :(
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  15. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    What is that even supposed to be?

    Sounds like it has really gone downhill this season.
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  16. Danny

    Danny TPWW's no.1 Fan

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    It's like that cardboard fish burger saga from the Burger Kitchen all over again!

    At least it's meant to be a burger I suspect? I've seen turds that look more appetising than that.
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  17. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I've seen emergency disaster shelters serve up better food than that. Seriously.

    I have even seen better food served up to inmates inside some of England's Prisons, again, no joke.

    You know food is bad when you can draw comparisons to those two things....Viva la H.M.P Alton Towers. Although it is unfair to place the blame totally within Towers hands, I suspect it is more caused by Merlin. I bet each meal costs less than £0.40 to make. Meaning there are margins galore, as with most things Merlin.

    If Merlin could get their burgers cheaper from a company that has been previously caught up in a horse, human or dog meat scandals, they would not hesitate to change suppliers to them, as long as it looked good on their bottom line and to the investors. Sounds so silly, but it is so true.
     
    Last edited: 6th Jun 2019
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  18. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    Alton towers doing a good job of making the emergency accommodation and food for Fyre Festival look good this year
    [​IMG]
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  19. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Here is an unfortunate homeless person being served in Birmingham a few weeks ago.

    [​IMG]

    Now I am not saying homeless people should be less entitled to a worse meal than anyone else, absolutely not! But it comes to something when you pay through your teeth to go to a theme park, then through your teeth for the food and the food they serve up for PAYING CUSTOMERS is atrocious and is no where near a standard it should be at.

    EDIT:

    I can buy right now 9000 bottles of 500ml Coca Cola for just under £1300, or just over 14p per bottle. The same bottles they sell for £2.60 on park, now I would imagine Merlin being Merlin they have a far higher purchasing power than just me, so could get that price even lower due to the larger amounts they would be purchasing. Daylight robbery springs to mind.
     
    Last edited: 6th Jun 2019
    DiogoJ42 and Doublethink like this.
    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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  20. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    I'll never forget the one and only time I've visited a Merlin Burger Kitchen (Chessington, on it's opening day). The meat was gray, the cheese was green, and the lettuce was brown.
    Never again.
     
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    Posted 6th Jun 2019
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