Food & Beverage 2021

rob666

TS Member
There is a demand, but it isn't worth unmothballing, finding and training staff, then mothballing and destocking again for the sake of ten days.
And we have had some stunning picnics, sometimes shared with complete strangers, under the big chestnut tree at the bottom of express parking.
Three courses, and cheap, good quality beer in real glasses, two minutes walk from the park, with zero queues and good company.
All for around twenty quid.
Picnic blanket and flasks of tea and hot dogs, not a sweaty egg butty in sight.
 

Plastic Person

TS Member
On ridiculously busy days just take your own food or expect to wait to get what you want. It's pretty simple. They're not going to build an extra couple of restaurants just for a couple of weeks worth of busy days then have them lay empty for 98% of the season. This is the real world. Accept it for what it is and decide how you're going to deal with the situation.

Yes, but the current discussion is that it's patently absurd that a 'resort' of the size and popularity of Alton Towers doesn't have better and more plentiful opportunities to sit down for a basic meal, especially as the park has frequently increased its opening hours in recent memory. Like many other people, I want to be able to part with cash on a visit in order for this to be the case. As for "deciding how to deal with the situation", I personally find the absolute lack of all but the most basic provisions has made me want to visit the park much less over the years.

This is the real world, and it's driven my consumer capitalism, so I would counter-argue that they are missing a trick in leaving those restaurant facilities completely abandoned, although I understand that stocking fresh (or otherwise) food is tricky. But then, the park is clearly shifting it's priorities, and seems to have made vast improvements in the post-COVID era, so the F&B situation is surely a bit of a relic?

Hopefully this might improve in the future. Staffing issues are undoubtedly making things worse than usual. Even my visit to Europa Park earlier this year was beset by slow queues for food and comparatively limited choice.
 
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James

TS Founding Member
The fact that F&B is complained about so much (not just enthusiasts, see Trip Advisor) just goes to show how dire the F&B situation is?

Even those who recommend or take packed lunches themselves, that further shows that offerings at the resort need improving.

If current offerings were more high quality and there were more options on park perhaps complaints would drop and those who usually take a packed lunch may be more inclined/enticed in by the resort offerings. There have been temporary food vans/trucks on the resort nearly the entire of the 2021 season. With more events and increased hours I think there's scope to add more F&B options in future as guests are on park longer and have time to go and sit down in a restaurant to have a meal.

I think a good start would be to look at reopening one or two of the mothballed outlets. Personally I would love to see something like a large covered outdoor seating area with an array of street food outlets operated by Towers.
 

rob666

TS Member
Yup, the reason we picnic is because we can no longer get decent food at a reasonable price any more, gone are the days of silver service at the Swiss Cottage!
I'm sure they could run it at a profit, but again, most weeks midweek it would probably run at a loss.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Is the large Burger Kitchen next to the Dungeons operating at the moment?
That is probably the highest capacity seated restaurant they have.
Woodcutters should have been built larger to start with.
Pizza/pasta is just big enough but is too small for the demand on busier days.

Run well with all existing places open there could just about be enough capacity most of the year. but it is telling that they have always brought in burger vans for fireworks as they know once X Sector and Dark Forest areas close to prepare for fireworks there has never been enough capacity at the front of the park. But this year they have offered good vans all season. Some have been to do a theme for Oktoberfest etc but it also just feels like they acknowledged AT cannot run enough F&B operations in house.

seating capacity is a separate issue too and one I think exists all season not just at peak times. There are too many small eateries like Just Chicken that were never designed to handle crowds. Also too many places like Burger Kitchen in FV and MB where there is basically no seating at all.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
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Nemesis
Is the large Burger Kitchen next to the Dungeons operating at the moment?
That is probably the highest capacity seated restaurant they have.
Woodcutters should have been built larger to start with.
Pizza/pasta is just big enough but is too small for the demand on busier days.

Run well with all existing places open there could just about be enough capacity most of the year. but it is telling that they have always brought in burger vans for fireworks as they know once X Sector and Dark Forest areas close to prepare for fireworks there has never been enough capacity at the front of the park. But this year they have offered good vans all season. Some have been to do a theme for Oktoberfest etc but it also just feels like they acknowledged AT cannot run enough F&B operations in house.

seating capacity is a separate issue too and one I think exists all season not just at peak times. There are too many small eateries like Just Chicken that were never designed to handle crowds. Also too many places like Burger Kitchen in FV and MB where there is basically no seating at all.
It is, and is's my go-to restaurant if I'm doing a longer day at Towers. Didn't have a great meal a couple of weeks back though; They didn't put cheese in my burger even though I ordered a plain cheeseburger (my usual order), and had no tomato ketchup sachets! (possibly due to the driver shortage?)
I didn't complain as it was still edible, just a bit dry.
 

Inferno

TS Member
I completely agree with the food situation.

Queues at the sit-in restaurants were beyond ridiculous today (Sunday), and the old-fashioned hotdog hole-in-the-wall style places are very outdated and unwanted now I think. A lot of people want a proper meal now, at a table.

Rollercoaster Restaurant’s food was also dire today. Really awful.

Waiting for the fireworks to start would have been much better with a couple more restaurants and coffee shops for people to sit in.
 

Matt878787

TS Member
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Nemesis
and the old-fashioned hotdog hole-in-the-wall style places are very outdated and unwanted now I think.

I don’t know, I quite like the hotdogs from the stall opposite Wickerman. Much preferred to those stale dry things they serve in Burger Kitchen.

Some variation wouldn’t go a miss across the park for non indoor places.. I reckon the now empty stall by Duel would prove popular as somewhere to grab takeaway burritos/tacos for example.
 

Boothy

TS Member
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Nemesis
I completely agree with the food situation.

Queues at the sit-in restaurants were beyond ridiculous today (Sunday), and the old-fashioned hotdog hole-in-the-wall style places are very outdated and unwanted now I think. A lot of people want a proper meal now, at a table.

Rollercoaster Restaurant’s food was also dire today. Really awful.

Waiting for the fireworks to start would have been much better with a couple more restaurants and coffee shops for people to sit in.

What time did you go to rollercoaster restaurant? We queued for shy of half an hour just after midday and had a delicious (albeit very spicy) meal! We were actually really impressed with our visit yesterday so it's sad to see that wasn't shared by all.
 

Danny

TS Contributor
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Steel Vengeance
I completely agree with the food situation.

Queues at the sit-in restaurants were beyond ridiculous today (Sunday), and the old-fashioned hotdog hole-in-the-wall style places are very outdated and unwanted now I think. A lot of people want a proper meal now, at a table.
.

I wouldn't say they are unwanted, they rack up queues in the main season. The issue they will have had this weekend is that:

a) More guests were prepared to have a sit-down meal due to the length of the day on park. Queues for the restaurants aren't typically as long in the main season.
b) The competition from the outsourced food vans on the lawns. They have queues every year right up until after the display.

Guests are still happy to grab quick fast food from the wall outlets, but the quality of these items is vastly inferior compared to the rest of the F&B line-up.
 
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Boothy

TS Member
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Nemesis
My biggest issue yesterday was immediately before the fireworks wanting to grab a snack from the food vans to realise the ONLY vegetarian option from any van was a £5 portion of rubbish looking chips.
 

D4n

TS Member
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Taron
My biggest issue yesterday was immediately before the fireworks wanting to grab a snack from the food vans to realise the ONLY vegetarian option from any van was a £5 portion of rubbish looking chips.

Vegetarian options from the external vendors have been lacking all year. Surprising, to be honest, will have definitely lost those external caterers a few bob.
 

Boothy

TS Member
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Nemesis
Vegetarian options from the external vendors have been lacking all year. Surprising, to be honest, will have definitely lost those external caterers a few bob.

Yeah we were surprised that there wasn't at least one vegan vendor in this day and age.
 

WillPS

TS Member
It is, and is's my go-to restaurant if I'm doing a longer day at Towers. Didn't have a great meal a couple of weeks back though; They didn't put cheese in my burger even though I ordered a plain cheeseburger (my usual order), and had no tomato ketchup sachets! (possibly due to the driver shortage?)
I didn't complain as it was still edible, just a bit dry.
A plain cheeseburger is a burger with just cheese and nothing else, right? A plain burger or hamburger I would expect to have no cheese.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
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Nemesis
A plain cheeseburger is a burger with just cheese and nothing else, right? A plain burger .r hamburger I would expect to have no cheese.
Yeah I asked for a plain cheeseburger, which has no sauces, no salad, just the bun, burger and cheese. My receipt did not state no cheese, only no sauces and onion.
 

Boothy

TS Member
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Nemesis
Okay so I am currently enduring my first breakfast at flambos for the best part of a decade.

This forum has led me to expect the worst and oh my word it really is something else. This needs an overhaul
 

Rob

TS Team
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Steel Vengeance
Meanwhile, just down the road at Denstone Farm Shop you can have a quite delicious breakfast. Highly recommended!
 

Nerdsticks

TS Member
Made the mistake of arranging breakfast at the Crooked Spoon a couple weeks ago now, was a first time for us staying in the EV complex so was very curious to see how it compared to the low bar that is Flambo's, pretty much the exact same miserable experience. I've had a more pleasant experience eating Hospital food in the ward!
 
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