Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Roary, 15th Mar 2021.
I’m no chef but I’m sure it’d win over those stale buns of disappointment
I did once see a family with a disposable BBQ on the front lawn. I'd be surprised if that was allowed!
Who was it who first mentioned hot dogs in a flask???
Towers really miss a trick with their food offerings, if they had items that people actually *wanted* to buy they’d make a killing. You only have to look at how Disney have managed to make such an event of limited time snack items, it would make sense for Towers to offer some more inspired options .
Something that I would love to see would be a dedicated Street Food Market in Fountain Square - even if it’s just like the Food Trucks in Disney Springs this would be great and likely very profitable.
There is nothing inspired or special about any of the food offerings at ATR whatsoever. Nitrogenie's product was unique to a point, but even that has closed now.
Given the step change in the street food scene across the UK over the past decade, ATR would have been well placed to step up to that plate. But no. It's not changed. In fact the choice has deteriorated on park. The F&B Director is obviously stuck in the same-old-same-old mentality, rather like entertainments used to be, rather than challenging the powers-that-be to try new things and keep up with trends. I guess they got a gin bar at ATH a decade after gin started its renaissance...!
Maybe F&B is the next department at ATR to have a kick up the arse?
I hope they do! If they want a sure fire way to tap into the social media side of it , have each venue have an AP exclusive treat , they would be plastered all over FB groups and Instagram and regular visitors would part with their cash for something they see as exclusive .
I was watching a vlog by Despicable Three and they talk about themed Slushes for each ride - things like this would work really well as the rides at Towers do all have distinct branding . Even simple things like ride themed Freestyle combos could be added at little to no cost to the park
The best food I ever had at a Merlin park was Roast and Relish at Thorpe. It was proper carvery meat in baps with pickles. So so good, and seemingly always popular, but for whatever reason it didn't work out and went. I know the mark up on carvery is huge and the selection and prep by design is simple, really quick to serve up too, so there must be money in it?
I'm sure it would work at Towers.
Universal Studios has exclusive mixes on the Coke Freestyle machines, I’m sure AT/Merlin/Thorpe can work with Coke to get something special.
But themed food just doesn’t seem to be a thing outside of the Disney (and somewhat Universal) parks. I don’t think Six Flags offfers Loony Tunes shaped food? Most interesting thing I got at Phantasialand was churros.
As much as I’d like to see it at AT, I just don’t think there is the market/interest.
But the fresh donuts are the best thing at the park! They to me are the unique interesting thing at AT.
I agree they need to improve the quality and variety of fast food, but for snacks do you think most people want more than donuts/churros and ice creams? Although is there anywhere on the park right now offering scooped ice cream?
It’s not a thing until someone makes it a thing ! You just know the passholders (a huge proportion of guests these days) would eat it up. The standout offering of the UKs premiere theme park shouldn’t be the same Donuts you’d get at any seaside
It just isn't going to be a thing until AT make it a thing.
For as long as rollovers, cheap burgers and crap fries are what the park serve up, it will be all that is served up.
The most exciting thing the park do is that donut burger at Just Chicken. I mean, you just need to look at the beer menu to know just how stuck in the 1990s the park is.
Stella or Fosters it was last year. Now it's Corona or Bud Light.
Society has moved on. But ATR - and UK parks in general - have not.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me why the park (to my knowledge) doesn't offer any specialty drinks in souvenir cups or anything. Similar to the blue and green milks at Galaxy's Edge, it'd be nice to be able to get a wicker man alcoholic ginger beer in a nice decorative cup, or a Galactica cream soda float. It'd just add a nice bit of variety to the drinks offering on park. I might be the only person who wants something like this though haha.
Have other European parks made a big deal of unique snacks? I’ve only done Disney and Phantasialand so don’t have much to refer to. Quality of food at PL is good but the selection didn’t seem out of the ordinary for a theme park really. Chinese noodles, burgers, Mexican etc.
I completely agree that AT should step up and offer better quality fast food, but I think quality and variety is important first then offering uniquely themed stuff.
Thing is, of the ones you listed at Phantasialand - Chinese noodles, Mexican - neither are available at ATR. They used to be... but no more. So that says it all really. Things have been slashed not because guests don't want that, I queued 15 minutes for Mexican once at ATR, but all in the interest of the bottom line they now offer less outlets and there are less staff to pay - regardless.
I don't really mind about weird/wonderful snacks like say what Tokyo Disney offer - just a selection is what is needed. I think we agree, actually. Let's not let weird food obscure the need for just better food. Street Food is HUGE nowadays... ATR should capitalise on this.
For the record - Phantasialand offer Tarte Flambée, Crepes, Jambalaya - all to take away. Plus the usual pizza, burgers, bratwurst etc. A selection.
yep I completely agree that the alternative food options need to return. It’s the unique and themed stuff I was wondering if other parks offered.
As you say AT they did have these options, Mexican was offered and noodles for a while (although in an awful location). Not sure if Chessington or Thorpe still have the noddles too, I know Thorpe still has Mexican and others, but their burgers and fried chicken is still contracted out so I guess the park feels it is more worthwhile to offer the other options.
Choices at ATR for main meals/savoury food to take away:
- Loaded Fries (x 1 venue)
- Hotdogs (Rollover/tinned) (x 6 venues)
- Nachos (x 1 venue)
- Prepacked Sandwiches/Toasties (manufactured off site, x 2 venues)
- Kebabs (franchised, x 2 venues)
- Jacket potatoes (franchised x 2, in house x 1 venue)
- Chips (everywhere)
- Burgers (basic, not dirty/street food style) (franchised x 2, in house x 2 venues)
- Fried Chicken (x 1 venue)
- Curry (x 1 venue, franchised)
- Pasta Pots/Salad bar (x 1 venue)
Wow... The effort. The choice. You can't even get a slice of pizza.
I quite enjoyed the wraps by Wicker Man but they only appeared for a season or two(?). These days options are so limited. It's kind of depressing to see how things have regressed over the years.
It's quite telling that the non-Merlin Eastern Express is the best "snacky" place on the park.
I remember nicely spiced lattice fries from the Courtyard.
Looks like a couple of salad options have now been added to the Woodcutters Menu.
None of the Merlin food offerings are different or inspiring. Your average once a year visiting guest sees a day out at a theme park as something special / a bit of a treat. If Merlin offered decent themed food guests would be willing to pay and they'd make a killing. Ask any pub landlord / manager and they'll tell you good food is where the money is made in the pub trade - not on "wet" sales.
I'm not advocating fine dining, just something a bit different to what you can get pretty much anywhere outside the theme park. I know Epcot is a different proposition in terms of park size / operating hours etc, but their food & wine festival is seen as an attraction in it's own right.
I think the real reason Merlin do the same rubbish food at all their parks is so they can drive economies of scale. They've doubtless got a supply contract with one of the big food suppliers (Brakes / Bidvest / Creed etc) that covers all their parks.
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