Food & Beverage 2021

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Roary, 15th Mar 2021.

  1. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    sounds very similar to the buffet offerings when it was at its best. But the pricing is a bit off I think. I don’t expect the quality to be at a £7.50 level for dessert.


    It is a buffet, but most places are avoiding buffet service as it’s harder to make Covid secure. Would need to be assisted service so easier to just do fully waited anyway.
     
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  2. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Great new menu. Love it. Lots of vegan options and not the usual boring stuff.

    Hopefully beverages are also a step up in quality.

    Never visited it as a buffet but will actively seek it out now. Hopefully Secret Garden is similar quality upon reopening.
     
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  3. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    SGR took a step up in 2019. Hope it reopens with a good menu!

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Looks pricey, but a great menu. Would be up for that upon my next visit.
     
  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    On an unrelated note; what is it that everyone thinks is so wrong with Alton Towers’ food offering at present? Admittedly, I haven’t eaten lunch from an on-park food stand since at least 2017, as we take packed lunches these days, but from my point of view, surely all you need for food in a theme park is something quite simple and quick to get at, which I think Alton Towers does pretty well?

    For me personally, I wouldn’t say that food is a huge element of the theme park experience (though admittedly, I’m not the biggest foodie in general and have quite a simple palette), more something you go for at a certain time of the day, so I think that what Alton Towers currently provides in this regard is perfectly adequate.
     
    Last edited: 11th May 2021
  6. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

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    For me it’s just nothing special, and with the park being open for longer this year it’s really disappointing to finally have the time to sit down for a meal and have limited options.
     
  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Lack of choice, fish and chips was replaced with another coffee bar. Courtyard bbq is still missing.
    Removal of substantial options, forbidden valley burger kitchen was replaced with hot dogs which don’t feel as much of a meal I think.
     
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  8. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    I wouldn't consider this an issue at all. There are more than enough Burger Kitchens at the park without it.

    Lack of variety is the killer for me.

    Woodcutters and Rollercoaster Restaurant are the only two "good quality" outlets at the park and both have / had near-identical menus. Meanwhile Burger Kitchens and Rollover Hot Dogs are everywhere.
     
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  9. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    it’s mainly for me that I don’t think of a rollover hot dog as a proper meal so it left forbidden valley with no full fast food option only a coffee bar and hot dogs (or rollercoaster restaurant). I agree there previously was too many burger places, but burgers have been in those three locations for at least 23 years. The removal of fish and chips is the main driver of lack of variety. But also the kebabs at Nemesis Nosh.
     
  10. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I think there’s too much duplication across the park for food and drink, for example you can buy a hot dog on towers street, mutiny bay, forbidden valley and outside woodcutters when they have the temp stand open.

    The same for donuts, Towers Street, mutiny bay, forbidden valley and X sector. Then there are two burger kitchens. Three coffee outlets, all selling the same items.

    At least at Thorpe and Chessie there’s a bit more variety. I do miss the fish and chips and courtyard, as both were different and also easy take away food, so we’re still quick and easy, compared to a sit down meal.
     
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  11. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Theme parks in the UK just don't prioritise food/beverage within the parks. Parks around the world do so, but here in the UK we're actually quite unusual.

    Many parks develop their own 'specialities' that guests start to link with the brand. Alton Towers are typically behind the curve when it comes to 'keeping up with trends' in food and beverage. The gin bar was added to ATH 10 years after the gin revolution kicked off. They added Goose IPA at ATH about eight years after the craft beer revolution was all over the high street.

    Nothing about any of the park's food is unusual, different or special. It is all extremely safe, basic quality. Even the drinks menu - which is pretty much a working mans club offering of beers, is extremely old fashioned - why aren't they working with local firms like Project D? Freedom Brewery or Uttoxeter Brewing Co? Oatcakes & Milkshakes? Bear Coffee? These firms could provide food and beverage options.

    There are occasional glimmers though: Nitrogenie was something unique, but has gone. The Doughnut sundaes from Rehydrator had potential - but they have been sacked off.

    As Mike says - there's a dire lack of 'choice'. Doughnuts, Hotdogs and Burgers are available at many different outlets on park. We've lost mexican, chinese, pie/mash, fish and chips, pasties and wraps in recent years. That's quite a chunk of choice gone.

    i just doubt the 'street-cred' that the leadership within F&B has.
     
    Last edited: 11th May 2021
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  12. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    It's a Merlin trademark. I've said it before and I'll say it again... they consider food merely as subsistence. As long as it fills a hole, that's it ticked off the list.
     
  13. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    A bugbear of mine is the snacks/crisps that they serve at the hotel bars.

    It’s pretty much just those small pots of Pringles, which is ok if you are 6 years old and want to run around sucking Pringles til they melt, but would it kill them to have something a bit nicer? - like kettle crisps etc.
     
    Last edited: 11th May 2021
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  14. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It is a pity that Merlin partner with Pringles. Because Pringles aren't crisps and, unlike say if they partnered with a brand like Walkers, don't offer a choice.

    Walkers would be much better - as it covers so many snacks. Including higher end products like sensations which would be great on the bar.
     
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  15. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    One might also question the environmental impact of Pringles considering their container is practically unrecycleable. Merlin should be trying to reduce their waste and carbon footprint, and using their dominant market presence to "do the right thing" and hold their suppliers to account too.
     
  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair Walkers packs aren’t really recyclable either.

    but I agree Pringles aren’t really crisps. Did the park have a crisp sponsor before?
    I know they went from Cadbury to Nestle and back to Cadbury on chocolate. But did Walkers sponsor the parks before Pringles?
     
  17. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Walkers used to be a partner. Their logo is on the back of the 2015 park map (apparently that's the last time I picked up a physical one)
     
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  18. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Walkers were much better as they offered quavers, monster munch, etc on park so there was much more choice. Plus you didn’t feel too ripped off, when now you pay £1.50 for a tiny tub of Pringles when you can get a large pack in Tesco for the same price.

    Drinks wise I don’t get why they don’t have more choice, especially in the hotels, there’s no fancy beers at all, despite beers being massive now, even in the bit chain bars. The same applies to cocktails. They do basic pre mix cocktails, where the menu never changes. Even Wetherspoons updates their cocktail menu every few months (and they are all pre mix).
     
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  19. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    I know this is a recurring theme, but the hotel drinks selection used to be far better. The cocktails weren’t pre-mixed, the beer has progressed in no way whatsoever and the wine list used to actually be reasonably interesting and respectable.

    It’s all a bit depressing nowadays. As others have said, you’d think that adding something that was instagram-able would be worth it’s weight in free promotion.
     
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  20. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    The entire concept of a theme park is escapism. I'm not sure that knock-off, in-house Burger Kings and KFC are the definitions of escapism. Yes, they serve a purpose, but offering something unique and a range of choices simply enhances the guest experience. Look at the popularity of RCR. I'd take a punt that 95 per cent of guests have never experienced a similar concept elsewhere; it's something entirely unique in the UK and has given Towers at least one USP when it comes to food and beverage over the other parks.

    On a bigger picture, I know of people who plan their trips to Orlando from the UK based on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, even though the park is already arguably great for a variety of food on a base day.

    Towers should be adding to food and beverage to create something different for each time a guest visits; not subtracting from that.
     
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