Food & Beverage 2021

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

  1. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    Management at Towers are missing a trick. They should take a leaf out of the government's book. Get one of their family members to start a company called 'Leek Construction' and then hand them loads of contracts to build unnecessary stuff all over the resort. Quids in!
     
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  2. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I ate at Just Chicken yesterday.

    After waiting 14 minutes for the meal, the "Mozarella Dippers" were a real treat:

    [​IMG]

    ...well there's more than one.
     
  3. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

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    How much did that set you back?
     
  4. Rob F

    Rob F TowersStreet Member

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    More than there worth most likely!
     
  5. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    £2

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    McDonalds is three for £1.69, so that's a bit pricey for sure, but not completly out of line with other charges.
    Same as a lot of stuff at the Merlin theme parks though, the price with annual pass discount would be pretty reasonable, but without it is extortionate.
     
  7. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    £2 … I’m really shocked by that. I was expecting at least a fiver!
     
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  8. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Each!
     
  9. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It was less the price.

    Just... you expect 3 and maybe a dip.

    I

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  10. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    Here’s a bit of an FnB report from our first night and first time on resort for a couple of years.

    Started off in the Dragon Bar around 4:30pm for a few pre dinner drinks. Paid £5.10 for a pint of Stella (x3) which whilst fairly expensive, people need to remember you’re at ATR and not Wetherspoons. There was a roaming magician doing parlour tricks table to table which I thought was a really thoughtful addition and made pre dinner drinks really enjoyable. All the staff were really attentive, happy and really cared about your experience! We then had dinner tonight in the Roller Coaster restaurant for the first time and I was again really impressed! Me and the Mrs shared a nachos starter which was plenty for 2 people and would’ve been very large for a single starter. Initially we wanted the Camembert sharer but it had sold out. The Mrs had carbonara for £15 and I had a steak for £26, which whilst not cheap was actually really tasty! Again, the staff were amazing, the food came out quickly as did the drinks and portions were really generous. Again, not the cheapest but I certainly didn’t feel like I was being ripped off.
    We then had a wonder around Forbidden Valley which you can do if you dine at RR. I thought it looked really clean apart from Galactica’s track, which could really do with a good jet wash. There were no fences or gates up blocking access to the gardens so we had a good explore and actually ended up by roller disco and the bottom end of Rita - again, no fences so we were free to walk anywhere! There was only a couple of other people walking around and it felt really eerie, but it felt like a childhood dream exploring a theme park after hours. We returned through the gardens back to forbidden valley and there was still music playing on the lawns stage, so I assume there were some rehearsals going on. This was about 8pm. When we got back to FV, Galactica was testing which was cool to see.

    We then had a night cap in AT hotel which was heaving with families, but drinks came pretty quickly via app order. A singer started at 830pm and the magician was still wandering from table to table.

    An excellent 1st evening sampling the food and beverages - full trip report to come tomorrow!
     
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  11. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for the trip report - good to hear you had a good first days F&B experience.

    I think the real issue is the lack of "adventure" in the Merlin RTP's F&B offer. In the parks themselves it's very much burgers, chicken or pizza with a few exceptions.

    Those who have been to the likes of Europa Park & PhantasiaLand will have seen what can be done - and neither of these parks are operated by huge companies on the scale of Merlin. Europa Park is family run by the Mack family & I don't know about PhantasiaLand - but both are "one-off" parks so as to speak.

    I've deliberately left the likes of Epcot out given that they are Disney & have huge financial backing, 365 day a year operation & admission prices to match this cost-base.
     
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  12. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    The issue at towers is duplication all over the park. You’ve got about 4 donut kiosks, 3 hotdog stalls, 2 burger vans, 3 coffee shops.

    Anything slightly different seems to disappear, like Mexican, fish and chips, pies, pasties, etc.

    Thorpe actually have a better mix of F&B than towers do, with more choice across the park.
     
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  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I recently visited the Secret Garden Restaurant for lunch as part of a spa package. Both the menu choice and service speed were awful. The food option was basically burger or pizza... no salads, wraps, sandwiches or anything even vaguely healthy. The main and dessert both took almost half an hour to come out even though there were only about six people in the restaurant at this point.

    As we were visiting from the spa in our robes, it was somewhat surprising to be told if we wanted a drink I would have to go back to the spa lockers to get my credit card. I asked if it could be put on the spa bill or if I could set up a tab and settle at the end of the day, but after the waiter checked with the manager... no, you must pay before you leave. Wonderful service, really made me feel valued!

    Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check out the TripAdvisor reviews for the restaurants in the hotel and they're all pretty dire...

    Secret Garden - 3.5
    Flambo's Jambo - 3.5
    Sir Algenon's Grill - 2.5

    The theme seems to be consistently poor and slow service, inattentive waiting staff and food that is adequate quality at a premium price. The TripAdvisor pages above are all unclaimed so it seems nobody cares enough to respond. Do they even read them?
     
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  14. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    I have also had similar experiences. Stayed at Splash a few weeks ago, never again. Will be sticking to the theme park only from now on.
     
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  15. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Service at the bars is also shocking now, and whatever happened to the bar menu?

    No cocktails in Dragon Bar OR MaGarita's??

    Woodcutters literally now has a better drinks menu than what's on offer in the hotels. And their selection is average.
     
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  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I would guess the recruitment issues are the main cause of problems. Cocktails, even when largely using pre-mixed stuff take longer to serve than just a gin & tonic or vodka & coke. Better to try and serve everyone quicker than try and offer a huge menu that they don’t have enough staff for at the moment.

    the food service issues should also be prioritised, I assume they are also suffering due to staff availability but someone needs to try and think of a way to improve things, not sure a simpler food menu would help, depends if they are also short of chefs.
     
  17. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    It could be staffing issues, but there has also been a consistent trend over many years of persistently dumbing down the drinks menus and selections in the hotels, along with the service. There was even a time when they had a fairly respectable wine list and cocktails that weren’t premixed. They’d even serve you at your table, rather than having to queue up like you’re waiting for Nemesis.

    The decline started long before Covid.
     
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  18. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    SGR had an excellent menu in 2019. Really, it was. The issues around service though often stem from the fact that staff turnover is so high. There are always loads of staff under training, so they never settle.

    We had a £312.00 bill nullified at Sir Algenon's at the end of May. Incredible.
     
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  19. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Not sure if this should be here or in 'quick questions', but given that it's food related...

    Are there any good food options in the park (not in hotels etc.) for coeliacs? Probably thinking more along the lines of a quick-ish takeaway lunch than a full sit-down meal; I'm expecting service to be pretty slow there! My assumption is that it will be the usual roster of unhealthy and glutenous burgers, fries, hot-dogs etc. and I should probably just bring a packed lunch - but it would be nice to be proved wrong! Anyone had any good experiences with gluten-free food?
     
  20. Raza

    Raza TowersStreet Member

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    I know this has probably been discussed before, but what food offerings do you think AT should invest in?
    I recently went to Silverstone (motor racing) and whilst offering the usual staple burgers, hotdogs & chips, it was actually other food places which were busier like Caribbean & Churros. Perhaps wrong, but I find this a bit of a shift in tastes compared to years ago.
    Optimist in me wants the street food vans this year to be Merlin trialling what people actually like. Could we see more permanent offerings on the horizon? I know there were talks of a smokehouse in the courtyard that never came to fruition.
     
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