Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, gprimr1, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:00 pm

Hamhock wrote:They'd definitely have to do it by charging after-the-fact; otherwise, adding an additional potential of "attendant swaps out with own store-bought product, pockets cash sale, swaps in commissary product, reports zero sales" is probably not a good idea.

Does this Retired CPA ever concur with Mr. Hamhock's immediate thought posted on the preceeding page!

Hotels are moving away from mini-bars. If you want their treble-priced nibbles you go down to the Lobby and procure such there.

I have had enough occasion at times where I have had to explain to a skeptical Front Desk Attendant that I did not touch their product or if I, or a guest of mine did, it's all there. This happened in Indianapolis where annually I host at a Suite a party for my friends there.

I have even had to explain "it's all there" to a Housekeeper, who's speaking language was other than mine, when removing product to put my own "goodies" in that fridge, but had cleaned the fridge at checkout and replaced the product prior to such. This happened to me at Salzburg where I had gone to the leading "Gebäck Geschäft" in town to get "desserts" while I was there last August.

If there were a communal fridge and microwave, all the potential liability fears Amtrak has over both appliances would be "doubled in Spades".
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 13012
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:30 am

If Amtrak ended up with a bunch of extra diners they could try running some of them on short routes and breakfast and lunch times. Dinner train as transportation. Table is revenue seating, diner works up and down the NEC or some such route, serves continually, and has easy restocking at each end of a relatively short route. I've said something like this before, and it may be that the numbers don't work out for it to make sense, but might be worth a quick study.

Or even take out the kitchens (modular, aren't they, now?), put in a few more tables, and add a car of revenue table seats to some trains. Lots of people like them. I've ridden the Illinois trains with an extra lounge on for the axles, and if hte conductors allow it quite a few people will sit in there and work or play games. Might make sense as specficially reservable seating.
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 657
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Literalman » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:07 pm

Somewhat off topic: How to Travel With a Salmon by Umberto Eco. While traveling, he bought a salmon. The fridge in his hotel room was stuffed with alcohol, so he removed it to make room for the salmon. Didn't drink it, just took the booze out of the fridge. He got charged for lots of booze, and the next day the fridge had been restocked and it happened again. It could happen in a sleeping car too. :-D
Steve Dunham
Alexandria, Virginia
www.stevedunham.50megs.com
Literalman
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:12 pm

Arborwayfan: V-II diners would make great lounges and still be able to serve reasonable par-cooked meals with even half the kitchen space. You could even set them up as a cafe car with zero modifications, just don’t use the appliances.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Tadman » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:32 pm

In certain Vegas hotels, the fridge is somehow automated to know when one removes a small bottle of Jack Daniels. Once the fridge clocks your JD, you are charged a heinous price for it. I have never ventured to test this system as (a) I hate vegas; (b) I bet it's easy to lose this argument.

That said, the concept of a stocked pay-fridge in bedrooms is a good one and could generate some serious coin, the execution is iffy.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8524
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:46 pm

Tadman wrote:In certain Vegas hotels, the fridge is somehow automated to know when one removes a small bottle of Jack Daniels. Once the fridge clocks your JD, you are charged a heinous price for it. I have never ventured to test this system as (a) I hate vegas; (b) I bet it's easy to lose this argument.

That said, the concept of a stocked pay-fridge in bedrooms is a good one and could generate some serious coin, the execution is iffy.

It’s also a good way for Amtrak to miss out on the revenue, if the persistent assertions of OBS crew substituting their own stock have some truth to them.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby dumpster.penguin » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:24 pm

The chatter about stock-substitution fraud is off-topic, but I hope we can run it to ground. The cafe cars provide cash-register receipts nowadays. If you get a cash-register-printed receipt, then you're paying Amtrak. Right? In the dining cars, on the other hand, the paperwork is dodgy, and the best things on the menu are sometimes "sold out" by the time I arrive for the first or second seating. Is the stock stolen? Or do staff shirk bookkeeping by returning, as unsold, the whole crate of steak and potatoes and vinaigrette dressing packets at the end of the run? In short, the theory of a scam, while unfounded, has some allure; but I don't see how it could be a stock-substitution scam.
dumpster.penguin
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:57 pm

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:34 pm

There must be in some cases an "out of stock" problem back at the commissary,to insure "something" on the menu is available on all trains,
a case or two might be "shorted" to a train so that item is "available" on another train in a limited quantity.
This is due to a vendor not delivering the quantity ordered to Aramark. :wink:
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 4682
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Arlington » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:21 pm

A unique (and item-limited) inventory of airline-style foods would eliminate most inventory uncertainty, both on waste and on bookkeeping.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3354
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:34 pm

Hoping that stock substitution isn’t actually a problem, and that it’s just pundits speculating on “food waste” where there is none.

The Silver Star seems like the prime candidate for Just For You meal sales - hopefully they offer such.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:29 am

mtuandrew wrote:Arborwayfan: V-II diners would make great lounges and still be able to serve reasonable par-cooked meals with even half the kitchen space. You could even set them up as a cafe car with zero modifications, just don’t use the appliances.


I'm all for that.

I had very good meals recently on American Airlines: breakfast was a fruit plate with yogurt and a choice of bread (including a warm biscuit); dinner was warm mixed nuts followed by filet mignon and asparagus, with a side of shrimp, a salad and a choice of bread, followed by ice cream. It was all heated up in the small galley of a regular plane.

I'd prefer something like that served in a car with 1/2 tables for dinner and 1/2 (more or less) of true lounge space. That would be a more "first class" experience than Amtrak meals in the dining car + the cafe car as "lounge" space.
SouthernRailway
 
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Tadman » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:08 am

I'm on the train an average of 2x/week (including both legs of the round trip) and I've never been sold goods without a receipt in the cafe car. I almost always go to the cafe to buy some beers on an overnight run or a snack on a corridor run. They are religious about receipts, because I have to turn one in to my company's accounting department. I also usually put a small tip on there, and I do so on the receipt.

I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but if it does to me, they are darn smooth about it.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8524
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:38 pm

Tad and others: from what people have said here I’m pretty satisfied that if stock substitution was a problem, it’s been nipped in the bud by now. Thanks for bearing with me.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby dumpster.penguin » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:02 pm

Tadman wrote:I'm on the train an average of 2x/week (including both legs of the round trip) and I've never been sold goods without a receipt in the cafe car....
I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but if it does to me, they are darn smooth about it.


Kind of smooth. A neat trick I noticed once is that the attendant punched buttons, the register drawer swung open, money went in and change sprang out, and the machine ejected a slip of paper as expected. But, when I read the slip of paper, it ended by saying NO SALE. As if the attendant had said, "That will be two dollars", and I had said, "OK, can you break a five-hundred?", and the transaction had not been consummated.
dumpster.penguin
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:57 pm

Re: Silver Star Downgrade and Diner Discussion

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:54 pm

Interesting. I have a handful of trips this month, including CONO, Eagle, and a few Detroit runs. I will observe and report.

Image
Tadman
 
Posts: 8524
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Michigan

PreviousNext

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Greg Moore and 12 guests