Just for you meals

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Just for you meals

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Anybody hear of the "just for you meal"? I just left Chicago on the Builder and they came on the PA offering a $12 "just for you" meal delivered to your seat. No options, just chicken breast and rice or something. I haven't heard anything about this yet. Perhaps a new offering under Richard Anderson?
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:09 pm

I can recall during '06, a really, and I mean really, dedicated SC Attendant named Brenda, was wondering "why can't they do something like that?".

She worked as a Coach Attendant when she couldn't hold Sleeper, and when her passengers asked about the Diner, she felt she had to be "straight up" telling them "think $20 for an adult and $10 for a kid". She said to me "why can't they just offer some kind of casserole' such as lasagna or turkey tetrazzini, serve it away from Dining hours, and charge $7; they'd have takers".

I think Amtrak listened to this special employee, and others of her same ilk, and are now trying it out ten years later.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:18 pm

Tad,

Google search on "Just for You" meal that is offering up a dry hole.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:23 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I can recall during '06, a really, and I mean really, dedicated SC Attendant named Brenda, was wondering "why can't they do something like that?".

She worked as a Coach Attendant when she couldn't hold Sleeper, and when her passengers asked about the Diner, she felt she had to be "straight up" telling them "think $20 for an adult and $10 for a kid". She said to me "why can't they just offer some kind of casserole' such as lasagna or turkey tetrazzini, serve it away from Dining hours, and charge $7; they'd have takers".

I think Amtrak listened to this special employee, and others of her same ilk, and are now trying it out ten years later.


I have long thought something of this nature would make a far more viable dining car. Serving a casserole or hamburgers at all hours other than appointed break times might increase sales. Perhaps even beer and wine sales. How many people cant sleep and would rather go have cheeseburger before getting off in Cleveland at 5am or Punksatawny at 4pm. Neither fits into the conventional dining hours but it might be a useful marginal income to the railroad and a convenient meal for the passenger.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby electricron » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:49 pm

Tadman wrote:I have long thought something of this nature would make a far more viable dining car. Serving a casserole or hamburgers at all hours other than appointed break times might increase sales. Perhaps even beer and wine sales. How many people cant sleep and would rather go have cheeseburger before getting off in Cleveland at 5am or Punksatawny at 4pm. Neither fits into the conventional dining hours but it might be a useful marginal income to the railroad and a convenient meal for the passenger.

Back in the days when the cooks had to prepare the food and somone had to wash the dishes the dining car needed to be closed to not only feed themselves but also prep and clean up after every meal. But today, they throw the dishes and silverware away and the food is already prepared. They should only have to close the dining car to feed the crew and themselves. Whereas I don’t expect the dining car to be open 24-7, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be open much longer during the day, as long as the lounge-cafe car used to be....
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:47 pm

Once upon a time, I thought this was supposed to be how the Diner Lite worked.

This is an issue that needs to be hashed out between labor and management, even if that means an extra crew member to serve meals at all hours in exchange for extra work from the other OBS crew as well. The equipment is there, the food is there, the crew is there, and the demand is there, so it’s a mystery why the food service hours aren’t there.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby Morning Zephyr » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:13 pm

Yes. I was on #4 from LA to Lamy last week, and on the first morning prior to arrival at Albuquerque, the lounge car attendant announced the availability of these sorts of meals. There was one choice, I believe a chicken sandwich, which would be delivered to the coach seat of any passenger who reserved one of the meals in advance.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby David Benton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:36 pm

I think this was proposed in the priia report( what 2010 or so ?), was tried , but found some SCA's were not offering it to passengers. I think at that time you ordered off the menu. Announcing it over the pa solves that problem.
Actually , I think there was a photo in Trains at the time, of a young lady and her child eating such a meal at their seat, on the Builder at the time.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby dumpster.penguin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:36 pm

I was on an Empire Builder that offered "Just for You" at-seat dinner in coach, sometime in 2015 or 2016. On that day, it was a fixed menu of Salisbury Steak and sides. (I do not know how it turned out, as I was not riding in coach.)
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby ebtmikado » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:12 pm

I know a few years ago, a crew member took orders like this, and when the train arrived at a certain station, the food was delivered by a local restaurant.
Not whether it is sanctioned by Amtrak, or done on the downlow.

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Re: Just for you meals

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:42 pm

ebtmikado wrote:I know a few years ago, a crew member took orders like this, and when the train arrived at a certain station, the food was delivered by a local restaurant.
Not whether it is sanctioned by Amtrak, or done on the downlow.
Lee
An Amtrak Improvement Report for the Empire Builder a few years ago mentioned that this was already being done because the single diner wasn't able to handle all of the coach passengers.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:39 pm

Are these prepackaged meals reheated TV Dinner style, or prepared on the train and served like a Blue Plate Special?
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby Amtrak7 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:44 pm

This has been a very successful pilot on the Coast Starlight for over a year now. Must be expanding.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby dcipjr » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:48 am

They did this over the summer when I was on the Southwest Chief #3.
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Re: Just for you meals

Postby jp1822 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:44 pm

JimBoylan wrote:
ebtmikado wrote:I know a few years ago, a crew member took orders like this, and when the train arrived at a certain station, the food was delivered by a local restaurant.
Not whether it is sanctioned by Amtrak, or done on the downlow.
Lee
An Amtrak Improvement Report for the Empire Builder a few years ago mentioned that this was already being done because the single diner wasn't able to handle all of the coach passengers.


Regarding the Empire Builder, the meals were pre-cooked at a restaurant or catering facility, then loaded on at some eastern Montana station as I recall. This was done east and west bound at a high point of number passengers aboard. Passengers got their meals in the late afternoon. It was indeed a way to reduce the burden on the Diner. Meals were loaded on at a pre-designated yet regular station stop. I think it was some sort of hot chicken box meal. Seemed to work well, and it was priced to give Amtrak some extra bucks....
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