Tale of two meal services

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Tale of two meal services

Postby KevinD » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:09 pm

Brightline food on top, "Delta happy meal" from Capitol Limited on the bottom

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/me ... -concepts/
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby ryanov » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:47 am

It would not have occurred to me to mention the amount of stuff you end up with on the table, and that's partially because I was seated with only my partner, but it's true. You can't easily eat everything out of the box because of the walls of the box, so you end up with the box taking up now-unusable space on the table.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby SouthernRailway » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:53 pm

While Brightline's offerings look great, it doesn't make sense to me for a company to offer that kind of food and drink service. The "Select" ticket that entitles you to that is just $5 more than a regular ticket? If so, there's no way that Brightline can be making money that way.

Amtrak's offerings look horrid. I just don't see why the food can't be heated and brought to you on a plate, with a nice place setting- that's how airlines do first-class food.

I wish people wouldn't call the boxed meals on Amtrak "airline food". First class airline food is much better-looking: multiple hot courses, served on china, with unlimited alcohol. Much better.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:03 pm

While possibly off topic here, regretably I must report that railroad Food & Beverage is also on the downgrade in Austria.

Now that I'm back in the barn Stateside, but I want to address here how much Food and Beverage on the OBB has been downgraded with the change of outside contractors that occurred this past April. Here is the new concern's website (enough of it is in English to make out heads or tails):

http://don.at/references/don-denrailjets-der-oebb

If of interest, their current menu is available from that site on a PDF file.

Traveling Vienna to Salzburg (my trips over there were all day trips from Salzburg; I'm too old to do the pack up and move on every day as I did during more youthful days) on RailJet, I ordered the Boiled Beef for Dinner. Promise I could have done nicely without. The previous concern, Do
& Co Henry, an outfit holding catering contracts worldwide, I thought served an excellent Veal Medalion plate. But I guess the OBB is taking lessons from Amtrak.

Here is that concern's site:

https://www.enjoyhenry.com/en/henry

Suffice to say, no mention of the contract with OBB they previously held.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby chuchubob » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:13 pm

Another tale of two food services is my trip this week, starting with the Capitol Limited on Monday with a crappy dinner and an adequate breakfast followed by the California Zephyr with a dining car that was used as a dining car and served good meals.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby CHTT1 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:03 pm

Regarding the Railway Age photo of the Brightline first class food offerings, is this being offered on the train, or in the first class lounges at the stations? It seems to be a buffet, which might be hard to navigate on a moving train. The offerings seem to be snacks, with some wine or champagne on the side and soft drinks below in a refrigerator. This spread is a lot more appealing than Amtrak's offering which seem to include as much packaging as actual food, but is it served on the trains? Since the current run is pretty short between Miami and Palm Beach, is there even time to serve a meal?
I'm not defending the Amtrak food boxes, but these photos seem to be comparing apples and oranges.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:57 pm

I'm still not over the choice to downgrade the dining car food on Amtrak. This move is basically like saying "let's provide federal pen" food to the traveling public. As expected, Amtrak is not pleasing the majority of the traveling public as well as their own employees. When I rode the Capitol Limited to Cumberland the beginning of August, I'm glad that I bought my dinner for the ride. Even looking at pictures of the food, I said to myself-this is probably not a good setup for even coach class passengers.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby ConstanceR46 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:35 pm

The Brightline photo is taken in the lounge in the Miami Station and dolled up a bit; as opposed to Amtrak being taken on a moving train.

I'm not passing judgment on Amtrak Meal Services but between the majority of the article literally being a Brightline Ad, linking to the brands of food Brightline serves, and the general lack of formal tone; who the hell writes this stuff?

(Here's a hint; Brightline.)

edit; and this is coming from someone who hates Anderson.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby David Benton » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:10 pm

Yes , the brightline picture is obvious;y prior to passenger use , I'm sure it looks abit different after a few grazers have been through .
The Amtrak photo has 4 meals plus beverages on what looks like a 2 person table. The box lids take up 1/2 the space. If you were trying to fit 4 people around such a table , the logical thing to so would be to unpack the box and throw it away leaving a lot more room.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby BandA » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:16 pm

So, for Brightline you grab your food from the VIP lounge & carry it on board? Hopefully you aren't carrying a laptop and a bag and a glass of wine.

"Curated food" means you don't get a lot of choices but it is supposed to be good as it is selected by "professionals".
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby ConstanceR46 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:00 am

From what i understand BL also offers (trolley) service for food in the top level of service.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby StLouSteve » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:20 am

Just finished a Lake Shore Limited trip. Got an email satisfaction survey to fill out. Was looking forward to telling Amtrak how disappointing it is to have a new diner in the consist which offers no access to coach passengers and doesn't serve freshly prepared meals to anyone. Guess what, not covered by a single question.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:15 pm

StLouSteve wrote:Just finished a Lake Shore Limited trip. Got an email satisfaction survey to fill out. Was looking forward to telling Amtrak how disappointing it is to have a new diner in the consist which offers no access to coach passengers and doesn't serve freshly prepared meals to anyone. Guess what, not covered by a single question.

You can still write them or call them. And mention it on twitter.

As a person who was looking FORWARD to taking the LSL to see my son at college, I was planning on taking coach and enjoying a nice meal in the diner. So much for those plans.

I'm REALLY irritated by the "no coach passengers" part of this.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby Stephen B. Carey » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:49 pm

I just recently took the LSL from Chicago to Springfield and I must say that I echo the sentiments of others on this thread. I had breakfast and lunch, the breakfast itself was incredibly disappointing, the fruit was fresh but the muffin was a rock, nothing very satisfying about it at all. In fact my sister went into the cafe car to grab us some ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. Also we were allowed to charge the sandwiches to our room which I just found confusing since I had already paid for my ticket but oh well I got a free sandwich. I agree that these brand new diners are currently wasted in this service configuration. Although I don't completely hate the idea of a first class only lounge, perhaps maybe done in a different way like half of a cafe car or something. The lunch I had on the train was nothing special but at least it was the new hot option. Unfortunately for people who are vegetarian or vegan there is no hot option and in fact some of the meal choices, including the vegan wrap had already run out by this time.

The crew on the other hand was fantastic, I could definitely see how this new kind of service is negatively effecting them though especially since they sometimes get complaints from travelers who expected a dining car. I honestly hope this experiment ends soon because it seems like a total failure, just blatant cost cutting at the expense of customer satisfaction.
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Re: Tale of two meal services

Postby ryanov » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:54 pm

I recall having to defend wanting more than a single vegetarian choice on the train. Well, their vegan option (the only vegetarian option) is really not good (the quinoa salad that comes with it is decent) and they still manage to consistently run out of it. I guess that says something about the demand.
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