Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

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gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by gokeefe » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:08 pm

Potentially yes. There's certainly more than one national foodservice company. Or Amtrak could always build their own menu and require regional contractors to stock specific items or use certain recipes. It's not as if Aramark has a monopoly on Coca-Cola products. Furthermore Amtrak doesn't have specialty items that are only available locally.
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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:14 pm

Like the lobster bisque on the Downeaster? :-) Of has that gone off the menu?

Suburban Station
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Suburban Station » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:57 am

AgentSkelly wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:08 am
Suburban Station wrote: Amtrak used to use Gate Gourmet which was even worse. airlines do a lot of things well, food isn't one of them.
I remember that era. I thought it was no worse than Aramark but had other options.

LSG has quite the non-airline food service business to keep its airport commissaries busy. I think they already provide food to DB...

Delaware North would be my best bet here, but they would need to open up their own operations in some regions or subcontract it.


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I just remember my train frequently being delayed due to late arriving gate gourmet. I think the commissary was at the airport or something, whatever it was it stopped when they changed vendors. Still, no reason to think it would be better.

Have to agree that smaller vendors are often better at the job and for state services there is no need to be part of the national amtrak food service. Unlike being ticketed and marketed as an amtrakkservice, there is no benefit to being amtrak food service.

mtuandrew
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:35 pm

For state services with a cafe only, it’s possibly cheaper to send a guy out to Sam’s Club in a pickup truck. You can get most everything you need there, excepting the individually packed frozen hamburgers (though maybe you can even get those.)

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by STrRedWolf » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:49 pm

Yes, you can get those there.

Basically, you can stock a food truck there (or at Costco). If you can stock a food truck there, you can stock a train.
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mtuandrew
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:01 pm

Right. I’m using Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, Gordon Food Service, and any other food warehouse stores interchangeably. Might not be worth the wage-hours to (say) send an Oklahoma DOT employee to go buy Fritos, but then again it might be cheaper than Aramark.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by gokeefe » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm

An ODOT contractor probably would indeed be cheaper. The Fritos won't mind either way. :-D
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STrRedWolf
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by STrRedWolf » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:36 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
An ODOT contractor probably would indeed be cheaper. The Fritos won't mind either way. :-D
No, say it right. It's a small business owner. :D
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gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by gokeefe » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:31 pm

Lol. Exactly. :wink:

Regardless, it's a proven solution in state supported corridor service.
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Suburban Station
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Suburban Station » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:18 pm

when I rode the cape flyer the owner of the company that supplied the train was also selling the food, she could vouch for the sandwiches since she had made them herself that afternoon instead of in some offsite commissary last week.

ThirdRail7
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by ThirdRail7 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:10 am

Suburban Station wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:18 am

Amtrak used to use Gate Gourmet which was even worse. airlines do a lot of things well, food isn't one of them.
As noted, they were extremely unreliable. I hope they've turned around.
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STrRedWolf
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:41 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:10 am
Suburban Station wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:18 am

Amtrak used to use Gate Gourmet which was even worse. airlines do a lot of things well, food isn't one of them.
As noted, they were extremely unreliable. I hope they've turned around.
When was that? As of 2013, it looks like they got the reliability down pat for Delta.
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AgentSkelly
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by AgentSkelly » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:44 pm

Gate Gourmet from what I remember, didn’t have much experience in non-airline operations which contributed to issues such as being late to the start terminal to deliver food...

LSG has lots of experience in this regard...


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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:30 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transpor ... nce-trains

Fair Use:
.Amtrak president and chief executive Richard Anderson on Wednesday defended the company’s decision to kill the traditional dining car on some long-distance trains, a shift that has ignited a firestorm of complaints from railroad passengers and aficionados.

Anderson acknowledged the transition to more “flexible” and “contemporary” dining options hasn’t been popular but said it has not hurt ticket sales.

“There’s a lot of anecdotes about food, because there are people that love the long-distance service and the halcyon days of sitting in the dining car in your coat and tie, and I appreciate that,” Anderson said while testifying in front of the House Transportation subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials. “But when you make these kinds of changes, you make these kinds of changes based on data, and we have data about what our customers’ preferences are.”.
Now, let's take a peek at the photo leading off The Post article and that immediately linked:

https://images.app.goo.gl/N16w5svqoBf6yLiR9

Note the difference in dress codes. No one would dare show up in a Tank Top and Flip Flops as they would today (guess that qualifies as "cover the body" and "proper footwear" requirements).

Mr. Anderson's quoted remark above bears noting.

I can recall meeting Rogers EM Whitaker (E M Frimbo) aboard the pre-Amtrak "Broadway Limited"(early '67). I am now elder in age now as he was then. Trust me, you wouldn't see him in a Diner or Lounge wearing anything less than a suit and tie. You wouldn't see me in anything less than a jacket - back then or today.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by lordsigma12345 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:08 pm

One thing the summaries didn’t mention was that after saying he “appreciates that” he said something like “and I think we should invest in that on a few stellar routes.” Maybe that means it’ll stay on at least a couple western long distance routes. I’m guessing this alludes to the “experiential service level” they’ve hinted at in the 5 year plans.

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