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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Yes I did hear that, its all gone quiet on the return of the Venturer too, there was an appeal for volunteers to run it but not heard anything since. I must admit the catering has changed direction somewhat at the railway following the appointment of a new catering manager. Pricing is something that has definitely increased with the offering and it seems to have forgotten it's roots and some of the ideas have left me wondering...

    A few days ago the railway facebook shared the King and Castles fish and chip offering which attracted so many negative comments that I see they have removed it!!! To be fair for the price it didn't seem particularly appealing with it's six chip portion!!! I'm not sure what the current direction actually is although I get the impression the priority is high end dining where possible which is fine, except there is a massive market that historically did very well for the railway, which is currently largely ignored and no real incentive to volunteer your services for.
     
  2. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don’t know about this Fish and Chip offering but it’s not exactly wise to promote something like that when you have Captain Cods directly across the road!
    As I say the old man’s part of the buffet crew and how do I put this?
    He was rather high up in the company that he worked for before he retired, so he’s been in a position of senior management and all that entails, from what I’ve heard and it’s not just from him, there are other people have told me the same sort of thing, those at the top at the SVR don’t seem to grasp what the boots on the ground are having to deal with.
    The story about persisting with Unchilled bottle conditioned beer this summer was rather interesting this summer…
    I’ll await Martin to apologise for Ms Smith anytime soon…:rolleyes:
     
  3. 3ABescot

    3ABescot Member

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    I entriely agree. Much as I like a Cappuccino or Latte, they take a disproportionate amount of time to make and an ordinary cuppa or instant coffee makes more sense. I would say the same about fry-ups too - which also stink the place out! (runs for cover...). IMHO hot soup would be quicker and more healthy as a hot option, maybe with warmed up sausage rolls and pasties.
    I'd suggest a decent range of sandwiches instead of dry 1960s replicas. Cakes and biscuits are generally fine!
    Same incidentally goes for the GCR, except their evening fish and chip trains are fantastic!
    As were the dedicated full lunch trains and cream tea inspection saloon prices at SVR at an appropriately high price with pre-booking, hope they can be reinstated. But probably not on enthusiasts gala days.
    As I said, just IMHO as a frequent visitor.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    @Matt37401

    King & Castle Fish and Chips.jpg These ones - £13.95 a pop!!! Ironically before it was deleted someone commented that it was a great advert for Captain Cods whom I think will be safe!!!
     
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  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    The Kidderminster Museum does soup along with a sensible range. I'm afraid I disagree about the fry ups but know exactly what you mean about the coffee and amount of time it takes to make them - one of my bugbears which not only the SVR is guilty of.

    You have your wish on the dining trains as they are running again with pre-booking, including afternoon teas (although not in the inspection saloon), price is much higher than before though, £50 per person for an afternoon tea, dining ranges from £80 - £125 per person now - https://www.svr.co.uk/ontraindining/
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    From a different perspective, if I even see instant coffee being served by a cafe, it loses my business straightaway - I assume that if their standards are that low for coffee, they'll be similarly low elsewhere. Decent filter coffee ought not to be much of a problem if balancing waiting times and staffing is a challenge.
     
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  7. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I don’t think anyone wants a return to the Maxpax days :eek::D
     
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  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Good grief, man - what a horrible thought!

    But as a coffee drinker, I know that even decent instant coffees give me a stinking headache. And I see too many places that still use stuff as bog standard as Nescafe - hence my reaction.
     
  9. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Part of the problem is the machines to make a maxi flappy-crappy-muckichino, or whatever it's called, are so cumbersome, complicated and slow. Ok in a high street coffee shop where you've got a few staff and a couple of of machines on the go, but not ideal on a preserved railway where a lot of the staff are volunteers. Pot of tea or jug of filter coffee on the go, can't go wrong!
     
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  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Fair comment - and I've no issue with a filter machine as a sensible compromise. Though as expectations rise, the challenge is also to make sure that what is offered is consistent with what visitors would expect for that level of service and price elsewhere - just because the service is provided by volunteers, there is no justification for compromising on quality.
     
  11. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    That looks lovely! It's £2-ish more expensive than Captain Cods, but looks to be undercover with a view of the trains. I can't imagine I'd be rushing over the road for a view of the bin and a main road personally…
    Screenshot 2022-10-10 at 16.48.00.png

    Simon
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Sadly, I don't think the NYMR has ever left them!
     
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bloody Hell Pete! Nice as that looks I’m not spending that much on something like that at the SVR.
    I’ve a rough idea of how much that’s going to cost, I’m guessing that’s not including the pint? So that’s another £3:50 ish? So all in all 17 and a half quid for that?
    We have customers/mates who have previously been Michelin starred, for another £40 you could get another 5 course’s and that’s in Cambridge.
    I know I do knock the SVR but as someone who’s background is hospitality, there are so many quick wins it could do to encourage secondary spend.
     
  14. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    For what it is Simon, it’s pretty decent.
    Many years ago I believe it’s owner approached the SVR about a franchise to take over catering at Kiddy an was turned down.
     
  15. jsm8b

    jsm8b Part of the furniture

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    Charred Lemon ?
     
  16. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Have you written to the GM with your ideas c/- the Catering Manager?
     
  17. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    Plenty of volunteers won't eat on the railway, either taking their own food or going off site. I have to agree with one comment above, the Museum is fantastic for no nonsense, cheap and accessible food. Catering on the railway has been diabolical over the years.
     
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  18. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    It might well be, but you’re comparing apples with oranges. I love fish and chips wrapped in paper, but I also love fish and chips on a plate at a pub (and if that’s under the cover of a station with steam engines close by, all the better). Different things for different occasions.

    Simon
     
  19. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ve not, but from what I’ve been told it’s very difficult to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t want to engage with you.
    I totally get that when your at the top everybody else can do your job better than you.
    I certainly think the SVR’s missing someone like the late John Leach when it comes to marketing though.
    The late Peter Edkins wasn’t bad at Volunteer Liason as well, something I think is falling well short of what it could be. And what it was.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2022
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