ScotRail HST catering

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jingsmonty, 4 Jul 2019.

  1. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    Last edited by a moderator: 9 Jul 2019
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    I guess it's better than nothing, but I think that will soon prove unworkable.
     
  4. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    I tend to agree!
     
  5. Cashew

    Cashew Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    22 Mar 2019
    I understood that there would be two members of catering staff on the refurbished trains, one for the buffet and one for the trolley service.
     
  6. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    That's what we thought too...it would seem not
     
  7. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    That was the original plan, but it's not the case at the moment. Hopefully ScotRail will change that policy at some point.
     
  8. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    Yes, I hope so too. It needs to be resourced properly.
     
  9. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    It's simply too much to ask one person to do and I'd imagine they'd do better business overall by having two members of staff.
     
  10. John Bishop

    John Bishop Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2018
    That’s a good point, couple of decent orders and that will have paid that persons hourly salary. Bit of a no brainer.
     
  11. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Exactly, whereas if you have one person jumping between the two, you lose out on buffet orders when the person is manning the trolley and at-seat orders when the person is manning the buffet. Also, how do people know when each service is available as well?
     
  12. Highland37

    Highland37 Member

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2012
    ? What about pension, training. uniform, cost of sales and so on? I am not saying there should not be a second person, there should, but your idea is naive. Railways lose money in most circumstances but they are a public service like Calmac, education, the NHS etc.
     
  13. John Bishop

    John Bishop Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2018
    Those financial amounts aren’t eye watering by any stretch of the imagination.

    Put into perspective of customer satisfaction of the complete on train service, repeat custom and referral business to friends and family services etc. Uniform and pension all pale into insignificance.
     
  14. InOban

    InOban Established Member

    Messages:
    2,091
    Joined:
    12 Mar 2017
    AIUI, train catering always loses money. It's a loss leader to persuade people to use the services. People like to know it's there.
     
  15. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    100% agree with you both
     
  16. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    Again, totally agree with you. The aim is to offer a proper 'InterCity' service here
     
  17. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    You can't put an actual cost value on everything. Yes, you have a valid point, but the perception that the Scotrail 'Inter7City' service provides an actual higher standard of service, rather than just being a brand name, is important too. A couple of bad experiences with onboard catering may just discourage business travellers (probably on high value 1st class tickets) & persuade them to stick with LNER to travel back & fore to the Central Belt. I'm not sure about Aberdeen, but there's certainly plenty of these type of passengers on the HML, who tend to use the Highland Chieftain just now


    Get the catering/service provision right & there's a good source of revenue to be won here (even if It doesn't mean vastly increased catering takings, it would, potentially, mean a good uptake of 1st class - where the catering is complimentary anyway, I'd think).
     
  18. gordonjahn

    gordonjahn Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    23 Oct 2010
    The existing trolleys are sort of like buffets after a run of the train - people can walk to them but they have to find it.

    I don’t mind the idea of, at the start of the journey, the trolley starts farthest from buffet, then works it’s way down train and when at buffet, make an announcement to say they’re now in the buffet.

    On longer journeys, do a second run announcing the plan over the PA (e.g “refreshments will be served from the Buffet until Gleneagles - after Perth, a trolley will pass through standard class again”).

    Doesn’t seem massively different to buffets opening 15-20 mins after departure for some services, and often having to close for 30 mins en route for staff changeover.

    If they plan for this and then on busy services can provide more staff to do both, it’s then a bonus.
     
  19. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Quite and while a loss-leader it may well be, if it provides a better quality service that passengers like, surely that's a win for the whole idea in the first place?
     
  20. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Something like that would probably be best with the current single staff member situation, though I believe they currently do a run with the trolley out and back and then open the buffet (perhaps someone can confirm).
     
  21. scotraildriver

    scotraildriver Established Member

    Messages:
    1,115
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2009
    The bean-to-cup coffee machine in the buffet provides a massively superior coffee to the trolley. Well worth a wee walk.
     
  22. chuff chuff

    chuff chuff Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    25 Sep 2018
    Would be nice to have one brought up to the cab.
     
  23. Northhighland

    Northhighland Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2016
    Absolutely spot on post as usual

    Catering is important. When I travel to central belt I pack my day and usually struggle to get time to eat before getting train back. Good catering would be a real incentive

    Loads of people only use LNER mai my due to overcrowding bud catering is also a significant issue.

    Get catering right numbers will go up.
     
  24. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Haven't had a chance to try it, but ScotRail trolley coffee was always poor, quite watery really, so that's good that the machine is better.
     
  25. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    On a busy train, it'll mean the buffet barely being open. Don't forget, there's a 1st class complimentary to do as well. All very well on a lightly loaded train, but hardly practical on a busy one. The buffet factilities will most likely be lost due to lack of usage - as it'll barely be open!!
     
  26. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    Cheers for that. I'm just going by a consultants report a good few years ago that said 1st class passengers travelling for business tended to use the Chieftain, rather than Scotrail, due to the vastly superior onboard offering. Our HSTs are a chance to win back that custom, if Scotrail don't blow it with poorly resourced catering
     
  27. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

    Messages:
    1,310
    Joined:
    30 May 2018
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Sadly the scenario described is what happens on many services.

    St Pancras - Sheffield on East Midlands can be excellent but has all the problems of covering trolley, first class service and any buffet.
    XC Newcastle - Sheffield, trolley may not come round until after Doncaster - might as well wait to get home. 1st class may fare slightly better.
    XC Sheffield - Newcastle, trolley comes as soon as I sit down on the train after breakfast. Doesn't call again until 2 hours later crossing the Tyne.
    East Midlands Sheffield - Norwich trolley leaves at Peterborough just when ready for a drink on a long journey. Was good on Sheffield - Manchester leg last time I used that service having been unable to get aboard the preceding TPE - the trolley was struggling to get on.
    TPE Sheffield-Manchester either direction, trolley usually seems to be marooned in 1st class unable to move even in there (assuming there was one) and leaves/joins at Doncaster.

    My best memory of train catering was from Fort William having a 3 course meal across Rannoch Moor in 1958, my father and I possibly the only diners that day. I had sole as my main course.

    If the train is quiet trolley or buffet sells little. If the train is rammed it's likely to be a similar economic result. It's only when the train is always modestly loaded for the greater part of the journey, and catering is guaranteed to be there, will passengers rely on it and consistently buy.

    That said catering staff vary in their approaches. On my most recent encounter the operator sauntered down the train looking totally bored and flatly reciting a list of things he had without looking at anyone or slowing his sedate progress at any point. Didn't expect to sell anything, and didn't.

    My first HST experience was about 1976/7 from Paddington. The young lady there was brilliant. Smiling all the way, stopped at every seat, eye contact, "would you prefer tea or coffee sir?" Train 75% full, everyone bought. Expected to sell, and did.

    Very difficult to manage staff in such variable conditions and losses almost inevitable on most trains.
     
  28. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,807
    Joined:
    2 Sep 2016
    Location:
    Glasgow
    They are generally pretty good, it just seems a shame to give them all that extra work for little gain.
     
  29. route101

    route101 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,421
    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    On the 0741 to Aberdeen From Glasgow. The trolley made a return trip through the train before Perth . After Perth there was an announcement that the buffet was open.
     
  30. fraser158

    fraser158 Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    7 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Inverness
    I’m sure I have seen some services (from Inverness anyway) which have two trollies and so two members of staff on them.
     
  31. jingsmonty

    jingsmonty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Inverness
    Handy if you're travelling to Perth & fancy a bacon panini, or something.....
     

Share This Page