Starbucks on Trains

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WatcherZero

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Two Swiss intercity trains will feeature a trial next year of having their restaurant cars converted into Starbucks Franchises.

Onward march of Coffee over food continues.
 
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MidnightFlyer

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Costa? Starbucks? Cafe Nero? They all taste horrible anyway! All the messing about they do just obliterates the taste.

I'm slightly concerned by coffee chains taking over a full restaurant service.
 

stut

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Seems odd, given the high quality espresso SBBCFFFFS have managed to have on their trolley service for years now.
 

Nym

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Their Filter Coffee is nice... And unlike Costa et al. they actually do filter coffee. Not the kakky watered down Espresso
 

WestCoast

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Would much rather have Starbucks than another F...ing Costa!

I am quite surprised that SBB went for Starbucks, they aren't as popular in most mainland European countries as in the UK. It's mainly young people who know about them. In parts of Switzerland (plus Germany and Austria) people traditionally have tended to get a quick coffee from what I can only describe as a bakery/confectionery shop (a Konditorei). Some of them are self-service and those are often quite cheap.

Tchibo is popular as well for coffee there (it didn't work when they tried it in the UK), which is basically a chain of small general goods shops found on every high street and near stations that also sell very good coffee and cakes (much cheaper than Starbucks and I'd say better) with tables and chairs to sit down if you want.

All I can say is I am surprised, but it will be interesting to see if it works.
 
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LexyBoy

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Just bung a Tesco Metro in, everyone's happy!

Or, give it a local flavour:

Northern: Greggs
FGW: West Cornwall Pasty Co.
ATW: self-service cheese toastie maker
XC: No formal catering, but help yourself to whatever you can find in people's bags which have been left in the buffet.
 

daniel3982

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I remember travelling on GNER in 1st class and them asking me to complete a survey asking if I'd prefer the buffet car to be taken over by any of these firms:

Pret a Manger
Starbucks
Costa
KFC
McDonalds
Greggs
Wetherspoons

etc

:lol:
 

LexyBoy

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Trenitalia have been great in my (limited) experience, from a couple of years ago:

- Dinner in the restaurant car on the Paris-Rome sleeper - delicious food, absolutely chaotic organisation. Went along shortly after boarding, tried to book a table (as recommended) - no one seemed sure what was going on and advised to return around 9. Duly did so, was sat down after a short while. Much shouting heard from galley, chef barges out with large knife in hand, puts it round the waiter's neck whilst having jocular banter, all the while whilst the train was bouncing around. Not recommended for vegetarians, IIRC the only option was meat-filled ravioli followed by veal.

- Go to get coffee on high speed service. Coffee is about a teaspoonful of excellent espresso in a paper thimble. I think cappucino was also available, and that was about it.
 

142094

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Just bung a Tesco Metro in, everyone's happy!

Or, give it a local flavour:

Northern: Greggs
FGW: West Cornwall Pasty Co.
ATW: self-service cheese toastie maker
XC: No formal catering, but help yourself to whatever you can find in people's bags which have been left in the buffet.

On most Northern trains, you have to make do with a Greggs anyway (bring your own as well unfortunately).

Think Greggs are also looking to expand at railway stations, which will be a welcome change to SSP.
 

ash39

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Can't believe someone prefers Starbucks to Costa... have a word !!!

On the subject matter, I think it's a good thing. Most coffee chains now do very good food as well, Costa in particular.
 

IanXC

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Think Greggs are also looking to expand at railway stations, which will be a welcome change to SSP.

They always seem to be busy at Hull Interchange, open till at least 7 too.

 

LE Greys

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Oddly, the best coffee I've ever had on a train was in Switzerland, on a loco-hauled CISAlpino with Italian staff. However, I can't really say much to this development. My experience of Starbucks and Costa is that you can't just ask for an ordinary black coffee, they always give you far too much (so it takes ages to cool to a drinkable temperature and you spend the next hour looking for a toilet), it costs too much (half the size and half the price would be ideal) and the quality is rotten. Best stick with what you know.
 

tripleseis

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Independent coffee chains are the best. Failing that, Nero coffee is good. The best coffee I've had though is from Caffe Verdagno and Princi (both Italian) or Grind. All independent.
 

WestCoast

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Independent coffee chains are the best. Failing that, Nero coffee is good. The best coffee I've had though is from Caffe Verdagno and Princi (both Italian) or Grind. All independent.

If I had to choose the best UK chain it would be Nero, the coffee and hot chocolate are rather good in my opinion but it's personal taste. Although, I am more of a tea drinker.....:o
 

phil8715

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Wetherspoons sounds like a good idea, but whether they can sell beer, coffee and meals at the same price as the high street pubs is highly debatable.


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How about a M&S franchise onboard for the sandwiches?

Now that would be good! Come to think of it - Waitrose anyone?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If I had to choose the best UK chain it would be Nero, the coffee and hot chocolate are rather good in my opinion but it's personal taste. Although, I am more of a tea drinker.....:o

The tea at Caffe Nero isn't too bad either.
 

Techniquest

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Can't believe someone prefers Starbucks to Costa... have a word !!!

On the subject matter, I think it's a good thing. Most coffee chains now do very good food as well, Costa in particular.

I'm not sure, although I 100% agree with your opening sentence. I've been to Starbucks only twice in my life, the first time years back when Borders were still trading and didn't particularly like the cappucino. Never went back but then within the last couple of months I thought I'd give Starbucks another go and visited my local branch. I don't know what sort of coffee they use, but it's dreadful (in the literal sense)! So no, never again for that lot.

Costa, they've had a lot of my business in recent times and I went there for a celebratory (as it was payday) medio Americano today. Both Costa and Caffe Nero do decent coffee in my book, as do Pumpkin and Upper Crust when I'm on the rails. The Lavazza stuff from Wetherspoon is also pretty decent, as is the coffee from McDonalds surprisingly.

As for putting a Starbucks on the trains vice restaurant, I see that suffering majorly.
 

stut

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The problem I have with Costa is the lack of consistency - the quality varies wildly, with one branch pullin off a perfect latte, the next a burnt, watery, flat abomination.

Would have to agree with Caffe Nero out of all the chains. Their food tends to be less bland than Costa too (and better than Sbux since they moved to the "smother it all in mayonnaise" approach).

Now, AMT, they do a fine, strong coffee.
 

Techniquest

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Ah yes, I know the Bristol Temple Meads branch does a decent hot chocolate, don't recall the last time if I've ever had coffee from there but I suspect it would be good.

Surprised with the lack of consistency you find at Costa, since they're all supposed to be trained to make the same drinks the same way in each branch! Not the easiest job in the world mind, been there, done that...
 

Max

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They always seem to be busy at Hull Interchange, open till at least 7 too.


What else would you expect in Hull? :P

My experience of on-train food on the continent is generally very positive. The big surprise was the polish restaurant car, which I experienced (strangely) whilst travelling through Austria on a train that had originated at Warsaw. The food was delicious and, despite having crossed the border, the prices were still ridiculously cheap! It was certainly doing a roaring trade, and I wonder if some internal Austrian passengers specifically waited for this service to take advantage of the reasonable prices. :lol:
 

jamesontheroad

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Some time last year I took the Enterprise between Belfast and Dublin, and on a couple of trips the trolley service was provided by not one, but two people. One, the regular contract catering employee, provided the usual drinks and snacks, while the other (wearing a green Starbucks apron) was busily trying to up-sell people from the usual instant coffee to Starbucks Via instant coffee. It was slightly more expensive and no-one on either trip was in the slightest bit interested.

It could well have been a trial sponsored by the manufacturer or distributor, but as far as I know, it was never continued. Presumably the Swiss cars will be full-on buffets with proper coffee machines.

Were there not a couple of McDonald's buffets in Switzerland many years ago

Yes, lasted a few years before being converted back to standard.

I remember one of these. Saw it in the (?) early nineties, perhaps?
 

WatcherZero

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The problem I have with Costa is the lack of consistency - the quality varies wildly, with one branch pullin off a perfect latte, the next a burnt, watery, flat abomination.

Would have to agree with Caffe Nero out of all the chains. Their food tends to be less bland than Costa too (and better than Sbux since they moved to the "smother it all in mayonnaise" approach).

Now, AMT, they do a fine, strong coffee.

Has anyone ever compared the Gravy in different KFC branches? its totally different! Sometimes its a thick creamy light brown chicken gravy other times its thin, black and takes like beef stock! With a dozen variations inbetween.
 
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