• Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by Maverickstation1
 
Traditional Dining is now on hold through December 15, 2020.

From the Amtrak site.

Service Change
Traditional dining service has been temporarily suspended on all routes with the exception of the Auto Train. Through December 15, 2020, Sleeping Car customers will be offered flexible dining service; Coach customers will be offered Café service.
  by Greg Moore
 
Of all the changes, the limitation on coach diners annoys me the most. I've ridden coach overnight multiple times and always taken advantage of the diner. This discourages me from taking Amtrak at all. (and no upgrading to a sleeper isn't always feasible for me.)
  by STrRedWolf
 
Who would want to upgrade to sleeper if all you're getting for food is a pre-packaged meal that's sub-par to airline food?

Yeah, I'm waiting a year until it goes back to daily and the traditional diners are back.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:50 am Maybe one of these vendors will add Flex Meals to their offerings:

Stir-Crazy Travelers Are Ordering Airline Food to Relive the Flying Experience - WSJ https://www.wsj.com/articles/stir-crazy ... 1597326805
You can recreate the Cafe breakfast experience by visiting Costco or Sams Club, buying a multipack of Jimmy Dean biscuit/croissant sandwiches, Dunkin Donuts K-cups, etc.

The Flex Meals? Probably.
  by John_Perkowski
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:33 am
You can recreate the Cafe breakfast experience by visiting Costco or Sams Club, buying a multipack of Jimmy Dean biscuit/croissant sandwiches, Dunkin Donuts K-cups, etc.

The Flex Meals? Probably.
I will say it yet again

I don’t pay top dollar for a hotel room that serves me quick nukem Jimmy Dean croissants or gas station sausage and egg biscuits. They want my money, they pay a chef to at least bake bisuits fro Bisquik (After all, it was a rr dining car chef who showed the inventor what he did and why)
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:41 pm I don’t pay top dollar for a hotel room that serves me quick nukem Jimmy Dean croissants or gas station sausage and egg biscuits.
For gas station food, the Amfleets are largely 7-Eleven material. Even the diner lite on the Amfleet IIs, as done on the Cardinal when full menus were available was still a step up.
  by mtuandrew
 
Hot take (unfounded opinion for the Not That Online folks): Amtrak can do fresh meals for the same price as this stuff and come closer to a profit, individual crews want to do better, but One Mass doesn’t see dining as core to business. It isn’t a D vs R political thing.
  by STrRedWolf
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:42 pm
John_Perkowski wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:41 pm I don’t pay top dollar for a hotel room that serves me quick nukem Jimmy Dean croissants or gas station sausage and egg biscuits.
For gas station food, the Amfleets are largely 7-Eleven material. Even the diner lite on the Amfleet IIs, as done on the Cardinal when full menus were available was still a step up.
American 7-Elevens. Which, to be honest, I think Amtrak would save money by doing a deal with them for the Cafe car supplies.

That said, foreign 7-Elevens have better food. Youtuber DancingBacons took a look at Singapore 7-Eleven meals. Granted, Asian food/culture, but still, gives you an idea.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:49 am That said, foreign 7-Elevens have better food.
Canadian 7-Elevens have fresh baked items in store, something even Wawa doesn't have (all delivered from their central Philadelphia bakery).

If Subway can have fresh baked bread in even their smallest retail outlets, no reason you could not have "fresh baked" items (bread, rolls, pastries) on board a Viewliner or Amfleet II (the latter with diner lite ovens).
  by west point
 
Have observed all Subways bake locally. More than once told don't have any of that roll baked yet.
  by Greg Moore
 
This discussion of fresh baked, etc reminds me of a pet peeve. I'm not expecting gourmet food. But often it's the little extra touches that make all the difference.
Like when a cafe attendant took advantage of the actual oven... has happened to me twice:
1) when they had the large chocolate chip cookies, heated one up for a minute or so. OMG it was so much better.
2) Took a meatball sub, removed the innards, tossed those in the microwave and the roll in the convection oven. And again.. what was normally a soggy, unevenly heated sub suddenly became something that was drool-worthy.

And with that, honestly, in the diner, during the times when the Chefs have been given more free reign, I've had some amazing steaks and other very good food. And it wasn't much difference in terms of initial quality or prep time. It was, giving the chef or cafe attendant the leeway to do more than "reheat food as quickly and cheaply as possible."
  by mtuandrew
 
Either: serve better food, get more sales, make more profit and start to narrow the food & beverage gap;

Or: serve crappy food, lose more sales, raise prices to cover the losses, lose even more sales, and under the cover of an unrelated crisis make the case for cutting food & beverage service altogether.
  by west point
 
Mom and pop costs ? Our posters are forgetting utility cots. The local pizzaplace has 600 amp service for the ovens and the extra HVAC, large water and sewer bills and natural gas. Heard it was over $3000.00 one month. Don't know theirTaxes and insurance.
  by John_Perkowski
 
I’ve flown front cabin on several airlines now. Amtrak could do worse than contracting with El Al or Lufthansa’s catering service. Add in breads freshly baked on board, and the food would be better than Denny’s and far better than what Amtrak serves now v
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