PAY AS YOU STARVE/DINE

Discussion in 'Bases / Shore Est' started by snorko, Apr 18, 2007.

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  1. What are other people's experiences of PAYD?

    On the establishment I am at it has recenlty been introduced - not a Naval Base - and it is a complete farce. Everything is portion controlled, Breakfast is a joke - so now no one goes - and there are microwaves in rooms. Lunch is just the same.

    At the evening meal, it feels like Fawlty towers, totally destroyed the morale and feel of the mess. Once again portion sizes are minute, and if you dont book in by ten in the morning you dont get fed!!!

    There are no Kitchens in the accommodation, and even the Chefs are pissed off, as they now have hardly any customers!

    :x
     
  2. It's shite. I live ashore soit doesn't affect me from day to day. But when you're duty and have to stay onboard you're allowed the "core menu" meal for free but it's normally gash. To eat anything decent you have to pay the extra for it. Why the f**k should I have to pay for a decent meal when I don't even want to be there?

    Case in point - this morning one of my oppo's was refused a cup of tea with his breakfast because he had a glass of orange juice whilst waiting for his breakfast to be cooked - and you're not allowed to have both (unless you pay for the extra drink) Ha! It's laughable!
     
  3. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Thankfully I left the forces before all this madness was introduced. For the benifit of people like myself with no experiance of this how does say, breakfast compare to an ADSA 6 items for £1.99 jobby?
     
  4. All adds up to yet another positive retention measure. When will the powers that be realise it is the accumulative effect of many small things over a period of time that really p*ss people off?
     
  5. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    I appreciate that, but what I'm after is do you get value for money compared to a civvy worker who pays for his own scran...loose comparison I know.
     
  6. I recall way back in 2000 I spent six weeks living in Nelson, and the JRs was frankly the best food providing service I'd ever experienced. Presumably, the RN recognised that the only meals I was eating each day were those I could get in the JRs (undergoing training at the time, so everything was done at the rush and there was no other source of food beyond a mars bar from the spar) and that the only sensible thing was for me to be able to eat as much as I wanted every meal until I wasn't hungry anymore. So we did. The PO steward supervising even told us to just get another plate if we couldn't fit it all on one. Excuse me, I'm just welling up here... got something in my eye.

    I honestly think that if it had been portion-controlled, it would have affected our performance. Granted we weren't bootnecks, but we were still burning an awful lot of fuel. Whenever I've had to list the benefits of service life, I've always included the food (except the rat-packs, obviously, but that's always struck me as a bit of a pongo thing). If that's gone it's another nail in the coffin.
     
  7. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    By my understanding we have always been charged for food - including weekends etc etc, the point of PAYD is that you can now choose what you spend your cash on, rather than Pusser choosing for you. Or have I got this wrong? All I know is after years of being charged for food whether I was there to eat or not, the idea of introducing an element of choice seems a bit novel.

    I say all this from the hugely high ground of not having come into contact with it and am prepared to be told to select neck and wind. I do, however share the concerns over the demise of mess life.
     
  8. There certainly have been food and accomodation charges since the ntroduction of the 'Military Salary' by Gannex Wilson. On the surface the PAYD could be seen as an advantage as you only pay for what you take, but of course the cost of collecting PAYD will be passed on to the diner so probably some one who used to take half the meals pays the same but some one who takes 100% will find they are payin quite a bit more because he is paying for a whole new accounting layer, Also as the caterers only get the money for the food yu buy, not all the food you might buy you are now paying for the wastage as well, eg if they expect to do 100 breakfasts but only sell 80 they will have to charge enough for the 80 to cover the 100. All in all a monthly deduction may be cheaper for the eater even if he only eats part of the time.
     
  9. Whenever 2SL's Presentation Team visited establishments, I remember food charges being towards the top of the whinges. "Why should we still have to pay if we are not always eating onboard?" was the frequent cry. The same drips were also prevalent in letters to Navy News. The decision to change to PAYD was long postponed but it now seems the chickens have finally come home to roost. No food charges but the cost still has to be covered somehow. Another nail in the coffin of mess life and in the ethos of 'All of one company." Sad days indeed.
     
  10. And I am sure Sodofski or who ever you are lucky enough to do your catering will not lose a penny out of the arrangement
     
  11. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    I think it's just been announced that soddexo has been awarded the HM Forces catering contract, have they always had it and this was simply a renewal contract? The reason I ask is whilst visiting the Appleton Rum factory in Jamaica at crimbo I noticed aload of barrels marked up for soddexo..on asking about them I was told.."oh there for the british forces", I found this strange as pussers is still made on Tortola island, even stranger if they didn't already have the contract..mind you it might have been the factorys way of saying "fcuk off nosey tourist".
     
  12. In terms of the economics it's a good idea, and as pointed out above was always a staple for 2SL visits, divisional meetings, drips at the bar. We've always had some who'd eat in their cabin anyway.

    As ever there are a few aspects, in theory it should drive demand although that does depend on how the facility is used. Personally I got sick of stodgy meat/ two veg/ spuds, curry on a thursday and fish on a friday menus and if the demand pushes it the caterers should move away from that formula.

    But, and it's a huge But. This has been implemented by an military project team so it's probably inevitable that it'll be a half baked scheme with badly written contracts, loopholes you could drive a bus through and p!ss poor performance standards for the provider.

    These things can all be fixed, JSCSC at Watchfield being a good example. Catering there at the beginning was truly appaling and it took a year or so but I understand it's much better now. In that situation though alternatives were pretty limited, and paying for the catering wasn't discretionary.

    The risk with a broad implementation, as PAYD, is that it starts out bad, confidence is lost and as use of the facilities now becomes completely discretionary that the culture of using them is diluted and cannot be recovered when quality starts to improve. Of course if utilisation is low then there may not be the stimulus to improve anyway.
     
  13. So how much are you charged and what do you get, lets say for a two or three course lunch. Is it self serve and clear or waiter service in W/R and Senior Rates Mess.

    I ask as pay for food and accomodation was introduced whilst I was in Pusser but as I was always on a sea going draft and never RA when along side at Dolphin or Faslane I never paid for anything.

    Are the troops let out of base or off ship to purchase lunch as they see fit or is it you must use the dinning room or bring in food?


    Nutty
     
  14. I'm glad PAYD has come in, my next job will be watchkeeping and I will also be living in (Northwood). When I was last watchkeeping ashore I always resented paying food for when I was at home off-watch and also paying for lunch when sleeping off nights, but the UPO said that I could only claim for 2 days food money back even though I was on 4 days off.
    PAYD is a result of years of matelots moaning about food charges, in the end we have got what we asked for.
    As for portion control maybe I will lose weight now, lets face it most senior rates kick the arse out of it when serving themselves.
     
  15. Looks like I am going to be the first one to upset the apple cart and say that my experience with PAYD has so far been very positive.

    I joined a RNAS Yeovilton a couple of months ago where the system had not long been introduced. I must admit that at first I was very anti to the idea as this was my first experience of it, but it soon became apparent that overall it is a much better system - at least the way it is run here. All meals are of a generally high standard, an in my opinion, the Core Meal is usually a more attractive option than the more expensive non-core option. Yes there is portion control for the main part of the meal (ie one chicken breast, three slices of roast beef etc) but the spuds and veg are self serve as are the duff and soup, really no different to anywhere else I have eaten without the PAYD system in place.

    As for cost, well as I am a liver in, I do take all of my meals in the mess but there is no way I could go to the NAAFI and get as much scran for as little money as I pay out in the mess. A full English breakfast with cereal, toast and fruit juice (tea as well if you want) costs the princely sum of £1.02 (up from 99p before Easter). I usually have just the cereal and juice so only pay 55p for that. Lunch is £1.20 (up from £1.17) for a Core Meal choice of either the salad bar, an omlette or 2 or 3 choices from the hotplate or a bit of a mix-and-match of all three (omlette, side salad and chips anyone?). this price also includes bread on the table and squash from a dispenser. When I was at Drake before coming here, I used to have lunch once a week in the mess as lived RA, but fancied a hot meal. A Casual Meal ticket in the mess there was £1.73 for basically the same sort of set up, so prices under PAYD are more than competitive. The evening meal is £1.54 (up from £1.50) for up to 3 three courses and includes bread and tea on the table too.

    I can honestly say that in the 10 weeks I have been here I have only had one gash meal (veggies hard and cold) but that is a MUCH better batting average than other places I have eaten (HMS Excellent springs to mind). I like the fact that I no longer pay a blanket sum for the meals I am not taking (ie, my weekends at home) and that if I DID decide to go to the NAAFI, I would no longer be, in effect paying twice to eat once as per the old system. I am without doubt much better off financially by living in this mess under PAYD than I would be with conventional meal arrangements.

    The only downside is that they only accept cash payments, so you do have to make sure you have enough on you to last the week, but that is no great hardship really and doesn't detract from the overall positive experience of PAYD that I have had.

    If it can work this well here, there is no reason why it shouldn't do so elsewhere. From some of the comments in previous posts (paying extra for tea etc) I would say that it isn't a problem with PAYD per se, but more with the catering staff at those establishments who have implimented it in such a bad way. Tell them to come here and see how it works
     
  16. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Well, those prices sound pretty reasonable to me, but I'm not experiancing it.
     
  17. Well I can't think of anywhere else you could eat 3 decent sized meals for £3.76 all in - and as I said in my previous post, as I only have cereal for breakfast (I'm fat enough thankyou), it works out to only £3.29 per day. Bit of a bargain really, especially as I don't have lunch or dinner on a Friday, no meals over the weekend, nor breakfast on a monday (travelling and being at home) it works out at £13.16 for the meals I take during a normal week. I don't think I could eat that cheaply at home.
     
  18. Wouldn't know----When I was in --scran was provided and never really had many grumbles. Victorious was generally known for its standards of catering and the chefs did us proud; RAF Shawbury was excellent too!!!
     
  19. DustyJack

    I must agree with you, can any serving sailor eat like that in any pub/cafe in Pompey/Guzz for that cost. Or in fact in Cental London unless subsidised like th Palace of Westminster. One meal budget gone.

    Nutty
     
  20. I ate in RNAS Yeo myself not too long ago. As it was I was unable to sample the food beyond a bowl of cereal, as I had to be on duty by the time breakfast was being served, but it was indeed an inexpensive bowl of cereal. The whole 'food outside advertised hours' debate will go on beyond my lifetime, I expect.
     

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