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Unread 21-11-2008, 20:17   #1
Sasha
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Default Catering promotion

On selected services now available Knorr Soup + Any Sandwich for 5,95

Not a big issue but something fresh for nearly 2 years of RailGourmet operation
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Unread 21-11-2008, 23:08   #2
PLUMB LOCO
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Not sure what you're driving at? Are you impressed by this latest offering? My big toe knows more about catering than Gourmet Rail. 4 tins of Coke in my local Euro saver shop €2 - one can of identical size, brand etc on Rail Gourmet €1.50!! Could say more but there is little point.
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Unread 22-11-2008, 14:02   #3
Sasha
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I am not really impressed, not a issue for me at all.

I've seen it on board while traveling to Cork and decided to post that information.

No point to discuss Rail Gourmet catering, here is separate thread about that
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Unread 22-11-2008, 17:52   #4
Thomas Ralph
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Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO View Post
Not sure what you're driving at? Are you impressed by this latest offering? My big toe knows more about catering than Gourmet Rail. 4 tins of Coke in my local Euro saver shop €2 - one can of identical size, brand etc on Rail Gourmet €1.50!! Could say more but there is little point.
Well the euro-saver shop items are mostly grey market (intended for sale in a different country) and cost them a lot less to bring in. Mainstream wholesalers charge around a tenner plus VAT for a slab (24 cans).

RailGourmet is still quite expensive, mind you; I won't contest that.
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Unread 22-11-2008, 18:31   #5
dowlingm
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I don't think it's credible to compare on-train catering to shops. The costbase and stock management is entirely different. It's more comparable to bars/cafes I would say.
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Unread 22-11-2008, 21:12   #6
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I don't think it's credible to compare on-train catering to shops. The costbase and stock management is entirely different. It's more comparable to bars/cafes I would say.
That's true too. And as compared to the average bar price of €2.60 for a Coke (which is smaller than the RailGourmet serving; size for size the pub price is a whopping €4.29 per 330ml), it's fairly decent.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 00:27   #7
PLUMB LOCO
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I don't think it's credible to compare on-train catering to shops. The costbase and stock management is entirely different. It's more comparable to bars/cafes I would say.
I do think it is entirely credible to compare on-train catering with that of shops. CIE catering/Network Catering and now Gourmet Rail have massive buying power far in way greater than the Euro Saver chain of shops. For years CIE/IE made a farce of rail catering and now with out-sourcing it is a complete shambles. Instead of offering good value meals/trolley food as an incentive to travel by rail CIE/IE always saw it as yet another way of fleecing the travelling public. Compare this with Norfolk Line who a while back were marketing a Dublin/UK ferry trip with a 'free' meal thrown in! It is all a state of mind and a modicum of clever marketing. Off course with Gourmet Rail having to pay CIE/IE for the concession to operate catering services, pay their staff, pay insurance etc. etc. the pressure is really on to fleece to travelling public. I predict that they are not making anything like enough money to keep their concession going and you will see many services devoid of even overpriced trolly services before much longer.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 01:21   #8
Mark Gleeson
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In fact prices on most items where cut a few months back

There apparently is a curiosity that the vat arrangements for on train catering are different to a fixed retail outlet resulting in a noticeable price differential. The buffet coach actually has a formal license under the intoxicating liquor act, can serve 24-7-365 no exceptions

To be fair the catering operation has improved significantly, the number of trains will full catering service has increased, you can get full breakfast on Saturday morning. The food has become a lot healthier and the range has improved significantly and the trolley makes several trips through the train

You are completely free to bring your own food with you, in fact I've munched away on a roll from a local shop while a senior Rail Gourmet manager sat across the table from me, he completely understood.

The exact terms of the contract are not public, it could be that IE are paying them, it could be cost neutral or IE could be getting a % cut, either way the service is better. What we do know if IE are paying its costing a lot less than the rising losses network catering where racking up

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 23-11-2008 at 01:24.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 09:25   #9
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I wonder whether they're counted as eating on the premises or takeaways for VAT purposes. The distinction is that cold food eaten on the premises attracts 13.5% VAT, whereas if it's taken away, it's not chargeable to VAT. Everything else is the same rate either way (hot food, tea and coffee, cakes, most biscuits 13.5%, crisps and biscuits covered half or more with chocolate, minerals, alcoholic drinks 21%).

However, I've only once seen anyone put anything through the till since RailGourmet took over, so it remains to be seen whether they can break down their VAT intake.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 10:11   #10
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Quote:
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I don't think it's credible to compare on-train catering to shops. The costbase and stock management is entirely different. It's more comparable to bars/cafes I would say.
I'm not sure that is it. RG aren't paying for the premises, the public liability insurance or the cleaning (presumably). The closest comparison would probably be a takeaway.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 17:29   #11
PLUMB LOCO
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Given that it is many, many years since I have eaten on Irish Rail (not even an overpriced tin of minerals!) I shall hold off from further comment until I sample their fare on my next trip to Cork, sometime before Christmas. I shall report my findings here at that time but I KNOW that on-train catering has been a bad joke for years. 30 years ago I can recall most seasoned travellers bringing their own refreshments.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 20:28   #12
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I always bring my own but that's mainly because I can't abide mayonnaise and all the RG sandwiches are chock-full of it.
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Unread 24-11-2008, 11:15   #13
Donal Quinn
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Quote:
The buffet coach actually has a formal license under the intoxicating liquor act, can serve 24-7-365 no exceptions
that explains why i heard an announcement one good Friday saying that "this is the only place in the country you can buy drink today!"
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Unread 30-11-2008, 03:56   #14
ccos
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Dont knock the trolley too much
Germany is one of the few places with agood standard of catering, I asked for a bottle of water (250 ml) in Switzerland 3 says she, do u take Euro says I? yes 3 says she or 5 SF
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