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Author Topic: CrossCountry on-board catering.  (Read 75000 times)
bignosemac
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« on: December 10, 2013, 04:41:47 pm »

Not sure this thread will get to 30+ pages like the ongoing FGW catering topic.  Tongue

Nevertheless, I thought I'd start a topic on CrossCountry catering seeing as, from yesterday (9th December 2013), CrossCountry have significantly improved their on-board catering offer.

There is now a much wider range of items on the trolleys and, joy of joys, a selection of hot food is now available to those seated in Standard Class. Microwaved fare obviously, but welcome nonetheless.

First Class passengers still get their complimentary fare, but can also order the other hot items (paid for) if they wish.

New hot items include Bacon Baguettes, Aberdeen Angus Burgers, Panini and dishes such as Chilli con Carne and Casseroles. Vegetarian options are also available. I'm waiting on an email from CrossCountry with details of the individual dishes that come under 'Hot Food - Today's Selection' on the menu. I've also asked if there is a fixed rotation for the differing selection.

With a microwave oven at each end of a Voyager there shouldn't be too much of a wait after ordering from the trolley. Obviously the trolley host has to get to one end after taking orders, and on busy services it may not be possible for the trolley to get through at all.

CrossCountry food and drink: http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/food-and-drink
Standard Class Menu .pdf: http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/media/240906/standard-tariff-dec-2013.pdf
CrossCountry First Class: http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/first-class
CrossCrountry First Class complimentary menu: http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/media/240686/fc-menu-dec-2013.pdf

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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 04:49:52 pm »

On the 1st Class page, it lists these dates / menus

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Menu 1 served week commencing: Menu 2 served week commencing:
2 December                                  9 December
16 December                                23 December
30 December                                6 January
13 January                                   20 January
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bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 04:57:23 pm »

Yep. That's the rotation for the complimentary offering.

In my call to CrossCountry I asked if there is a fixed rotation for the hot meals available in Standard Class. The menu says: "Hot Meals - please ask the on board team for details of today^s selection."

I also asked if they were able to list the different hot meal items. So far I only know, from overhearing a trolley host, that Chilli con Carne and a Casserole were two of these hot meal items.

When I have the email reply, I'll post here.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 05:11:43 pm »

I suspect it might be the same 4 as Chiltern silver loco+coaches sets offer. After all, they are both Arriva.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 05:29:31 pm »

Could be.

If that's so then I'll be happy. The Sweet Chilli Chicken & Noodles are delicious.  Grin
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Brucey
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 08:09:18 pm »

Sounds good.  The more catering available on-board, the better, even if they are just microwaved.

My last journey on CrossCountry was from Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke-on-Trent (it was a service from Manchester to Birmingham New Street).  The trolley had no sandwiches, baguettes, rolls or anything substantial left.  The only options were crisps and chocolate.  As I was changing at Stoke for a London Midland service to Euston and with a short connection time, I had to make do with crisps for the entire journey.  Not the best journey plan I'd ever made, all to save ^12 compared to the Virgin advance fare :-(
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bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 08:44:20 pm »

I'd've gone Man Picc to SoT with Virgin. FDS ^19.00 and a good chance of being fed and watered. Plus lounge at both ends and on board shop if no 1st comps. Not stretch to ^19.00 then ^6.55 YP SDS with Virgin and still the shop.
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Brucey
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 08:47:01 pm »

I'd've gone Man Picc to SoT with Virgin. FDS ^19.00 and a good chance of being fed and watered. Plus lounge at both ends and on board shop if no 1st comps. Not stretch to ^19.00 then ^6.55 YP SDS with Virgin and still the shop.
It was ^2.95 MAN-SOT and ^4.00 SOT-EUS.  Virgin was ^18.15 for MAN-EUS.  I should've just taken the Virgin service the whole distance as the Class 350 and regular station stops didn't make for a pleasant long distance journey.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 08:53:18 pm »

^2.95 XC Advance? Sometimes you get what you pay for.  Tongue

Nonetheless. Manchester to London for under ^7 (guessing about ^10.50 without railcard) by rail is a steal.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 12:00:18 am »

I got an email reply from CrossCountry yesterday (11/12/13) evening:

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Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your Phone Call, received here on 10/12/2013 16:24:00.

I have now spoken to the catering department and can confirm that the hot food that we offer on board is:

Vegetarian Panini
Chiilli Con Carne
Chicken Tikka
Beef Casserole

Thank you once again for taking the time to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

****** ******
Customer Relations Consultant
CrossCountry

Just over 24 hours for that response. Well done CrossCountry.  Grin

Puts FGWs response times to shame.
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thetrout
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 06:44:36 pm »

Had a complimentary Panini on a CrossCountry service between Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads 2 weeks ago. Very rare this happens in my experience.



It was a microwave job but nevertheless was very welcomed. Complimentary coffee and biscuits too (I ate them before taking the picture, sorry)

I have also bought a Cheese and Onion panini on the weekends from the trolley which has been equally as good too.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 10:52:21 pm »

I hope you wiped your no doubt greasy fingers before returning to the keyboard after enjoying that snack, young trout?  Roll Eyes Wink Grin
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2015, 09:40:08 pm »

Was debating putting this in Frequent Posters to protect the guilty. But I'm just not going to list the train(s) or Journey(s)

This evening I was onboard an XC Service for approximately 1 hour. The trolley made it's way from Coach F to Coach A (5 Car Voyager) and was parked in the vestibule behind the driving cab. The Host then made an announcement that Hot Food was available to purchase from First Class.

The Train Manager showed what I thought some excellent discretion and allowed Customer to wait, then sit and eat their food at the tables in First Class on the proviso that they return to Standard after eating.

Unfortunately the trolley had arrived into First Class around 15 minutes before I was due to get off. So when the announcement was made I made an immediate seat uprising and went to purchase a cheese and onion paninni. This was at ^3.20

I started the order by asking how long it would take and that I was due to alight at a station in 10 minutes or thereabouts. The Host said that would be fine and took the order, payment and told me to take a seat.

To my bitter disappointment. I then discovered 2 people who had appeared in the queue behind me had ordered a Cheese Burger and Bacon Roll retrospectively. One of which also alighting at the same station. So you can imagine my annoyance when I went to get off the train and saw the host putting my paninni in the oven just as we coasted into the Platform...

The host then asked the TM to hold the train for a minute so I could have my paninni. Her answer (rightly so IMHO) was "When I got to go, I got to go"

The customer host was a little bit flustered by this. So I said "Let me take it as is. It's not fair on everyone else onboard that you hold the train for someone's sandwich and make them all late." Not the answer either staff member were expecting. So I got given a luke warm paninni with barely melted cheese that tasted sodding awful.

Whilst I know I ordered the paninni perhaps too late in the journey. I was rather put out by the fact that a Cheese Burger AND a Bacon Roll were done ahead of my order despite me ordering first and making the host aware of my "requirements"

I don't really want to get him in trouble as he seemed nice enough. But I did feel it was unreasonable to cook 2 items ahead of mine when I made it clear I was getting off in 10 minutes. But would it have been fair to those other  customers to have to turn down their orders...? Well first come then first served would be my thoughts there.

Anyhow. Just thought I would express my continued frustrations at XC Catering Tongue
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2015, 11:10:54 pm »

From a contractual viewpoint, you have made "time of the essence" in your order.  The Customer host should not have accepted your order if he was unable / unwilling to meet the condition you applied.  Rail service staff - of all people - ought be aware of such time constraints.

I will soften that with a note that if the host had been called away to help with an operational or medical emergency, the criticism should be softened or removed, even though he would still technically have been in breach of contract.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2015, 11:16:50 pm »

Quote
Beer, cider and a selection of wines.

Sounds good...

Quote
Magners 500ml

...oh. Sad
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