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Meal Deals, and meal deals


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I was only able to go on Friday.  I had a meal at Street Pizza, waited about 20 minutes, but line was out to the fountain when I left.  The cashier was the bottleneck--there was only one and she appeared new and nervous.  The menu board advertised the drink plans, so assumed I could buy there (big mistake, huge!).  I got my drink honestly drank half of it before I got to the cashier.  She said that you could only buy the drink plan at Guest Services or online.  But, she did have some autonomy to not charge for the drink.  I noticed that for non meal plan options, they have lowered the price but excluded the drink.

I hope service is better than in past years, it seems as if they are trying, which is what we can ask for. 

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If I understand statements made in this thread correctly it appears some feel that sharing a meal one obtains through the meal plan is against park and pass rules.   I found this position rather surpr

Anybody know if this new lunch option is on the All Season Meal Plan?  

Generally Food is where some of the younger folks tend to be employed. It's not that they aren't doing anything to retain their staff but that they may also move to a different division.  I'd also

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The cashier who told you that she could not sell you the drink plan is wrong.  I am not certain if it is a training problem or if they just forgot how.  But I have heard a similar story from several people, one of which proceeded to guest services who instructed them that it could only be purchased at the park by going to a location which sell beverages.  The good news is that they tried another drink stand and found an employee who knew how to do it.

 

On a side note you can add your annual pass to an Apple wallet.  Which will sync to an Apple Watch allowing you to display the QR code on your watch, which I can confirm the registers will scan.  So if you have an Apple Watch you can just use that instead of your phone or plastic pass.

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I know that they have the 4-hour window for a reason to cut down on abuse, and I was always curious if they are able to keep track of how many meals are "wasted" due to someone getting a meal before the 4 hour window was up and having the food consequently tossed due to customer not wanting to pay.  I see that they found a solution - they just put the food back in line to be served/purchased.  I witnessed 3 times at LaRosa's and once at Skyline where the food simply was returned to the area to pick food up.  One went back with less pepperoni as the customer had picked some off waiting to get to cashier.

I am sure that is against health code and I mentioned to the cashier that they cannot have the customer return the food to the serving area and response was "we were barely trained on how to use this machine so I don't know what to do in that situation".

Also, I noticed that many food places do not have the ability to get water (and thus no small Kinzel cups lol) - probably to entice people with a meal plan to purchase a drink lol.

It was noted earlier, but yes a lot of food portions are a lot smaller this year.

 

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3717-1-03.6 Food: discarding or reconditioning unsafe, adulterated or contaminated food.
(A) A food that is unsafe, adulterated, or not honestly presented as specified under rule 3717-1-03 of the Administrative Code shall be discarded or reconditioned according to an approved procedure.
(B) Food that is not from an approved source as specified under paragraphs (A) to (G) of rule 3717-1-03.1 of the Administrative Code shall be discarded.
(C) Ready-to-eat food that may have been contaminated by an employee who has been restricted or excluded as specified under paragraph (D) of rule 3717-1-02.1 of the Administrative Code shall be discarded.
(D) Food that is contaminated by food employees, consumers, or other persons through contact with their hands, bodily discharges, such as nasal or oral discharges, or other means shall be discarded.

 

If someone touched it, they have to toss it (http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/FoodSafety/Docs/Regs/DR1-01.pdf).

 

That is pretty nasty, and honestly worth calling to attention to the supervisor or the health board.

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For me, part of the fun (no pun intended) of visiting the park was eating while I was there.  For the last few seasons, that's been pretty much reduced to RHoFG, as I could sit down and relax and get waited on.  I really hate to read that they've changed their format.  I always thought it would be lame to drive clear to Kings Island and not eat in the park, but I think I'm going to have to join the parking lot eater's club this year.

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15 minutes ago, shark6495 said:

I say both. Nothing causes Changes quicker than a quick hello from the health inspector


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I agree. I do think too many people skip the step of supervisor in this process though. I've heard many people say they go straight to Guest Services and complain, but I'm not sure how effective that is. I'm sure the message is past on, but the supervisor isn't directly dealing with upset guests. If its the supervisor who is constantly having to deal with complaints and angry people, thats when things really get done.

 

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I joined KIC June of last year and I think the two major themes/rules I came away with at that time were:

1. Don't eat at KI for the first couple of weeks.

2. Don't visit Cedar Point opening day.  

Should have no problem adhering to 2, but would like to make it in this weekend if we can swing it.  

On one hand I know very well proper food handling is an extremely important health and safety issue and there is no excuse for messin it up.  But it must be extremely difficult to staff up and train an operation like this especially when the first few weeks are only weekend employment and the crowds are large.  No ramp up, just 100% full on crowds.   And yet again one only needs to review our infamous Chipotle thread to see the dire consequences of screwing it up.  

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Food venues at the park undergo regular inspections. The foods department has been known to read this thread, but following up with the park directly would be most effective if someone notices a potential violation. These things are taken seriously.

5 hours ago, King Ding Dong said:

1. Don't eat at KI for the first couple of weeks.

I had good food experiences on Opening Day. Fast-moving lines and hot food that tasted like it should. Night and day compared to the beginning of last season.

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I joined KIC June of last year and I think the two major themes/rules I came away with at that time were:
1. Don't eat at KI for the first couple of weeks.
2. Don't visit Cedar Point opening day.  
Should have no problem adhering to 2, but would like to make it in this weekend if we can swing it.  
On one hand I know very well proper food handling is an extremely important health and safety issue and there is no excuse for messin it up.  But it must be extremely difficult to staff up and train an operation like this especially when the first few weeks are only weekend employment and the crowds are large.  No ramp up, just 100% full on crowds.   And yet again one only needs to review our infamous Chipotle thread to see the dire consequences of screwing it up.  



I refuse to give the park any benefit of the doubt for opening day food issues. It's not like it has 30+ years of data to look at. It's not like there's not enough time to train.

If you have to replace most of the staff that means you're not doing enough to keep the staff from year to year. If you can't find enough bodies to work that means you are not paying enough.

From everything I read it seems last weekend was good for the most part. But KI is a business, we love it but it's a business. If we don't expect the best we won't get it.


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I refuse to give the park any benefit of the doubt for opening day food issues. It's not like it has 30+ years of data to look at. It's not like there's not enough time to train.

If you have to replace most of the staff that means you're not doing enough to keep the staff from year to year. If you can't find enough bodies to work that means you are not paying enough.

From everything I read it seems last weekend was good for the most part. But KI is a business, we love it but it's a business. If we don't expect the best we won't get it.


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It's not like this is Disney. KI doesn't attract adults seeking continuous full time employment. It's a seasonal business and attracts mainly high school and college kids. Some may come back, but work in other areas. I'm guessing 95% of the workers are considered part time with no benefits.
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2 hours ago, harveyhaddixfan said:

 


It's not like this is Disney. KI doesn't attract adults seeking continuous full time employment. It's a seasonal business and attracts mainly high school and college kids. Some may come back, but work in other areas. I'm guessing 95% of the workers are considered part time with no benefits.

 

Exactly. Even established food chains have major issues when it comes to "soft opens" and such. KI employees don't get that. They go from closed to 50,000 people immediately. No amount of training can simulate that. Sure it's okay to want good service for what we pay, but when there is 50,000 people, and lots are asking for fresh food, there is going to be mistakes and wait times. 

I wont say there aren't major issues year to year, but to expect perfection and "Disney-esque" performance one opening day, that's not happening. If you want Disney, go to Disney. 

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Generally Food is where some of the younger folks tend to be employed. It's not that they aren't doing anything to retain their staff but that they may also move to a different division. 

I'd also say they get the most crap for sometimes what is out of their control. They don't get the full training before the park opens...how could they? They can get little scenarios of what may happen when a guest comes up asking for ____ or when a customer decides they want something else, etc. Nothing can prepare them enough until they have the guests literally in front of them. Even then, it's a learning experience. 

Most of these associates don't know how to react when something happens because they've not dealt with it before. I'd also venture to say that those who visit often are the ones who make their jobs a living nightmare. I have heard out of several associates mouths that I know on a personal level that they hate when enthusiasts, KICers, etc. come up to them for food and/or rides because as associates these folks treat them like crap. 

It's one thing to be upset about food service sucking but until 1) we are in their shoes 2) we go to someone who can actually make it right it won't change. It's another thing to be downright rude/disgusting to the associates. 

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That's crazy, I'd thought coaster or Kings Island enthusiasts would treat the employees with much respect considering most of us understand what's going on there for the most part. I know I treat them all very well, even when a young employee is rude, I kill everyone with kindness. It feels better than getting upset and it throws them off!

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In addition to what shark6495 said, the park has had better food and service therein.  I feel its been going downhill within the last 5+ years.  What made those previous seasons different than now?  As much as we bark about the bad stuff Paramount did, they trained their food staff much, much better than Cedar Fair and they staffed food venues better.  Other parks go through the same thing and still have better service than Kings Island.  There are employees at Holiday World younger than the average staff age at KI that were much more professional and confident in their jobs than KI.  As for training them before they get working, couldn't KI partner with local restaurants that are already in the area that are in the park (Skyline, LaRosa's, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Subway) and let the employees train there before the season starts?  The Glenway Skyline has perks for working up at the KI Skyline (which I just found out yesterday).  

When I was trained at Potato Works (at the actual stand right after they did the mass training during their orientation style training), I felt I was prepared and confident about my job with a few days.  Granted, its easier food to make than most stands, but that also includes the areas like working register, interacting with customers and such.  

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55 minutes ago, Jr for Birdy said:

That's crazy, I'd thought coaster or Kings Island enthusiasts would treat the employees with much respect considering most of us understand what's going on there for the most part. I know I treat them all very well, even when a young employee is rude, I kill everyone with kindness. It feels better than getting upset and it throws them off!

I don't believe it for a minute.  I don't believe it is members of this forum being unkind.

 

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1 minute ago, King Ding Dong said:

Do you denigrate other people calling them stupid and morons all day?  You know the gang I'm talking about.  

 

meh not really i am used to a forum that I have been a part of for many years that pretty much has no rules so I am used to people calling others out and being a bit vulgar. I get it is not for everyone though and I certainly wouldn't ban people left and right for small things

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35 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

In addition to what shark6495 said, the park has had better food and service therein.  I feel its been going downhill within the last 5+ years.  What made those previous seasons different than now?  As much as we bark about the bad stuff Paramount did, they trained their food staff much, much better than Cedar Fair and they staffed food venues better.  Other parks go through the same thing and still have better service than Kings Island.  There are employees at Holiday World younger than the average staff age at KI that were much more professional and confident in their jobs than KI.  As for training them before they get working, couldn't KI partner with local restaurants that are already in the area that are in the park (Skyline, LaRosa's, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Subway) and let the employees train there before the season starts?  The Glenway Skyline has perks for working up at the KI Skyline (which I just found out yesterday).  

When I was trained at Potato Works (at the actual stand right after they did the mass training during their orientation style training), I felt I was prepared and confident about my job with a few days.  Granted, its easier food to make than most stands, but that also includes the areas like working register, interacting with customers and such.  

I think KI has kind of started to do this with all of the outside vendors that are coming in to the park. I noticed towards the end of last season that there was a company (who's name escapes me) that had seemed to take over the functions of certain food stands (The ice cream place in Planet Snoopy, snoopy grill, etc). I think that is probably their best option. Outsource the hiring, staffing, and training to outside companies that can devote the time and resources to getting the staff ready.

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You are right this isn't Disney. We are reminded constantly by some on this board who expect that if you want top notch service you must attend the Disney branded parks.

 

 

As others have said, why is it that Ki food Service for the last half decade or more has been going down the tubes while other parks in the chain get it right? Why is it other regional parks can figure it out but maybe ours can't. Maybe according to some on here if we want that service we should go to those parks?

 

And Chugh I get what you are saying. You can't control for all scenarios but you can control for the most likely. Before opening day you need to have staff that can run registers, plate food, wash dishes etc.

 

on soft openings of restaurants the problems that creep up on them are not ones of training but of unforeseen circumstances.

 

I've worked in food service. I have done the not 50,000 crowd but the 3-5,000 crowd. But that was directed at one restaurant and not multiple. I get it. But you have to make sure your strongest are in their best spots. I hope food service improves over years past. I hope I don't have to go elsewhere to get good service (and really are we really going in that juvenile of a direction telling park goers to go to a different park to get better service?)

 

 

Also I never cut down an employee to their face and always report poor and good service. I'm too old and spent too much good money to be served a product that doesn't match the value of my dollars.

 

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How can you put your strongest in place if your entire crew aside from supervisors are brand new...first job? How can you even determine that if they've never even worked with customers? 

You can't. I've opened 3 restaurants with just legal to work teenagers and there are always bumps in the road. The openings and first few weeks are never perfect. The same can be said for Kings Island. 

Some here expect perfection 100% and I hate to tell you, nothing is 100% perfect. There are bound to be hiccups/bumps in the road. 

The best way to bring up concerns is to the park in person. 

I personally only had one concern about food service this weekend and I went to guest relations for it. However, I had some of the best experiences with food service on opening weekend this past weekend. It's all subjective to personal opinion. 

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I have a couple of questions about the meal deal that maybe you all can help with:

 

1. Where in the park can I buy it? Guest services, or at the individual food stands? I don't want to buy it online because I am already cheesed enough about paying the $6 service charge when I got the season passes.

2. How long is it good for? One the website, it says 'Valid for Winterfest,' but doesn't say anything about the Halloween season. I assume by 'all season' it means for summer, fall and winter?

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1 minute ago, ryanhampel said:

I have a couple of questions about the meal deal that maybe you all can help with:

 

1. Where in the park can I buy it? Guest services, or at the individual food stands? I don't want to buy it online because I am already cheesed enough about paying the $6 service charge when I got the season passes.

2. How long is it good for? One the website, it says 'Valid for Winterfest,' but doesn't say anything about the Halloween season. I assume by 'all season' it means for summer, fall and winter?

Assuming you mean the season pass meal deal and not the one time all day meal plan.   Ticket window would be best for purchasing, not even sure if you can buy it at a food stand.  Yes it is good for Halloween as well.  

 

Welcome to KIC!

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47 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

Assuming you mean the season pass meal deal and not the one time all day meal plan.   Ticket window would be best for purchasing, not even sure if you can buy it at a food stand.  Yes it is good for Halloween as well.  

 

Welcome to KIC!

Thanks for the welcome Ding Dong, and the quick response! Good to hear it is good through the year. I am going tonight for the first time in 5 years, and the first time with a season pass in 10. I think I will get the yearly meal deal, even though the last few pages have had some unhappy comments about the service.

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