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Food Warning: Rivertown Potato Works

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This is a post that I hate to make. It is not intended to be aggressive attack, but a legitimate heads up. Hopefully some one at the park will see this and take action. More on that in a bit. 

Let me start out by stating an opinion: The food at Kings Island is flat out abysmal. I'm sure some will disagree with me, but the quality is severely lacking for something of that price point. It's nothing short of highway robbery. 

On June 2nd, my girlfriend and I decided on a last minute trip to the park after work (we're both Gold Pass holders). I didn't get off until six and by the time we made it to the park I was relatively hungry. We make our way to the Red's Hall of Fame Grill, because you know... wings and Budweiser, right? I mean, come on. After a long 9 hour work day I'd like to have a nice sit down dinner, take it easy, and enjoy the park. As we arrive outside of the Red's Hall of Fame Grill we are greeted with a line out the door. We wait for a bit and get inside...

So Kings Islands only sit down restaurant isn't much of a sit down kind of place anymore? Lame.

Yeah, this is a total first world problem and I won't dwell on it, but again. Really really lame. So we bail and head deeper into Rivertown and settle on Potato Works because I wasn't going to put up with the wait. Potato Works was about a 20 minute wait (yikes!), but it is what it is. Hey, they had a nice wing/french fry basket! And Budweiser! It's all good!

But it's not all good, friends. The nice young lady behind the counter informs me that they don't serve beer as I place my order. I tilt my head slightly and nod to the large Budweiser sign behind her head. She turns, glances at the sign, and turns back at me and says, 

"No one here is old enough to sell it. Sorry."

Hmm. Again, total first world problem. That being said... lame. So so so lame. But there are bigger problems in the world and beer at amusement parks shouldn't be one of them. I place an order for a boneless wing basket and two Cokes for my girlfriend and I to split which brought me to a grand total of around $19 (double yikes!). The price was a bit tough to swallow (pun absolutely, 100% intended), but it's Kings Island food prices. "People gotta eat!" 

So... bite number one: 

imagejpeg

 

Oh boy! Let me tell you how lovely it was to have that delicious blackish red, sludge-like substance go down your throat: Really lovely! The fries were also soggy and bland beyond measure. I figured no one at Potato Works would be of any help so it all went into the trash.

On to Guest Services! 

Now, I have to say that the young lady I spoke with at Guest Services was incredibly nice. Very apologetic and professional. I even showed her the picture of the blood-nugget (see above, kids)! She promptly took my name, number and email to pass along to a supervisor because I was informed that I would be waiting a while to speak to someone that night. And like I've said twice already: In the grand scheme of things this isn't the end of the world. It's food. Really crappy food, but just food. I just wanted my $19 back. That's all. 

So then I wait to be contacted. 20 days!! 20 days it took to be contacted by the "Food and Beverage Area Manger," and only to have them kind of insult me because I decided not to wait around Guest Services to speak with someone. LAME. I emailed them back in regards to the situation and sent the picture as well. The PR apologies kicked in and I was informed that...

The product that we serve for our boneless chicken bites at that location comes to us pre-breaded and pre-packaged, so I am sure that no one is aware that the contents of that chicken bite would look like that... (we) will most definitely be in contact with our supplier regarding the contents of that chicken bite." 

Two things here, friends:

1. Did I seriously just pay almost $20 dollars for pre-breaded/packaged/frozen boneless chicken wings from an undisclosed location? 

2. Is Kings Island actually going to push responsibility of the lovely blood-nugget off onto a third party? Aren't they the ones who decided to serve this garbage to the general public? 

As of 6/25 I was handed off to some other supervisor within the Food and Beverage Department via email. I haven't heard from either of them since even after reaching out again a few days ago. Quite simply, I just want my $19 back. That's all. 

Kings Island, if you read these boards (and I know you do) you need to step up your game. As a season pass holder for 11 years I can honestly say that the park in general hasn't felt this cheap in... well, ever. It's really disappointing. I'm not writing this post to start a flame war, but just to bring light to the situation. And maybe even get some kind of response from the park because they're apparently ignoring me. 

I love Kings Island, but am kind of becoming disillusioned to it all. I'm putting serious thought into not renewing our passes for next year. My girlfriend and I went to Coney Island a few weekends ago and had a blast. I'm thinking we might do season passes next season. But! Kings Island l, I love ya still. I'm not mad at you, just disappointed. 

 

 

 

Sorry for the long post. But for real... my $19 would be great. 

 

Edit: The picture inserted isn't showing up. It's attached now! Yummy!

D996195C-B638-427D-8964-02285413B100.JPG

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I visit with my fam (wife, 4 y/o, 2 y/o) about once/week on average. We have the season food plan.

There is a LOT of bad food in the park. It is pretty ridiculous.

Of the many "chicken/fries" options, we find we have the best luck with Chicken Shack.

Potato Works (Rivertown) isn't what it was back in the day. It misses more than it hits. The chicken is awful, and the fries aren't up to the tasty standard we enjoyed decades ago.

Potato Works (Coney) needs to be razed.

Juke Box Diner is TERRIBLE more often than not.

Chic Fil A and Panda are the most consistent offerings for quality.

The new joint in Soak City holds promise. We shall see. Same with Tom & Chee.

LaRosa's is fairly good, fairly consistently. Same with Skyline.




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I have had good experiences with Rivertown Potato Works this season. Keep in mind that it's mainly known thick-cut fries; Reds Hall of Fame Grille, Chicken Shack and Island Smokehouse all have much better chicken.

That nugget in the picture is disgusting; someone should have either replaced or refunded your meal on the spot. It's unfortunate that you were unable to talk to someone that day.

In general, if you receive a bad meal, I would suggest taking it back to the restaurant for a replacement. Should you instead need a refund, you would need to go to Guest Services.

With regard to your situation, while the park sometimes reads these forums, it's not a good way to get in touch with the department at the park you need. If you're back at the park this season, I would suggest taking your receipt back to Guest Services when there isn't a long wait.

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9 minutes ago, malem said:

 

In general, if you receive a bad meal, I would suggest taking it back to the restaurant for a replacement. Should you instead need a refund, you would need to go to Guest Services.

With regard to your situation, while the park sometimes reads these forums, it's not a good way to get in touch with the department at the park you need. If you're back at the park this season, I would suggest taking your receipt back to Guest Services when there isn't a long wait.

That's the thing. 

 

In no way would I (or do I) want a replacement meal. Nor do I think any employees would be capable of handling the situation. I'm not trying to be mean, but every situation I've encountered with employees in food/beverage this season has been a joke. So this is why I went to guest services directly: to have my meal refunded. Guest Services told me that they really couldn't do anything for me and that I'd have to wait a while until I could talk to someone who could. That's just stupid. There was no line whatsoever, but what am I going to do? Stand there all night? Nah. So I'd assumed that speaking directly to the the Food/Beverage Department would be best. 

I was wrong and they don't seem to be interested. And sadly I had the reciept for a week or so after the incident, but I've since lost it. It's been over a month at this point. 

Don't really know what else to do.

 

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^ Without a receipt, your options for getting a refund (rather than a replacement) at this point are limited, as it would be very hard to identify your specific transaction. I would suggest replying to the e-mail you got, stressing that you would like a refund of what you paid for this meal.

Without a receipt, the best option is sometimes to start a chargeback if you paid with a credit card - provided you have sufficient documentation. Your card issuer would then try to work things out with the merchant on your behalf. This really is a last resort solution; it's much better for everyone to get issues like this resolved immediately. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience.

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I don't argue with anything said here but.....

What on earth is a boneless chicken wing?  I have never seen a chicken without bones in its wings.    Sausage, nuggets, hot dogs, deli meats, hamburgers, McRib etc are all Frankenfoods.  Less than best quality cuts of meat and are going to have what many of us find to be the nasty parts in them often not disguised as well as planned.  

This just goes with the territory.   These kinds of foods are manufactured and with ANY manufacturing process there is a certain failure rate.  

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We've had great food ava service at Coney this year, and greatly appreciate the gluten free location.

I've also been amazed with the smoke house, it's made me want to renew my meal plan next year... And that's knowing that it's only open part of the year.


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On 7/4/2017 at 2:37 PM, King Ding Dong said:

I don't argue with anything said here but.....

What on earth is a boneless chicken wing?  I have never seen a chicken without bones in its wings.    Sausage, nuggets, hot dogs, deli meats, hamburgers, McRib etc are all Frankenfoods.  Less than best quality cuts of meat and are going to have what many of us find to be the nasty parts in them often not disguised as well as planned.  

This just goes with the territory.   These kinds of foods are manufactured and with ANY manufacturing process there is a certain failure rate.  

Boneless chicken wings are just similar to nuggets, but breaded in a very different way. Yes, these foods are manufactured, but since this food is being cooked or prepared at Kings Island, any kind of bloodiness is completely their responsibility. For them to infer that it is not is pure poor service and lack of proper food safety and training. I worked in food service for 13 years and you had to be certified by the local health department with some basic knowledge, such as food temperatures, proper food handling, and food storage. It's not something to be taken lightly as you are affecting someone's health potentially. Yeah, we all know hot dogs are full of nasty things, but uncooked meat of any kind, especially chicken, is completely unacceptable. Period

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That chicken nugget looked so nasty, I'm pretty disappointed in KI. I'm not expecting top notch restaurant style food but seriously, Chicken with blood in it? That's straight out unacceptable, I know this doesn't reflect every food/ beverage item at Kings Island but it sure does make me not want to eat the food there. Especially when you consider the high price tag of $19 when I can go out the park and go to the nearby Chick-fil-A and get nuggets that are FULLY cooked for HALF of the price that KI is selling them for.

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They come prebreaded. I doubt you could see that through the breading and that's if anyone was actually checking every individual piece. While KI is not really at fault for this (go to Wall Mart, buy a DVD player and it breaks. Not Walmarts fault) it should have been replaced or refunded with no questions asked.

 

This is another reason why Disney has the upper hand. Yes, it's ungodly expensive but just got back and while we were there, my daughter dropped her Mickey ice cream bar from it being so hot. Disney's fault? Nope but they gave her a new one. No questions asked. Similar the day before with an ice cream cone. Daughter dropped it while trying to eat it. Went to buy another and was given a replacement.

Bought a $15 bubble wand. Kids played with them nonstop for a week. Last day, it stopped working unless you twisted it. Asked a vendor if they had seen it happen before and next thing I know, we have a new one. No questions asked.

 

These parks make a killing off of food and merch and often you spend more than the price of admission. It's just good custom service even though some will abuse it.

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^^to be fair, I had a Banshee twist ice cream cone a couple summers ago completely collapse when I went to lick it (it was extraordinarily hot and humid that day). I turned to the booth and asked a worker if I could get a bowl (because I caught most of the ice cream in my hands and was cradling it), and they just replaced it (and cleaned up my mess) no questions asked. 

I get exceptional value from my dining plan personally, in no small part because I get meals about four times a week while the park is open. But, I also actually very rarely encounter problems at all, much less serious problems. I don't know if my going on weekdays and avoiding peak times accounts for it, or if I have just been lucky and others unlucky. 

In my handful times to guest services that have been for negative reasons, I've always had very satisfactory outcomes as well. I am quite surprised they didn't just print you up some Beagle Bucks to refund your order rather than make you wait for the food service supervisor. It does suggest to me they realized it was a more serious matter than could be resolved with a simple refund, but I don't understand why you have had so much trouble getting resolution from food services since then. I hope they ultimately come through in a way that is satisfactory. I'm concerned about the quality of the chicken now, too, and I do think that is something they need to resolve with their supplier. The kids frying these up would have no way of knowing something like that was inside the breading. 

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Do KI employees have to be certified by the local health department?

I know that they have lots of orders to fill, but the internal temperature of anything meat related has to meet health department standards, no exceptions. And a timer on a deep fryer is not a substitute for that or a 100% indicator that it is cooked on the inside.

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Yes the poor customer service, lacking of good food options, and some of the things I have seen guest due and the park just turn a blind eye to them is why we will be taking our $600 we spend on passes to Disney next year.

 

I was on a train we a guest took their seat belt off.  The ride was e-stopped for 15 minutes on a lift.  Secuirty was waiting from them but did not do anything to the two guest.

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49 minutes ago, KIBeast said:

Do KI employees have to be certified by the local health department?

Individual food outlets at Kings Island are licensed and inspected, just as restaurants outside the park are. Inspectors check that relevant state and federal food safety procedures are being followed by staff. When violations are found, follow-up inspections are scheduled to make sure that problems are corrected.

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27 minutes ago, flightoffear1996 said:

We will be taking our $600 we spend on passes to Disney next year.

I think you are going to be in for a rude awakening when you take a look at the prices for Disney passes and regular admission tickets.  You're going to need more than that 600.

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$600? I WISH I only spent $600 on passes. Last year it was well over $2K!S Skipped his year as the kids were getting burnt out but yeah, $600 will almost get you a day at Disney for 4.

And that $2K doesn't include the easy $100 plus my wife spends per visit on other "stuff".

Last season, between visiting 5 CF parks, I added up over $7K for the 7 of us

Which is what I just spent spending 5 days for 4 at Disney.

Paid Disney almost $60 an hour to enjoy their properties. Kinda makes you feel underpaid...

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12 minutes ago, KIBeast said:

Then I reiterate my previous statement that raw product does fall on the employees and their apparent lack of training. Just not acceptable

The defective chicken nugget that sparked this thread appears to be fully cooked, even though it evidently wasn't breast meat.

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^ "Boneless wing" refers to the way a piece of boneless meat is prepared and presented. Breasts and wings are both considered white meat, so it tends to make sense.

According to the menu board at Rivertown Potato Works, chicken bites are served at that location. The park does offer "boneless wings" (along with actual buffalo wings) at Reds Hall of Fame Grille.

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This is one of the reasons why we don't eat in the park.  Food prices are absolutely ridiculous and I refuse to give into that kind of robbery.  If we're going to be at the park longer than just a few hours, I will gladly leave and come back rather than to drop $20 on low-quality junk.  If people would take a stand and quit buying food, and more importantly food plans, you'd see the park remedy the situation so fast it will make your head spin.  Like someone said on here in the past, the park already has your money in advance for the food you're going to eat (food plan purchases), so what's motivating them to step up their game?  If people are buying this food regularly, then why put forth extra effort to change things?  The only way change will happen is if the park feels pressure to do so.  Pressure usually comes in the form of lack of profits.  As long as people are willing to spend $20 on chicken crap, we probably won't see a change.  Remember, as consumers we vote with our wallets.  What are you voting for?

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