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Kings Island Announces 2018 Changes

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Two-Time Food Network Champ Joins Kings Island as New Executive Chef

 A two-time winner of the Food Network's Chopped reality TV cooking contest and contestant on Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen, James Major, has taken on the executive chef position at Kings Island. Major is a Culinary Institute of America Certified Pro Chef II, a U.S. Navy veteran, and Ohio native. He previously served as executive chef at Great American Ball Park and Funky’s Catering. “

Kings Island has always been a place where family memories are made,” Major said. “It’s an honor for me and my team to have the chance to be creative and provide great food experiences that add to those memories and the fun guests have during their visit.” “In the amusement park industry you’re constantly challenging your team to find new ways to help friends and family come together, and the culinary experience is a big part of that” said Mike Koontz, Kings Island Vice President and General Manager. “Chef Major is here to help create those memorable food and dining options throughout the park that will enhance the guest’s visit.”

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Park introduces new restaurant, Coney Bar B Que

Kings Island also is adding the new Coney Bar B Que to the park’s restaurant line-up.

This new fast-casual dining location will offer various barbecue favorites including smoked St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork, rotisserie chicken and Queen City Sausage along with a fresh selection of side dishes.  The location is included in the park’s dining plans. Located in the Coney Mall area of the park, next to the Scrambler, the restaurant’s architecture and theming will pay tribute to the early days of Kings Island and Coney Mall. Covered outdoor seating areas will feature views of Coney Mall and the Grand Carousel. The restaurant will open on April 14, the beginning of the 2018 season. Gold Season Passholders will get a sneak preview on April 13th.

Coney Bar B Que Exterior.PNG

ConeyBarBQue_Interior1.png

 

ConeyBarBQue_Interior2.png

Coney Bar B Que Logo.jpg

ChefJamesMajor_Interview_&_B-roll.mp4

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[From former thread] Saw this on Twitter and I'm pumped! If the pulled pork is as good as Island Smokehouse and Reds, I'll be frequenting this place a lot during the season. Also, Pulled Pork on the left side of the park.. *que Kermit Yay!*

Also, the insides look nice.

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17 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I am quite excited about this! I am almost certain I remember watching him on Chopped. Hopefully he can expand our food offerings and food line efficiency. 

Well...it seems as though the culture of the new 2018 Kings Island Coney Bar-B-Que restaurant will be people friendly. Here's KI's newest celebrity chef, James Major. I thought it'd be neat to share this video with the KIC community, also, all credit for this video goes to CincyPeople.com. Enjoy everyone!

 

Edited by QuantumMechanicsInMotion
Diction & Embedded Link!

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We are not ordering food passes this year for the main fact is we cant find anything healthy and the food has always been horrible.  Food hasn't been hot and just low quality.  We will try to eat once or twice at the park this year and see how it goes.

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We are not ordering food passes this year for the main fact is we cant find anything healthy and the food has always been horrible.  Food hasn't been hot and just low quality.  We will try to eat once or twice at the park this year and see how it goes.

This, along with the horrible service is why I also didn’t get meal plans this year.


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really like that KI is paying attention to the theming of the surrounding area when designing new buildings. We saw this with the new funnel cake building in Rivertown, and I hope it’s a trend that continues. Also, did anyone else notice the nod to The Bat in the concept art? Really nice touch 

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So it's a copy of island Smokehouse, but with sausages? Even the layout is the same. 

So sad they couldn't think of a better name. Also no macaroni.

 

If anyone is interested, his 

Cutthroat Kitchen episode is season 9 episode 13: hunt for bread October

Chopped: Impossible from November 12, 2015

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I doubt the Executive Chef will have anything to do with front line food service staff. That mess is way down the line from him. I am optimistic that some of the efficiency efforts we saw last year will continue to produce fruit. Here's to hope for the embattled food service department.

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I like the design and how they wanted to pay tribute to the early years of the park. The clock tower is a nice touch as well; reminds me of the arcade building adjacent to Moonlite Gardens at Coney Island. 

With the Queen City Sausage on the menu, perhaps there may be some hope of German food returning to Oktoberfest in the future.

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I've never had a problem with the food service at Kings Island, except for the chicken stand over by Banshee. I wasn't big on their fries.  Their chicken was really good though. I'm really looking forward to this since my main place that I go to is Reds HOF grille and the fact that I never went to that place over in Soak City last year.

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Just watched the two videos posted of Mr. Major and I like his strategy of having the best food (as stated in the 1st video). IMO, we've already got some awesome food in LaRosas's, Tom+Chee's and that bread at Chicken Shack (along with pulled pork, Mac and Cheese and Grilled Chicken Sandwiches)! I can't wait to meet him in person come Opening Day. 

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Warning: rant ahead.

5 hours ago, jtro223 said:

I doubt the Executive Chef will have anything to do with front line food service staff. That mess is way down the line from him.

Front line associates are not the problem. Management is the problem. Specifically, management who thinks one cashier per restaurant is sufficient on a super-busy day. If you're lucky, there's a chance they might temporarily open a second register, but I have not see more than that in years, even though several places have as many as four or more registers available. That is the bottleneck and the sole cause of the ridiculously slow service: understaffed cash registers. I don't really care that the food is not great quality, because I don't expect that from amusement park food. I just want something that I can fill myself up with, but I want it reasonably fast, and that's the part KI can't deliver on. And that falls purely on management.

(end rant)

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20 minutes ago, jcgoble3 said:

Warning: rant ahead.

Front line associates are not the problem. Management is the problem. Specifically, management who thinks one cashier per restaurant is sufficient on a super-busy day. If you're lucky, there's a chance they might temporarily open a second register, but I have not see more than that in years, even though several places have as many as four or more registers available. That is the bottleneck and the sole cause of the ridiculously slow service: understaffed cash registers. I don't really care that the food is not great quality, because I don't expect that from amusement park food. I just want something that I can fill myself up with, but I want it reasonably fast, and that's the part KI can't deliver on. And that falls purely on management.

(end rant)

While I agree with most of your post, I would think that the Executive Chef role is more of a visionary, niche position.  He has to design the non-standard food items.  I would, however, disagree about some of the front line staff.  I have seen lazy, angry, dirty and clueless front line staff.  I have also see plenty of front line staff trying to do their best.  I guess management is trying to keep warm bodies by being the friend, rather than the boss.  And I really do not understand how Cedar Fair can roll up numbers for all the parks just days after closing with some awesome technology, but the technology to run cash registers can cause so many issues with food service workers.  But, I do give credit where credit is due, Winterfest was done great with food service, and some things were put in place last year that have sped some things up.  

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8 hours ago, jtro223 said:

  I have seen lazy, angry, dirty and clueless front line staff.  I have also see plenty of front line staff trying to do their best. 

I couldn't agree with this more. Unfortunately, guests tend to remember the former...I can't tell you how many times I have stood in a line for 30+ minutes, only to be met at the register by a worker with an attitude, no apology about the wait and a look on their face like I was inconveniencing them. Yes - food quality is important...but speed and service is more important. And that's in any industry. 90% of the appeal of Disney for me is the speed and service....and people are willing to pay premium prices for that if they're at an amusement park. If I want a mediocre burger handed to me with a crappy attitude, I can get that any day at the nearest Burger King. 

I think it would be cool if they could incorporate app surveys for meal plan holders to allow them to rate their service for the day. Since passes are scanned for meal plans, it should all be integrated and performance could be evaluated. 

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The POS systems are in need of an upgrade.....having to stand in line with my food while it's getting cold so they can select my meal plan and then the POS system goes back to the normal screen in which they have to select the drink plan and then they have to go to close out the transaction is painful. Having worked on Micros for some time, it's not a user friendly system nor is it efficient.

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54 minutes ago, chugh43 said:

The POS systems are in need of an upgrade.....having to stand in line with my food while it's getting cold so they can select my meal plan and then the POS system goes back to the normal screen in which they have to select the drink plan and then they have to go to close out the transaction is painful. Having worked on Micros for some time, it's not a user friendly system nor is it efficient.

I really like the concept of ordering your food on tablets like what you see at Skyline in Coney Mall. 

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8 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

I really like the concept of ordering your food on tablets like what you see at Skyline in Coney Mall. 

They'd need an app ordering option as well...ever been in line for one of the freestyle machines behind a totally clueless person? Oh boy. 

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2 hours ago, KImom said:

If I want a mediocre burger handed to me with a crappy attitude, I can get that any day at the nearest Burger King. 

We do pay premium prices at KI and the quality at Burger King far, far surpasses anything at KI.  

56 minutes ago, KImom said:

They'd need an app ordering option as well...ever been in line for one of the freestyle machines behind a totally clueless person? Oh boy. 

Same with Redbox.  I think that is why the Freestyles were pulled from Island Smokehouse.  

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