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The new KI Director of Food & Beverage is...

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2 hours ago, LovinMeSomeBanshee said:

So the guy over Food and Beverages was previously over HR and Admissions?

Hmm.  Maybe I should apply for some of their IT positions.  I don't know IT, but that doesn't seem to matter.

High level management has more to do with leadership development and conceptual planning. At that level, it doesn't really matter if you're directing a food operation or a front gate operation. Knowing how to motivate and develop a department is a universal, transferable skill.

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Hi all- Jes here. I thought I would quickly say hello to the KI Central community and share my excitement for the upcoming season- my 18th with Cedar Fair. I know how important the Food & Beverage operation is to our guests and to all of you, our most passionate fans. It's important to me as well, in part because my friends and family visit the park frequently. But also because at the end of the day, I'm a theme park nerd myself. 

I want you to know that I am absolutely committed to elevating the Food & Beverage experience at our park. Part of doing that includes seeking out feedback every day. I want to know when our team is rocking it, and when we can do better. Although I won't be an active poster in this community, I can assure you I will personally read every single comment posted here, just as I will when comments are left at Guest Services. You will see me constantly in the park, working with our team to respond to that feedback. When you see me, please feel free to say hello and tell me about your experience. I'd love to hear from you. 

Thank you for your past and future patronage, and for being such loyal fans over the years.

Jes McAdam-Sellers

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19 hours ago, Jes said:

Hi all- Jes here. I thought I would quickly say hello to the KI Central community and share my excitement for the upcoming season- my 18th with Cedar Fair. I know how important the Food & Beverage operation is to our guests and to all of you, our most passionate fans. It's important to me as well, in part because my friends and family visit the park frequently. But also because at the end of the day, I'm a theme park nerd myself. 

I want you to know that I am absolutely committed to elevating the Food & Beverage experience at our park. Part of doing that includes seeking out feedback every day. I want to know when our team is rocking it, and when we can do better. Although I won't be an active poster in this community, I can assure you I will personally read every single comment posted here, just as I will when comments are left at Guest Services. You will see me constantly in the park, working with our team to respond to that feedback. When you see me, please feel free to say hello and tell me about your experience. I'd love to hear from you. 

Thank you for your past and future patronage, and for being such loyal fans over the years.

Jes McAdam-Sellers

Thanks for reaching out, Jes. I think we are all excited that someone with a lot of experience dealing with KI’s associates is taking the helm in this capacity. You sure do have your work cut out for you, so I wish you the best of luck!!

PS I didn’t know you knew how to cook! :P

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@Jes Thanks so much for taking the time to introduce yourself and letting us know you are watching the feedback on KIC.

I hope that tells our members to be constructive and respectful when voicing a concern on KIC. We wish you much success in your new roll!

 

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On ‎2‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 1:05 PM, chugh43 said:

Interesting development. So is this basically Chef Major and Chef Nate's new boss? 

I'm wondering if there are any additional changes to the food and beverage department this year.

They way their hierarchy works is as follows:

VP

Director

Manager

Area Manager

Coordinator 

I'm not certain where Chef Major and Nate come into play as their roles are unique.  So Jes does have a local boss - the VP of Food & Bev Mark Boyer, and will have several managers below him and hundreds of line level associates below them.  Coming from an HR back round does sound weird but if you break down the issues that the F&B department is having: staffing, personnel, training, efficiency, and consistency then the decision does make a lot of sense.  There's a ways to go with bringing F&B up to what should be Cedar Fair's brand standards, but it seems like this may be a step in the right direction.  

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@Jes I'm happy to hear that an experienced theme park 'nerd' is taking the reigns on this. I'm not all that picky, but I've done my time in food service (both cafeteria style and fast). You can make me really, really happy (and also get me to spend some coin on food at KI) if you can convince folks to figure out how to make food:

1) to order

2) fast

3) hot

I used to complain that all food at KI was $8. Then it became all food at KI is $15! The queues were always long for stuff that had been sitting in thermotainers and under heat lamps. Yuck. 

Fries have a life (about 5 minutes for shoestrings), and should only take 3 minutes to cook. I get that fresh-cut take longer, but they can't sit forever under the heat lamp if a 'rush' isn't anticipated. Boardwalk fries got my business at CP and KD, because they were always made to order.

Someone in the thread mentioned the cold burger. Touche! There are cheap, easy (approved) ways to keep the patty hot and moist, and assemble at purchase time. 

No excuse for a $15 burger platter that has 20-minute old fries and a cold burger. 

I got shrimp at the BBQ place, because it was ready and I was hungry when I got to the steam table (line was short). The entire bowl was full on the line so I thought it was probably fresh (and it was). Watched somebody go into the thermotainer for something else and there was an entire bowl of shrimp already fried. Folks have to learn to anticipate the rush and be ready, but not cook the food until the demand is there.

Tried and true method that worked years ago, and could today - 'ringer-runner'. Money people never handle food, just take orders and handle cold stuff. Runners get the hot order assembled. Kept things moving efficiently (we had a 3-minute timeline for fresh-made food, from order to delivery, and we achieved it with a broad menu).

Beverages - make clear that beverage only or beverage refills have a separate queue. No reason to stand in the Festhaus line if you're not getting food, in order to get a beverage, but 'cutting the line' is bad karma.

Final bit of feedback, the kiosks separate the crowd but the UI really slows stuff down. Too many confusing screens to wade through, and if you make a mistake it's a disaster. Maybe incorporating ordering into the cellphone app could work, I dunno. 

You've taken a huge responsibility, welcome, and I hope you succeed wildly!

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On 2/8/2019 at 5:57 PM, OldieButGoodie said:

No excuse for a $15 burger platter that has 20-minute old fries and a cold burger. 

That’s my biggest complaint about the park food, the quality does not justify the price. I wouldn’t be nearly as upset if I could have one of the following:

1. HOT, decent tasting food at the current prices...then I could at least say “Yes, it is pricey, but it tastes pretty good”.

2. The current quality of food at lower prices, then my mindset would be “Yeah it’s not great but at least it’s not that expensive”.

Anyone that knows me, knows that  I love the park...but  eating at the park is my least favorite thing to do there, it is the only time that I feel like we the customers are treated like cattle. It is too much trouble to complain when we get cold or dried out food, so we just live with it...but we (my family) have been cutting down more and more on how often we eat inside the park when we go.

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I just got back from the Magic Kingdom, I want to say the prices for meals were actually cheaper there vs Kings Island.

Anyone noticed this? I could be wrong.

 

 

.... and random note.... I'm pretty sure the Chickfla at Cedar Point is much cheaper then Kings Islands.

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I just got back from the Magic Kingdom, I want to say the prices for meals were actually cheaper there vs Kings Island.

Anyone noticed this? I could be wrong.
 
 
.... and random note.... I'm pretty sure the Chickfla at Cedar Point is much cheaper then Kings Islands.


You can’t compare a seasonal park with a year round park on pricing and operations. Apples and Oranges.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Oldschool75 said:

You can’t compare a seasonal park with a year round park on pricing and operations. Apples and Oranges.

You absolutely can and should. With the economy in its current state, families have the resources to travel farther for longer. With the additional disposable income, more families are opting to skip a season pass at their local park in favor of a vacation at a destination park. The average guest doesn't think or care about the business structure of each individual park. They care about how much it costs and what quality of experiences they receive.

In a very real way, Kings Island is competing with Disney and Universal. In regard to food, KI can either decrease prices, or increase quality and service. We all know prices aren't coming down, so KI has to start trying something new. Why wouldn't those in charge compare themselves to the gold standard of the industry? The guests certainly do.

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1 hour ago, 139Signal27 said:

You absolutely can and should. With the economy in its current state, families have the resources to travel farther for longer. With the additional disposable income, more families are opting to skip a season pass at their local park in favor of a vacation at a destination park. The average guest doesn't think or care about the business structure of each individual park. They care about how much it costs and what quality of experiences they receive.

In a very real way, Kings Island is competing with Disney and Universal. In regard to food, KI can either decrease prices, or increase quality and service. We all know prices aren't coming down, so KI has to start trying something new. Why wouldn't those in charge compare themselves to the gold standard of the industry? The guests certainly do.

Comparing Boo Blasters to Forbidden Journey is unfair under his reasoning. That’s a pill I can swallow.

Using it as an excuse for low quality, understaffing, poorly trained employees, inconsistent portions, and high prices is not.

The Dick Kinzel “people gotta eat” mentality (his words, not mine) is exactly why they are where they are right now.

I’m particularly excited about this move, though. I only know Jes in passing, but I know he has quite a history of people development - which is what they need. 

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I wouldn't say it is Apples to Oranges, KI and Magic Kingdom. Yes Disney is open-year round, but I would argue that still many of their employees are still seasonal. Training is still a factor, getting a non-seasonal management team for a location would make a big difference but that is something KI would be unable to do, unless they opted to actually keep the manager of the locations on staff for the entire year and spending the off-season in seminars and cooking training. That only alleviates some of the issue.

That being said, dropping any amount of money on food that has clearly been sitting a long time is disheartening. When I worked fast food, fries that were out more than 10 minutes needed to be tossed. KI does not appear to have that same rule, things only get worse when the fries are sitting on a steamer table, not a dry heated pan with a hot lamp.

Being an armchair coach is easy however. Retrofitting all the food locations with equipment standard enough to use for seasonal changes, yet specific enough for keeping each item as good as it can be is expensive. Training is expensive. Everything is expensive, and this is at a scale I wouldn't be able to wrap my head around.

I'll finish this up by stating, I do mystery shops. I do a couple each year at Kings Island actually, I have yet to see a shop for food. I know multiple companies run them in this area, so I might not participate in the one Cedar Fair uses for Food or they might not exist. I lean towards the latter, and if that is true, I think having non-biased standardized results can be helpful.

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