New dining options (flex dining) effective October 1, 2019

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Maverickstation

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AutoTrDvr

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Millenials is really not the demographic that constitutes a major segment of AutoTrain clientele anyway.
Indeed. The #1 constituency are the "Snowbirds" flying south for the Winter.... The #2 constituency are families visiting "The Rodent..." :D
 

jis

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Speaking of the Contemporary Menu, if you look at the Lake Shore Limited's Food Facts page, it appears that some additional options are being offered, including a couple of sandwich choices. The Kosher options (by advanced reservation) are also listed, it includes a pre made omelet for Breakfast, and Chicken or Salmon on the Lunch/Dinner side.

http://www.amtrakfoodfacts.com/lp.do?sk=004A9A03F036225226B4B2CCEC913E81D969E6C81483928D&EV=2

Ken
That is definitely an interesting improvement.
 

tricia

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Speaking of the Contemporary Menu, if you look at the Lake Shore Limited's Food Facts page, it appears that some additional options are being offered, including a couple of sandwich choices. The Kosher options (by advanced reservation) are also listed, it includes a pre made omelet for Breakfast, and Chicken or Salmon on the Lunch/Dinner side.

http://www.amtrakfoodfacts.com/lp.do?sk=004A9A03F036225226B4B2CCEC913E81D969E6C81483928D&EV=2

Ken
Amtrak REALLY needs to update this page. Still shows lamb shank on the menu for the Coast Starlight's PPC.

And it's not very helpful to list the kosher options as though they're part of the regular menu, rather than something you need to order before boarding the train. (You need to click on the menu item to download a PDF before you learn that a) it's kosher, and b) needs to be ordered in advance.)
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Amtrak REALLY needs to update this page. Still shows lamb shank on the menu for the Coast Starlight's PPC.
Click on the Autotrain, and it appears that all of its food links, are dead links. :oops:

I also find it funny that their "Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream" is made with a "Blue Bunny Brand prescooped ice cream ball".
 
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pennyk

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I am on the Silver Meteor right now. Every crew member to whom I have spoken is unhappy about the upcoming change. I have been told that dining car crew with seniority likely will move to the the sleepers, which may bump some sleeping car attendants to coach or they may be furloughed.
 

bretton88

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I've seen in a couple of reliable places that The Cardinal will be getting a full diner when these changes take effect. So that's a piece of good news.
 

tommylicious

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I've deliberately booked other forms of transportation on any route that serves "contemporary dining". Not gonna ride those unless I get a proper meal, which "contemporary dining" ain't by a mile.
 

Chessie

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I've seen in a couple of reliable places that The Cardinal will be getting a full diner when these changes take effect. So that's a piece of good news.
That’s very interesting. I assume the diner will provide contemporary dining service?

Wonder why not the Star?
 
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Winecliff Station

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Speaking of the Contemporary Menu, if you look at the Lake Shore Limited's Food Facts page, it appears that some additional options are being offered, including a couple of sandwich choices. The Kosher options (by advanced reservation) are also listed, it includes a pre made omelet for Breakfast, and Chicken or Salmon on the Lunch/Dinner side.

http://www.amtrakfoodfacts.com/lp.do?sk=004A9A03F036225226B4B2CCEC913E81D969E6C81483928D&EV=2

Ken
Some of those pictures look pretty unappetizing.....do they really not cook the “omelette” together with the cheese and veggies in it? Kraft Singles on the side just doesn’t appeal to me.
 

AmtrakBlue

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That’s very interesting. I assume the diner will provide contemporary dining service?

Wonder why not the Star?
Probably because the Star offers a less expensive <sleeper> trip which some riders would rather have. They can do this because there is another train that has the same endpoints. Yes I know their routes split off a couple of times and then reconnect.
 

cocojacoby

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Well it does appear that they are making improvements to the program. It's not great and far from the dinning experience we are accustomed to, but more appealing than the cold original introduction.

Now someone has to go to the Dollar Store and at least buy some artificial flowers to make the diner atmosphere more pleasant.
 

Manny T

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Basic contradiction: Amtrak says its customers know they have other transportation options but pick LD trains for the experience:

"Of note, very few LDSL customers report choosing to travel by LDSL trains because of a lack of other transportation options, highlighting the importance of the experience itself.

"The top three reasons our LDSL customers choose Amtrak are the uniqueness of train travel, comfort/relaxation/enjoyment, and a preference not to drive."
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/businessplanning/Amtrak-Service-Line-Plans-FY20-24.pdf
(p. 73)

Highlighting the importance of the experience itself -- yet Amtak deliberately degrades the customer experience, ostensibly to save money.

Result: customer satisfaction declines:

"CUSTOMER SATISFACTION INDEX (CSI)
The Customer Satisfaction Index score for LDSL was 70.0, down from FY 2017’s score of 73.9.
The Amtrak system-wide overall satisfaction score was 77.7, 2.4 points below FY 2017."
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/businessplanning/Amtrak-Service-Line-Plans-FY20-24.pdf
(p. 75)
 

RebelRider

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I've seen in a couple of reliable places that The Cardinal will be getting a full diner when these changes take effect. So that's a piece of good news.
Business Class is going away October 1. Since that was in a split club/dinette, I'd say that car is going away. Seems reasonable it will be replaced with a full sleeper lounge. Certainly have plenty of single level sleeper lounge cars available. :D
 

F900ElCapitan

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Something else I’ve been seeing lately, the Texas Eagle seems to utilizing a full diner instead of the Cross Country Cafe. I’m assuming it’s been pulled so that a few of them can be moved over to the Auto Train. This does seem appropriate since the CCC was serving much closer to a regular diner menu anyway, and it gives the option of using the whole car for food service.

Now here’s to hoping the Eagle doesn’t switch to contemporary dining...
 

bretton88

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That’s very interesting. I assume the diner will provide contemporary dining service?

Wonder why not the Star?
Being that Amtrak has not announced anything formally, It's entirely possible the Star will be getting it's diner back. This to me feels like Amtrak standardizing the product across the eastern LD trains, so I wouldn't be shocked to see the Star get one back too. The Star could be an exception just because if the duplication with the SM, but current Amtrak seems to be focusing on standardizing the experiences across the system.
 

jis

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A good indication of what might or might not happen to the Star is to watch how it Sleeper fare buckets are trending in the future. If complementary food for Sleeper is coming back then one would expect fare buckets to become similar to the Meteor.
 

me_little_me

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Well it does appear that they are making improvements to the program. It's not great and far from the dinning experience we are accustomed to, but more appealing than the cold original introduction.

Now someone has to go to the Dollar Store and at least buy some artificial flowers to make the diner atmosphere more pleasant.
Then add paper plates, plastic cutlery, "Member's Mark" paper napkins, self-serve trash cans, glasses of Ripple wine from jugs, raucous music to discourage sitting around after eating and table cleaning only after the meal time has ended.

Lastly, modify the cars to add pay toilets.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Then add paper plates, plastic cutlery, "Member's Mark" paper napkins, self-serve trash cans, glasses of Ripple wine from jugs, raucous music to discourage sitting around after eating and table cleaning only after the meal time has ended.
One has to admit, upgrading from box wine to jug wine, is a welcome improvement. ;)

Lastly, modify the cars to add pay toilets.
Now, we know the real truth as to why they moved the toilets out of the VL-II roomettes! Step one to VL pay toilets. :rolleyes:
 
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