How do you pay for your food and whats it like?

Discussion in 'The ARRSE Hole' started by SOLSTICE, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. I thought that for your food when at your barracks after Phase 2 training you pay for it monthly, but i've had some people tell me about the PAYD system. What is this and how does it work?

    Also, as i'm a chef at current i like my food, is the food on a eat as much as you can pile on your plate or is it a set amount?
  2. PAYD (AKA Save As You Starve)

    does what is says on the tin.

    You are served a set amount by a gimlet eyed and bad tempered civi, that's if you have managed to actually find someone to look after your kit and weapon whilst you eat because you can't take anything into the canteen with you (includes daysacs). Oh and if anyone's bothered to turn up to work there.

    You then pay a small but silly amount of money from the pocketful of small change you now have to carry around with you. That's if there's anyone actually at the till.

    As for quality, think transport cafe c.1970.

    Luckily where I have to experience this farcical facade of military catering, there is a Tesco's a short distance away, and funnily enough uniforms are not an uncommon sight there of a lunchtime. Tesco's will let you in with a daysac on as well - who'd have thought it!

    I should point out that I have only one PAYD location experience and I am sure there are many other establishments with PAYD fac full of happily troughing soldiers tucking into succulent healthy meals served by cheerful and efficient operatives (like the ones in the MATTS video).

    And yes complaints have been staffed up the CoC.
  3. And when it's not PAYD is the food better by military chefs?
  4. Got a can of worms here , anybody got a can opener !!
  5. Without hesitation, yes.

    Military chefs are sometimes maligned and OK there has been the odd dodgy range stew (and once a packed lunch comprising a bag of peanuts and a can of coke), but most of the time they will do a great job with the resources at hand.

    I'm not a chef, by the way.
  6. And also, when at your barracks normally and not on ops or exercises and its military chefs can you eat as much as you want or are you limited?
  7. I had a dabble with PAYD just before my last tour. Being served a crispy pork chop and a handful of stringy fries framed with garden peas by a downs infected pillow biter was fun, then paying the evident pads wife on the till who sported a dandy fine sh*t streak tache and was fidgeting in a plastic chair with rivulets of sweat soaking her blue polo shirt that was sticking to her spotty back was even 'funner', even when she said "I 'ant got noo change luv", (considering a company of booties and a merry bandwagon of attached arms were lined up) I kept smiling politely throughout.

    Its 'orrid, all slaggings aside, nothing will ever equal the satisfaction of plating your scran sky high in any galley/cookhouse in the land, going back 2 or 3 times then stuffing as much as you can in your pockets to fill your antiquated fridge back in the block....might just be me though :D
  8. Reni
    No arguments at all with anything you say chum, however the people to blame for PAYD are the boys and girls on the coalface(s) themselves.
    I distinctly remember the numerous "lifestyle surveys" of the mid to late 90s, where lots of questionnaires came out and one of the championed causes was "You shouldn't have to pay for food that you don't / can't eat".

    Even the most short-sighted of us could see that if you pay only for what you eat then the unit price of that meal is going to rise because you are removing the excess funding in the system provided by those who choose to eat out / stay in their bed on a Sat morning / whatever.

    However, try and tell the "Union Men" that..........
  9. The complaints about paying monthly for food in the cookhouse go back further than that; I found a reference to such complaints in the Pay Review Board's report for 1978, I think!

  10. If you ask some of the fat lasses on the site, they'll point you in the direction of the nearest 'all you can eat for a fiver' gaff.
  11. Solstice in a cookhouse without PAYD usually it is self service (with a watchful eye of a caterer). Now they wont let you put 3 steaks or 4 chicken breasts on your plate but you will be able to get a good portion of veg etc.

    Your not allowed to return to the hot plate once finished as technically your eating another mans rations however after chomping on a starter, a main course then a big fat pudding, if your still hungry then see a doctor.

    It is not a £5 pizza hut all you can eat special deal.

    From my experience mil/civ chefs is good food, PAYD is crap food and crap staff.
  12. Is the food healthy or just school dinner shite?
  13. That's at least twice you've asked about portion sizes.......are you a fat boy? I bet you are :D
  14. the opposite to a fat boy, i do a lot of exercise so don't want to turn into a twig!
  15. In the days of mil/ ex service- civvy Chefs at cookhouses run by ACWO's, RCWO's and Master Chefs, it all depended where you were eating but the more forward thinking caterers done a grand job. Things moved forward from the seventies, towards very good quality menues during the eighties and nineties. Purse handlers who managed their messing accounts well, their allowances and claims creatively and intelligently, could deliver outstanding grub, with roasts on every night and a good range of choices including vegetarian stuff. Hygiene and production was often top notch.
    A military Chef would work on duty up until 2200h catering for dutues and late comers, always a hot meal late on.

    Production was 90% hand made by trades people who know their stuff. Buffets and Summer/Xmas Balls were works of art with constructions made to make us think we were in Hong Kong or somewhere, not Tidworth. :D Decorating and craft work on Buffets was second to none.

    Profits weren't such a big deal, because civvy outfits with targets, profit margins and tight asses, weren't involved. There were some outstanding Pastry Chefs, and the artists among the old Army Chefs and civvies sometimes put on decent hotplate displays , even on Monday nights. Standards in some Cookhouses were consistent and delivereed with a Can and Will Do attitude towards customers. Barbecues were done on Fridays during summer. Those were the good old days.

    In those days there were also efforts to encourage healthy eating, salad bars, light sweets, yoghurts and loads of fruit. Breakfast was always a treat in the better Cookhouses IIRC.

    The same Chefs in units would also deliver out in the field, fooling us sometimes into thinking we weren't really in the middle of a muddy wood or somewhere shoite (which we were).

    I have no idea what it's like since contractors took over. But I can guess :wink: If you're not happy, tick at the caterers on messing meetings, because you deserve the very best, not some of the experiences seen in these pages.