JNCO Messes systematically wiped out

S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
#1
JNCO Messes systematically wiped out by Sodexo (et al) contracts. From charging ridiculous amounts for drinks (some places I've seen up to £2 for one can of larger - when you can buy it for half the price from supermarkets), to imposing ridicilous rules on opening hours, entertainment, staffing, even what TV you are allowed to watch.

As a result hardly anyone attends them anymore, and it's destroying unit cohesion at lower ranks throughout the British Army. The top brass are obviously happy with this, I presume? Who needs a Mess when we aren't going to have any blokes in another couple of years, eh boys?
 
#2
I apologise in advance, we have different views on the subject - probably because in my JR days we didn't have a separate JNCO Mess.

and it's destroying unit cohesion at lower ranks throughout the British Army.
Destroying or encouraging cohesion at lower ranks? Presumably there's still a JR bar (previously known as NAAFI), intended for all ranks but often made OOB to SNCOs and officers. I can understand the sense in separating Privates from Corporals in a training establishment, but not in a typical barracks. The smallest unit is a section (or fire team if you must) which comprises Privates and Corporals. What better method of encouraging unit cohesion than to put them in the same Mess?

It's really down to cost. Sodexho can staff a JR bar for the same cost as your Privates bar and there'll be that allowance in their contract. Your Cpls Mess probably isn't allowed for as a separate entity in their contract, so they've got to pay for bar staff and cleaning etc out of the bar profits. If it's any consolation, it's likely that the Privates are subsidising your Cpls Mess with higher beer prices than they'd be charged if you all used the same premises.
 
#3
As for opening hours, longer hours means extra staff costs because they're outside the contract - i.e. there'll be no subsidy. It's less of a problem in the SNCOs and Officers Messes because the overtime will end up in the Mess bill.

Additionally, the hours will be dictated by your CO. He may also have a say on which channels you can watch on TV. That's stuff that depends on your (collective) behaviour.

You want more, you pay more. And it only takes one doughnut to screw it for everybody else.
 
#4
If you are paying mess fees, then you should have/use the mess. It is a step on the road to being a SNCO and JNCOs have to start to distance themselves from their men and become managers.

I can imagine a few illicit drinking dens springing up. 11 Sqn in Iserlohn had a good one in the attic.
 
#6
Blokes in general don't drink anymore.

Most bllokes save it till the weekend... and drive back to whence they were recruited.
 
#11
I can beat that, £2.30 for a warm can of carling at a mess do last year! According to the Sodexo manager this is in line with their contract which states they can make 55% profit on the junior ranks bar! Luckily we've got a good mess committee and they've found a work around. At mess meetings they sell raffle tickets for £1, a can of lager is bought for every ticket and given as a consolation prize to all entrants and half the change is given to charity and the other half to the winner!


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#12
Yeah the fat **** fectards who lived on remedials and microwave burgers. I'm a pad now, where's my free beans?
Most of the ones I'm thinking about were thin... and generally friendless.
 
#13
Better off making a 'Privates Club', they could all chip in for the monthly costs (keeping it to practically fcuk all probably) and beer sold at cost + 5%.

Give teh PMC to HQ Sgt Maj, organise a monthly bop, a Christmas dinner and a Summer Bar bQ.

I thnk contracts were taken on under the delusion that they had a captive market. Sub-Unit and Regt'l bars were never teh 'main' bar of the night.
 
#15
Pretty sure the PAYD contract means you can't have any non-PAYD drinking establishments, cafes or anything else on camp so a 'Private's Club' or any other cheap drinking hole on camp is a non-starter (unless you have 'off camp' facilities like the control tower/501 Club at 30 Sigs) except the Sodhexo (other groups of cnuts are available) controlled messes.
 
L

Lizard_Lips

Guest
#16
The jnco mess at my place seems to work well. The lads run it themselves, so it's cheap, and because its theirs, they do what they want. There's a good turnout everyday for tea and toast or a (cheap) beer in the evening. It's decked out well which makes it inviting. Like I said, its theirs so they look after it too. The best thing about it, no interference from Sodexo.


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#17
I believe it's not just in the army but across the forces- at RM Chivenor, the naafi bar was never open (literally) and eveyone ended up just going into town instead. At HMS drake, there are 2 bars, one I have no idea where it is, the other has about 3 people in normally at most. At HMS Nelson I went in the bar there on 3 seperate occasions and again- empty. The only bar I have ever seen full was at HMS Excellent (Moby dicks), but that's now been closed down by Aramack who ran the place.
 
#18
I believe it's not just in the army but across the forces- at RM Chivenor, the naafi bar was never open (literally) and eveyone ended up just going into town instead. At HMS drake, there are 2 bars, one I have no idea where it is, the other has about 3 people in normally at most. At HMS Nelson I went in the bar there on 3 seperate occasions and again- empty. The only bar I have ever seen full was at HMS Excellent (Moby dicks), but that's now been closed down by Aramack who ran the place.
Will it cheer you that moby dicks is open again (with water damage from a flood) and was quite full when i was there late last year.
 
#19
Not true in Germany, and one of the reasons it went on my PPP. Regi bar is the main one of the night, and the messes are a central drinking agency, where everything works well because people have no choice but to contribute.
 
#20
JNCO Messes systematically wiped out by Sodexo (et al) contracts. From charging ridiculous amounts for drinks (some places I've seen up to £2 for one can of larger - when you can buy it for half the price from supermarkets), to imposing ridicilous rules on opening hours, entertainment, staffing, even what TV you are allowed to watch.

As a result hardly anyone attends them anymore, and it's destroying unit cohesion at lower ranks throughout the British Army. The top brass are obviously happy with this, I presume? Who needs a Mess when we aren't going to have any blokes in another couple of years, eh boys?
Unfortunately supermarkets often sell beer at a loss or at a micro-profit, this is to entice people to buy other goods from them. Anyone who sells beer commercially is obliged to buy bottles and cans either from approved outlets or wholesalers. Unfortunately supermarkets are only too aware that they are selling beer well below the wholesale price and they restrict the amount of beer any one individual can buy. Therefore it is a waste of time comparing the cost of beer in a licensed premises with that from a supermarket.

Supermarket beer or beeroff beer in Germany is great for a party or section smoker but rather sad to be sat on your jack every night drinking cheepo lager or cider because you don't value the price of companionship.
 
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