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Pay as you dine

You didn't have to claim it back, (or you shouldn't have had to) . The unit should have been submitting a list of people on exercise every month, and then the pay office (should) do it automatically.
That's how it was supposed to work, and as I recall, it actually did work (Usually.)
Correct: Field Conditions, once declared resulted in a refund of food and accommodation charges without any action required by the individual for the period of exercise. Likewise, leave resulted in the refund of food charges (but not accommodation).
 
It’s an absolute disgrace, home and abroad. Yes some places are better but generally it’s a very poor service. It doesn’t matter what you do by way of educating soldiers, they will more often than not, spank all their dough by the end of week two and have feck all to feed themselves properly. Which is why they’re living off stockpiled compo and super noodles.
Example - Bicester - Head Chef on long term sick leave with stress, Assistant Head Chef in charge (who had no catering qualifications and had been in the job a fortnight), the ladies who worked on the tills and cleaned the restaurant were the ones who made the lunch time sandwiches. Hot food was poor quality budget stuff in large boxes and tins which was tipped into fryers McDonalds style. No where else to eat because QMs and NAAFI managers weren’t happy that the Cookhouses were under supported by the troops. We weren’t even allowed to eat in the Mess.
All this stuff View attachment 495376
Have to agree, it may have changed but before the new EOD school (or whatever it is) moved there the food in the Bicester cookhouse was shite, as was the accommodation (transit). I complained all the time and generally got my money back but a collection of useless individuals military and civvy contributed to the very poor environment. Then again, in those days the barracks was a bit of a sleepy hollow where I doubt many star individuals ended up, no excuse though.
 
Every single one of them was a spastic in your unit?
Yet the majority of them today seem to manage just fine. Weird huh? Almost as if some soldiers have the ability to make their money for food last a month, although I suppose they dont consider that amazing talent on par with reading the FT.
Not at all, its just at the time given food and accom were sorted for the month, we tended to work hard and play hard, when i left i had enough saved for house deposit and the car was paid for, i sure that there are admin horrors today as then,and as i have said on arrse before i find it strange that you can stick an 18 year old on LAG but some maintain they cannot be trusted to cook in the block, thus leaving payd an open cash cow, that i've seen produce shit my dog would turn down.
The guys today are paying for the moaning of yesterday by people that did not know how thw system worked or that for the most part how wiell off they were under it
 
What gets me more about the worse examples is the lack of effort from the catering contractors. I understand it’s low-budget scoff, but the sheer lack of effort involved is astonishing. Does no one have any pride in their work anymore?
 
Aldershot a

Incorrect, we were billed for food and it came direct from our wages along with accommodation charges. This went a long way as many did not attend all meals (primarily through choice) and we never went hungry.....


.....either on camp or in the field, everyone moaned at the ACC, but no one went hungry, they were all professional cooks, and trained soldiers, and appreciated what the lads went through, and fully understood what was required. The head chef, usually a SSGT, knew exactly what was needed, especially on exercises, some of the best scoff i have ever had has been at the end of a long, shitty, cold wet, boring day. Even the all in stew was manna from heaven when you are dog tired, covered in filth and worn to the bone. Civvie cooks do not fully understand the mind-set of the military, and never will........... BAOR 1976-1981
 
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What gets me more about the worse examples is the lack of effort from the catering contractors. I understand it’s low-budget scoff, but the sheer lack of effort involved is astonishing. Does no one have any pride in their work anymore?

Why TF should they, they are civvies, they get paid whatever they do. Bit like council workers,..... and civil servants!
 
Not at all, its just at the time given food and accom were sorted for the month, we tended to work hard and play hard, when i left i had enough saved for house deposit and the car was paid for, i sure that there are admin horrors today as then,and as i have said on arrse before i find it strange that you can stick an 18 year old on LAG but some maintain they cannot be trusted to cook in the block, thus leaving payd an open cash cow, that i've seen produce shit my dog would turn down.
The guys today are paying for the moaning of yesterday by people that did not know how thw system worked or that for the most part how wiell off they were under it
The guys today have more money in their pocket because they aren't treated like the spastics of yesterday.
The dog shit food/service and/or the inability of cooking in the block is an MOD problem.
 
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The guys today have more money in their pocket because they aren't treated like the spastics of yesterday.
The dog shit food/service and/or the inability of cooking in the block is MOD problem.
The thing that puzzles me is why nobody has ever gripped the shît food problem by exercising the contract. A few pithy emails pointing out non-compliance (see the DST horror bag dit above) and wait. It works in other fields, so why not this one, or does the Army and MoD lack the corporate balls to drag the contractors over the methorical hot plate and tell them this isn’t good enough.
 
The thing that puzzles me is why nobody has ever gripped the shît food problem by exercising the contract. A few pithy emails pointing out non-compliance (see the DST horror bag dit above) and wait. It works in other fields, so why not this one, or does the Army and MoD lack the corporate balls to drag the contractors over the methorical hot plate and tell them this isn’t good enough.
I can tell you how things are really done because I actually have had a hand in a contract or 2 with the MOD which I actually did to the best of my ability.

No one complains directly to the MOD directly because all contracts are outsourced to the lowest bidder using online systems like Suppy 2 Defence where a 3rd party civvie company called BIP solutions pimps out contracts to the lowest bidder and they take all the headache etc, so really there is no interaction, the buck stops with the company who gave you the contract, there is no liason in the MOD you can phone, call, write or email, if you don't like it...

TOUGH LUCK

The contracts are actually run like a monopoly of millions of pounds and companies pay a substantial annual fee to view them.
 
Theres a wider question here, its not PAYD but catering.

PAYD - This means you pay for the meal when you are fed.
Previously the MoD paid for the ingredients, paid for the cooking and served it for free.
Back in the long distant past, married soldiers gained an additional allowance to buy their own food because they would eat in their MQs

PAYD was introduced and the ingredients allowance was added to soldiers pay.
At first only the ingredients amount was added to pay, but the situation changed as far as HMRC were concerned - instead of the MoD buying raw ingredients for £x the soldiers were given an allowance of £x, but were buying cooked food so VAT was due.
Kitchens could charge only the designated price, so for every £1 ingredients they should have charged £1.20. But by charging £1 the tax man took nearly 17p - making the assumption that the price was 83p plus 20% = 99.6p, rounded to £1.
So the caterer lost 17p per £1 - Either they scrimped on ingredients and the appointed person in the unit wasn't checking the proper food was provided or the company took the hit and tried to push you to the non core menu or mark up other prices.
The AFPRB were told about the mistake, and they added an allowance for VAT into your PAYD allowance. e.g £1.20
If the caterer had been providing the correct ingredients at a loss, soldiers then complained that the price had gone up with no more on the plate.

Choice
With your PAYD allowance in your pocket you can choose how to spend it.
If you take all meals in the diner, then the core menu option will equal the defined ingredients as per JSP
If you take all meals in a cafe etc then the PAYD allowance won't stretch as you are now also paying that cafes overheads and wages - in site diners & messes the MoD pays the contractor their bid rate for the wages etc, and the MoD pays to maintain the building, electricity, gas bills etc.
If you shop in a supermarket you can buy the ingredients and cook for yourself. Not all SLA is to the same standard.
In Z type the specifications are for you to be provided with microwave, fridge, kettle, hob.
Hobs are not available in a number of places due to legacy buildings and fire compliance etc
Use of personal cooking items are dependant on local policy (and some locations have brought in a standard list of approved extra items - once the fire standards are compliant)


Portion size this is specified in JSPs. e.g. One sausage
Before PAYD the kitchen had a food allowance based on the number of people in the unit and the footfall they should have been getting.
Due to people eating elsewhere (those who complained they were not getting their meals in the diner and caused PAYD to happen) and perhaps a little creative accounting, the cooks would only cook what was likely to be eaten rather than what was on the books.
The extra would then go into 2 sausages, or steak etc once in a while.
If everybody ate in the kitchen for every meal then there was not flexibility so you only got one sausage.
With PAYD the core menu ingredients are paid for from the PAYD price you pay from your PAYD allowance.
But just like going to a truckers cafe, you can get a cheap breakfast (one egg, one sausage, one bacon etc) for a cheap price (core menu item), for a bit more £ you can get the bigger breakfast (two eggs, two sausages etc) and also you can get any number of items either swapped or for any additional price per item

If the core menu portions are not in line with JSP then both the caterer and the unit rep are not doing their jobs.



Military / civilian / contractor catering Many equate PAYD to contract catering, this are not directly linked.
Back in the olden days it was military staff, then the soldiers moved out and civilians were employed. They were later TUPEd out to contractors.
Contractorisation came before PAYD - the staff behind the counter had a different badge on their uniform and served you free food.
You may have got one or two sausages.
When PAYD was introduced the contractor then had to operate a till - and had manage the portions properly.
Thats often why people connect contractorisation with PAYD - because they didn't notice the badge of the person serving them until they were told they could have one sausage and had to pay for it

Under PAYD you may still have a military chef in the back doing cooking. This is part of the core catering manpower. Military chefs are needed for when you go abroad without contractors, when they are not abroad they need a Kitchen to work in. So that crappy Sodexo chef might really be a crappy Army chef

Crap / competent / good cooks A crap cook will cook a crap meal, a competent cook will cook a decent meal, a good cook will cook a good meal.
There are all of the above among contract, civilian and military cooks.
Sometimes the bitter old ex soldier behind the counter thinks that you should be served shit just as they were back in their day.


How is PAYD going? Its now working - buy the core menu option and pay with your PAYD allowance.
How is the food? That depends on how competent the staff are behind the counter and whether anyone is pulling a fast one on the ingredients with the unit turning a blind eye or not caring

How's the SO1 soft FM job going ^~
 
I can tell you how things are really done because I actually have had a hand in a contract or 2 with the MOD which I actually did to the best of my ability.

No one complains directly to the MOD directly because all contracts are outsourced to the lowest bidder using online systems like Suppy 2 Defence where a 3rd party civvie company called BIP solutions pimps out contracts to the lowest bidder and they take all the headache etc, so really there is no interaction, the buck stops with the company who gave you the contract, there is no liason in the MOD you can phone, call, write or email, if you don't like it...

TOUGH LUCK

The contracts are actually run like a monopoly of millions of pounds and companies pay a substantial annual fee to view them.
And we are one of those companies that pay the substantial fee.....with its automatic renewal which i admit caught us out during COVID lockdown and few people in work (finance etc who would of caught it!!). Its a money making scam basically just so you get to read tender documents.
 
The catering is only part of it. The monopoly in all retail is truly shocking £1.05 for a can of coke in the only shop within a 10 mile radius is not value for money whatever way you look st it.
 
The thing that puzzles me is why nobody has ever gripped the shît food problem by exercising the contract. A few pithy emails pointing out non-compliance (see the DST horror bag dit above) and wait. It works in other fields, so why not this one, or does the Army and MoD lack the corporate balls to drag the contractors over the methorical hot plate and tell them this isn’t good enough.
I've said this numerous times before when Pte Atkins walks passed an officer with a pocket undone it's easy to threaten him with all sorts of disasters safe in the knowledge that they can hide behind their rank, when Barry the bog cleaner doesn't clean the skid marks away, hes not arsed about their rank and if they speak to him like hes a ****, he'll return the favour in public.
It's a massive problem in the Army (not so much in the RAF and Navy I've notived) where people confuse their rank with leadership.
 

dontenn

War Hero
When i was a boy soldier in JLRRA i was press ganged into The Kings Troop RHA for a couple of years. We took part in the Royal Tournament at Earls Court, each year messing was carried out Tri service who took turns each year. One of the two years the army where in charge the following year was the RAFs turn in both years the food was outstanding each meal resembled a Sgts Mess function a period where each Arm could display their talents and we dined like Kings those oldies like me may remember. Later years I shared a camp in BAOR with the Yanks and the lads freqentley used their cookhouse who had their version of PAYD with mister softie ice cream machines and american sized portions for I dollar, they thought if the Brits PAYD it may resemble the Yank version..... how wrong they were, chuckle chuckle. The yanks had real fruit juice we had to suffer rat pack Screech Lemon and Orange flavour,, I was awful. I have some laughs at the Tournament even though we were arssed around alot but thats for a future thread
 
The catering is only part of it. The monopoly in all retail is truly shocking £1.05 for a can of coke in the only shop within a 10 mile radius is not value for money whatever way you look st it.
Bobthebuilder will inform you that all these civvie contracts are in fact great value for the Army.
 

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