Time to be served in the mess has increased under HESTIAIts no longer classed as the Junior ranks cookhouse, so pads wives and their kids can (and did in Gutersloh) eat in the restaurant now.
SNCOs and Officers normally eat in the restaurant because their Messes have very limited choice and it can take a while to get served.
Under previous Soft FM contracts there were set staff quantities. The contractor were paid to have a fixed number of staff available, which meant they were stood in a line and swooping in once you had chosen and filled in the chit. That meant the MoD and taxpayer were paying for those staff to stand waiting.
Under HESTIA the service is contracted, the contract tenders were written on the basis of how many staff contractors thought they needed, at busy times they put more staff in and at quiet times they move them around to do another task. You now get a handful serving so once all have picked up a chit and gone to the kitchen the next officers wait for them to come out again and to look out for more orders.
Plate clearing then depends on what time it is, finish your meal early in the lunch hour and it’s picked up to reset the table, finish near the end of the lunch hour and it’s left until the dining room empties.
Coffee cups and glasses get left all over the mess, in the lounges, bars, gardens etc. These would have been cleared fairly quickly before, but are likely to be left in place until the evening when the bar staff are there with little to do