PAYD - Unmitigated Disaster?

#1
My opposition to PAYD is well documented on this site, however, don't take my word for it :)

A poll currently running on Armynet with the question:

"The introduction of Pay As You Dine (PAYD) was intended to offer Service personnel the freedom to choose what, where and when they wished to eat and to only pay for meals taken. Do you think this principle has been a success?"

This poll has had over 4100 responses (pretty impressive) and currently sits at 79% of voters saying No.

With Tidworth & Bulford about to convert (a super garrison of the future) and the contractor making all the right smoochie noises in the 'consultation' process. Is it time for a complete rethink? Or am I an old dinosaur who needs to get with the programme? :)

I understand that the old way is dead never to be resurrected, however, it is plain to all (non ostriches) that other than in a few isolated cases PAYD messes are dying on their arrses and contractors are monopolising sites and providing less choice at more expense (certainly the case at remote sites).

so what is the answer?
 
#2
I, like you, am an absolute opponent of PAYD mate.

However, as I've alluded to on other threads, I was around in the mid to late 90s when the "Do you want to pay only for what you eat?" surveys went around.

Stevie Wonder could've seen that PAYD was going to bring a reduction in quality, but the pikeys & scrotes who wanted to live on Pot Noodles in their rooms yipped & yelped, and so we got what we have now.

I can offer no answer to your question "What is the answer?", but I can offer the advice of "When you're onto a f**ing good thing, don't tinker with it to try & save yourself a tenner a week"
 
#4
Time and time again this comes up and time and time again people seem to think the only people who were in favour of such a thing were as above, those who wanted to live on potnoodles etc..

I lived in a block that had cooking facilities and I used them, I also objected to having to pay for food I was not taking. The problem was the implementation as brought up before, if a system existed where you simply had to swipe your Mod90 through when getting a meal and it was debited from your pay it would have possibly worked out a lot better than keeping track of all your loose change. As for saving £10 a week, I cannot recall how much the food charge was per month but it was definitely in excess of £100, cooking for myself for a month I could easily live on £50 a month and have good quality meals doing so.

Edit: as the system is now, it's ******* diabolical.
 
#5
It was cheaper than the Mess. They had us off completely.

I would have rather ate in the cookhouse than the Mess.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
I had a few PAYD at abingdon a couple of years back and shriv last year, it was truly awfull compared to what I remember of the late 80's up to mid 90's the lads were not impressed with it. chatting with the gate guard and one lived on 10p noodles the other had a girlfriend who fed him.

at least with the old system you wouldn't starve if you had no money. and someone would buy you a beer.

obviously no use to me anymore but why cant the old system come back? from what I remember the pot noodle gang did so because they hadn't been raised on normal food so regarded kebab meat and chips and haute cuisine. its gone right through the system from schools to care homes where they privatise the kitchens and it goes tits up.

At shriv I was a guest but they didn't charge me, probably out of embarrassment at the food.
 
#7
Personally I detest PAYD, as mentioned above- if it was debited from your wages at the end of the month like uniform charges or similar I may be more for it, but as it is now? No thanks.

The food charge was £120 I believe, but it's not as though it wasn't possible for claiming back money for food you didn't eat- used have a whole pile of blank forms filled in with dates of the weekends I went back home.
 
#8
The problem is that nobody takes into account such intangibles as unit cohesion, team spirit, Service values etc when the contract is being drawn up or evaluated. I was at a place where after work we would all go to the chow hall and carry on work and banter together. When PAYD was brought in that disappeared overnight. As fewer people attended dinner, breakfast etc the cost became prohibitive for the contractor, and therefore quality worsened which meant even fewer ended up eating there.

I would love to know from anyone who has had actual dealings with the Contractor or some1 with responsibility for monitoring quality standards if they had ever managed to get the Contractor to improve quality where the feedback has said its rubbish.

Finally, you can get whatever answer you want from an audit, depending on the question you ask! I am surprised but happy by the strength of the response because PAYD definitiely has lived up to its principle of choice to pay for only what you eat. The problem is its typically shoite
 
#9
I lived in a block that had cooking facilities and I used them, I also objected to having to pay for food I was not taking. The problem was the implementation as brought up before, if a system existed where you simply had to swipe your Mod90 through when getting a meal and it was debited from your pay it would have possibly worked out a lot better than keeping track of all your loose change. As for saving £10 a week, I cannot recall how much the food charge was per month but it was definitely in excess of £100, cooking for myself for a month I could easily live on £50 a month and have good quality meals doing so.
On average I ate in there Breakfast and Lunch 5 days a week. Often eating out with mates for dinner, and going places at teh weekend. Figure a couple of Dinners taken in the Cookhouse per week.

I didn't quible about the couple of quid I lost out on when eating out, mainly because I wan't moronic enough to think saving a few pennes was going to bring in the pounds... and the MOD swipe card system was never going to fly.

The system worked so well, becaues there were always people eating else where. A swipe system would also rob the cookhouse of funds for those extras, The RCWO was a miracle worker really.
 

TheresaMay

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
#10
I've seen this brought up in Soldier so many times and the response from "SO1 Backstabber" was always the same i.e. You asked for it, you got it - or words to that effect.

My answer to that was "Did we bollocks..."

All we wanted was to pay for the meals we took. If that meant paying a little extra for the meals we did take to counter the economics of it, then so be it.

I never asked for a Costabucks to be put in the Colonel selling overpriced hot water in the wrong sizes (its small, medium, large you illiterate mongs), nor did I ask for **** contractors such as ESS, Soxedo and the like dictating to us and charging the MOD millions for the privilege. And I didn't ask for the huge number of Polish slaves to suddenly appear on my camp and talk to me like shit and make me feel guilty for interrupting one of their fifty 10 min smoke breaks to get a tall/grande triple thrapper/moccha/twatter cup of cholesterol flavoured hot water.

No doubt some senior officer got a slap on the back for it though, before moving onto his next red-tab appointment and is no longer in a position to give a toss either way.

This is one element of development in our forces that went royally wrong. I just hope it serves as a good example for any future bright ideas our top brass have and we at least learn a valuable lesson from it.

The pessimist in me however, tells me we won't.
 
#11
I dont like to eat in the cook house full stop, only reason I liked PAYD was finally I had the choice at not paying for food I never ate, the once in a while I do go into the cook house and pay for a meal, the standard is shite for a core meal and very few in numbers and expensive for premium meals and the drinks are even more inflated in price.

I would recommend to scrap PAYD, keep the RLC chef's, but also to jive those that do not wish to attend the choice in not paying, and discipline those that steal.
 
#12
I have only recent experience of PAYD & yea the quality of the food is pretty low where I am. I like it anyway as I don't want to pay for shit food that I won't eat.

I'm a pad & thus only eat in the cook house at lunch if I'm with the company & not on course etc, the PAYD option is just fuel in between a more nutritious (or palatable anyway) breakfast & dinner at home though there are cookhouse alternatives such as baguettes / sandwiches, baked potato or an omelette that are all pretty decent.

The army probably should resort back to deducting us at source for scoff as most singlies can't budget for shit even for necessities such as 3 square meals a day but on the other hand eventually everyone has to master the basic grown up skill of managing your money for when we all end up back on big bad civvy street.
 
#13
I didn't quible about the couple of quid I lost out on when eating out, mainly because I wan't moronic enough to think saving a few pennes was going to bring in the pounds... and the MOD swipe card system was never going to fly.
A £120 food charge, feed yourself for half of that when cooking for yourself leaves you with £60 extra a month, £720 saving a year. Hardly an insignificant amount of money.
 
#14
A £120 food charge, feed yourself for half of that when cooking for yourself leaves you with £60 extra a month, £720 saving a year. Hardly an insignificant amount of money.
Checks and balances mate... we probably had to pay more for our accomodation on the grounds you had a George forman grill, some ghstly inefficient hob set up and a load of sh1t pans cluttering up the beer room and sucking more power out of the grid than the birds' hair straighters and grooming products on a friday and sat night.

Imagine the hilarity if on top of PAYD we put PAYG meters n the kitchens/rooms.
 
#15
Nothing is more embarrassing than getting put on "hungry eaters" by the SSM.

Soldiers would rather starve themselves than put themselves through the humiliation of basically, shouting I'm ******* skint, in the cookhouse while signing a form in front of a fat horrible Gurkhas
pads wife.

Pay as you dine food is watered down insipid trash because the chefs don't know how many blokes are going to come to scoff.

And don't get me started on the "retail option". Just no.
 
#16
Finally, you can get whatever answer you want from an audit, depending on the question you ask! I am surprised but happy by the strength of the response because PAYD definitiely has lived up to its principle of choice to pay for only what you eat. The problem is its typically shoite
Without trying to be a smart arrse, PAYD is delivering everything I expected :)

Reduced quality of service
Increased prices
The slow lingering death of mess life
Increased expense to soldiers (for instance paying for the pleasure of going on courses that benefit the employer)
Erosion of military ethos

But on the plus side, I am sure that the MOD has saved a few bob and some ex military personnel may have done very nicely thank you very much ^~

Anyway it will be a mute issue shortly once the 'drip feed' details of the NEM start to be strategically leaked :)
 
#17
Payd is shit because they guess how many people are going to eat.If you dont get there early enough all the good options are gone, your usually left with the vegetarian option which is a half hearted affair in many cases and the vegetables have been reduced to a lone grey green bean floating in water.Only explanation was that I 'should have got here earlier mate'.Cue one of my mates trying to explain that regardless of when we arrived the same options should be available if we are going to pay directly.

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#18
A £120 food charge, feed yourself for half of that when cooking for yourself leaves you with £60 extra a month, £720 saving a year. Hardly an insignificant amount of money.
And without going over old ground, I genuinely do not believe that anyone (Well not a fit healthy physically active individual) feeds themselves for the princely sum of £2.00 per day ^~
 
#19
Nothing is more embarrassing than getting put on "hungry eaters" by the SSM.

Soldiers would rather starve themselves than put themselves through the humiliation of basically, shouting I'm ******* skint, in the cookhouse while signing a form in front of a fat horrible Gurkhas
pads wife.

Pay as you dine food is watered down insipid trash because the chefs don't know how many blokes are going to come to scoff.

And don't get me started on the "retail option". Just no.
Really? Anyhoo, no disagreement with your assessment as to the quality of food, however, the chefs have to stick to a restrictive recipe, so were before they would have add an extra spoon of cumin to the curry, they simply aren't allowed to; digs in to the profits, don't ya know.
I was in the site manager's office nice when the civvie chef came in, used the phone to talk to head office, saying he could get a cheaper inferior brand of coffee for 17% cheaper and put it in the coffee machine but keep the Nescafé gold blend sticker up. Wasn't happy when I said ' really, think I might have to report that then! '
Although I do not doubt that the did carry out such action at a later date.


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#20
Checks and balances mate... we probably had to pay more for our accomodation on the grounds you had a George forman grill, some ghstly inefficient hob set up and a load of sh1t pans cluttering up the beer room and sucking more power out of the grid than the birds' hair straighters and grooming products on a friday and sat night.

Imagine the hilarity if on top of PAYD we put PAYG meters n the kitchens/rooms.
That wouldn't surprise me if that comes in the near future when more and more units getting shared cooking facilities on coridoors. I was at New Mons Barracks in Aldershot which was not quite Z type but you had single man rooms with a hot/cold running toilet and a fully kitted out kitchen area. Obviously my gripe was we had the facilities to cater for ourselves but still had to pay the food charge. I'm aware of a few places where PAYD has come in and the lads are not allowed any form of cooking appliance in the blocks.
 
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