Last unit I was at had Pay As You Starve, all run by Aramark at the time. It was bloody dire. The food was terrible and the portions wouldnt keep a child full. The majority of the chefs were Aramark run and didnt give a toss. Now Im at a RAF station that is still RAF run the old way and the food is amazing. The last unit is now Sodexho and the missus says they cant keep chefs for love nor money.


I've been on a base as it went through the change to PAYD.

what a totally painless transition!

the old mess/cookhouse was RAF and the food was poor before...
I'll never know what the food was like after as I stopped going when I HAD to pay for it, bugger if I was going when I didn't!

My own meals:

what I wanted, when I wanted with as much as I wanted.

As far as my stomach/wallet goes, I can't wait for it to be brought in to the base I'm on now.
Just been brought into our mess. Second day now and all is well in my book. As above, if I want to eat out I can, what a novelty. Mind I am only here Mon-Thur for food so did not agree with paying for it and not having it. I am now SAVING money, another novelty. Ok so some people are losing, well they had it good long enough on the back of my money....


War Hero
Can only speak from a short experience but. Spent a week last month at Whinny Hill, Catterick doing training and had evening meal in camp. Cookhouse ran by Sodexho. Must say good scoff and comparable if not better than when I was a lad in the 'mob'. Good choice, portions and good quality. They only charged us (Police) about £1.50 for evening meal and bag rats for lunch (but these WERE sh1te!!!). Got to say I thought the food and prices , menu and list displayed on cookhouse wall, seemed jolly good value. :D


Of course PAYD will have a different impact depending on from which end of the telescope that you are looking; those that regularly ate in the cookhouse benefitted from the 'all you can eat' quality/quantity of a system that relied on most people not taking all their meals - but being charged for 3 a day, 7 days a week. Those who didn't eat in the cookhouse sponsored the rest.

Portions are now controlled to reflect the cost (of the core menu) but if you want to fill your face, you can - but you pay for the extras. I would be very surprised if those amongst us who only ever used to eat breakfast and the occasional tea meal (dinner for officers) are not saving money and do at least have the choice of what to spend their wedge on. Isn't that what its all about?


the meals are costed over a four and a half day week, if you eat in the mess for seven days then you are paying more than you were on the old system there's progress and a nice profit

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