The Cookhouse


War Hero
Sorry, I meant the Junior Ranks Dining Facility Restaurant Grill And Bar.


Last year I asked a Lt Col in that line of work why the cookhouse laid on evening meal at the f**king pointless time of 1630-1730, and got told that if it was any later that would be unfair on the cooks. Well, that's just tough luck for the cooks in the Offrs Mess then, isn't it? SO. Can we either have evening meal at a more useful (ie later) time, preferably starting after everyone finishes work, or can we get PAYD right now so I can stop shelling out 3 quid a day plus for food that I don't eat?
I am in total agreement with you, we have to do late duties then so can the chefs.The officers don't have their meals until later in the evening,so why can't we  ???, however PAYD seems like a good idea but then you'll find that the younger and newer soldiers among us would spend all the money allocated for food on getting drunk and then starve for the other 3 weeks of the month  :), and by eating under PAYD would mean paying for each slice of bread you have,each portion of butter and so on, so maybe its better off leaving it the way it is,i know its s**t but for 3 quid a day we can hardly complain  ;D


Ho Ho Ho.  PAYD.  

Now lets me just say four things on this.

1.  prices will go up, you will have to pay for every slice of bread, larger portion or condiment that you take and for a buisness (thats what it will be like) thats what they are looking at.

2.  You will pay for a full month in advance.  ie if you do not go to all the meals you will get your money back the month after you have not been to the cookhouse, so you will be still paying for a full month and waiting for your money back from months earlier.  Now what if there is a mistake with your pay (HMMMM).

3.  The questionerre that was sent out was totally loaded in favour of PAYD, no matter what answer you gave it still made PAYD look like the dogs love spuds.  Good if you came out with the idea and were looking for your MBE (saving money type).  Bad if you (like me) actually eat in there and have to put up with the policy which will not work in the long run.

4.  a recent Arty RSMs conference at woolwich addressed this problem and every RSM voted NO.  NO because it will not be the all singing all dancing thing that it promises to be.  It will bring pay disputes, soldiers losing their way with the money and more complaints about the standard of food.

Unless my cookhouse had a complete overhaul and got rid of the civvy chefs in it to be replaced by Army chefs so the standard of food improved (immensely) i wouldnt give the place the shi* off my boots.

You heard it here first kids...    mark my words.  My prediction.....................   pain.

PAYD.    Just say no!!
Well put GQ, i think that PAYD is going to be a total waste of time anyhow,they have been ummming and ahhhhing over it for so long now,they obviously haven't got the total agreement they were planning on hmmmmm ;D
When RAF Wildenrath was still open, a few years ago now, they trialled PAYD.  It was a dismal failure.  

The guys didn't pay up front, but meals taken were deducted from subsequent pay.

The Malcolm Club pizza bar and NAAFI vendors had never done such a roaring trade.  Excellent nutrition of course!!

Unpopular money saving idea, with little relevance to reality.
The way I look at it there is no way that the cookhouse could offer anything anywhere close to the quantity or choice that they do with the current system. Their budget is set and the menus are planned (although it may not at times seem like it) well ahead.

If they can only get the money for the meals served the month previously, just think of the crap you'd have to eat all through January, when everyones been away for xmas and new year.

And what the hell's going to happen when that convoy of troops that has been lost for hours turns up and asks for 'casual meals'? Do they have to put their hands in their pockets?

Mind you, with PAYD as long as they keep the 5 hr missed meal claim you could be on a real earner.
Well, I've sometimes complained about the food when it's warranted and standards do seem to change, not only from cookhouse to cookhouse, but also from day to day. I've known a few chefs that I wouldn't let peel spuds and some that could make a 5 course slap up meal out of 2 tins of compo over a hexy stove.

I am sure that they do their best, and that is really all anyone can ask of them.... I mean, who else would work their hours in a hot kitchen and take the abuse  ???

The fact is, with PAYD they won't have the resources to do the same job they do now. A young squaddie, who has to pay for the meal anyway, when given the choice of Mc D, BK, Pizza Hut, KFC or.... the cookhouse is going to (as long as he has the money in his pocket) go for the advertised favourites. Every time that a soldier goes somewhere else, that's money not going into the koffers to buy rations.

The less resources the cookhouse has the less attractive it becomes to the paying punters and you have an ever downwardly spiralling problem until the cookhouses are closed through dis-use or BK/McD move in.

Or is that the Govt's real agenda??  :-X
I could knock the way the cookhouse is at the moment and PAYD, both have their pro's and their con's.Yes i will always think that the preferred option would be fast food places over the cookhouse,but bringing in PAYD will seem like a good idea to the younger single soldier who has just joined,as they will have more money per month to spend on what they want,rather than food, and then starve for the rest of the month when they have no money left,i mean i presume thats the way its going to work ;D


War Hero
Seems to me the best way would be to log the meals eaten through the month and take it from the next month's wages. That would stop the "starving squaddie" problem. The cookhouse would need to produce good quality food at a reasonable price, or they would get no takers. So they would have an incentive, unlike now.
Yes i see your point there and agree that would make more sense in the long run,i find that the junior ranks are always full of good ideas,but when it comes to actually making a decision that seems so simple the higher ranks seem to make a big thing out of it and say it wont work.
This is because ,in my opinion that the top brass are unable to make decisions for themselves.


War Hero
Oh hell no. They're great at making decisions. However, half the time they shouldn't be allowed to. Take the ATRs: everyone knew it wouldn't work, but I bet some b*stard still got an MBE for thinking that one up. Then a few years later Soldier (our favourite propaganda mag) is wittering on about the great "new" idea of combining Phase 1 and Phase 2 training for the Infantry. What? Like it was before the ATRs? Still, I bet they don't take the MBE back.

Anyway, I still think PAYD is the way ahead. Besides, if squaddies did manage to run out of money and starve for a few weeks, I think they'd learn a valuable lesson. If civvies can be trusted to budget for food, why can't we? I don't think squaddies are any more stupid than Joe Civvy.


Without shadow of a doubt the worst food served in any cookhouse ever has to be The Royal School of Artillery.  I have never tasted anything so vile in my life.  This is not a one off event, i had the unfortunate pleasure of spending two years having to eat in there.  i would rather have ate Dumplings in butterscotch sauce or winnets from the crevise of my own ARRSE rather that have to eat that pap again


Just come off camp and I must admit, the food in our cookhouse was the worst I have ever tasted.
I am vegetarian and they served me a chicken and broccoli pie!!

As I was on the ranges every day, the lads had range stew and I was bought out my own meal. One day I received 6 boiled potatoes sitting in a green slimy liquid, with what appeared to be slithers of, yes you've guessed it, chicken!!

Masterchef - vegetarians DO NOT eat chicken!!


If God had meant us to be vegetarians, why did he make animals out of meat?



squadie........ "oi cook cook us an egg"
slop......" piss off im not a cook im a chef"
squadie.... " ok then chef me an egg u wa**er

laugh i nearly got the round in


We should have more of a choice in what happens with our meals........Not some old Zob who has a luxury meal whenever he asks for one ( cooked freshly ).
  We are still fed as the army were back in the 1950's......we've been expected to bring our working practices into the 21st century, surely the cooking facilities should be the same.
  And anyway pay PAYD would stop me bean stealing..........hehehehhheh.


Ive been out for a few years 13 to be exact so Im absoulutly gob smacked to read that it hasnt if anything changed one civvie job takes me all over and in tern I eat in similar surroundings to what I was used to in the past......all company run( rather than army) and to the tune of £2.50 to say £3.50 per head per day.......some chefs can and will make the effort ......dont think that in civvie street its any better as the lads who leave end up running the very same places I have to eat in :? not much has changed ......but remember that when you come out to feed yourself will cost more than you pay today its just a shame that you cant have the QUALITY that you expect...... :wink:
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