May 2011 - Posts
The horrendous cost of catering packages at Wembley Stadium
I managed to get a ticket for the Champions League final at Wembley and I was very lucky in comparison to some. A Man Utd fan just in front of us paid nearly £4,000 for his Hospitality package. This is just ridiculous and to my mind is both unsustainable and unjustifiable. He paid this price because he was concerned that if he brought a ticket online for £2,000 he could arrive at the stadium and find it was a forgery. I can understand that and I admire his devotion to his team, especially as he was on holiday from Australia. It would be interesting to know how much of that money goes to UEFA and Wembley and what goes to the caterers. I suspect only a fraction goes on the menu cost. With everything that is going on in world football about bribery and corruption how many fans will be happy and willing to pay such exorbitant prices to watch their team or go to a match.
On a positive note I congratulate Wembley on their pricing policy for people with disabilities. They allow the carer to go free so you get two tickets for the price of one. There is a lot that hotels could learn about accessibility from other operators. Even if they can only dream about charging Wembley’s food and beverage prices!
Wembley Stadium Catering is a mystery?
I am very fortunate in that I can go to Wembley Stadium on a regular basis. However, I am totally mystified by their catering policy. The catering offer changes with every match and you never know what to expect. New outlets appear and then are closed for the next match. Alcohol is available for most matches but not the Champions League final. This may be due to UEFA regulations but the first thing I knew about it was when we went to get a drink. The result is a loss of revenue for the Wembley caterers as I now eat elsewhere before the match. How many more are doing this?
Another issue is the serving of beer at Wembley, why have they not been to Twickenham to see how it should be done? Instead there are long queues or a service of flat beer.
Are we starving NHS patients?
I have had to be in three NHS hospitals recently and have seen a significant difference in the quality of food. However, my biggest concern is that most patients have nothing to eat from about 5.30pm to 8.30am. This is a total of 15 hours for a patient to go hungry and to my mind is totally unacceptable. If they are lucky they might have a biscuit at about 9pm. I am sure it is done for cost reasons so why can one hospital provide a supper and the other two can’t. The hospital that provided the supper was James Cook in Middlesbrough so congratulations to them. I came across this issue over 10 years ago when I was monitoring a care home contract. I did not expect it to continue and still be happening now.
A supper could be a sandwich, cheese and biscuits, fruit or yoghurt and could all be provided via a ward fridge. I really fear that at a time of cost cuts in the NHS the feeding of patients will suffer still further. And I ask are we set to rely on family and friends bringing in food to supplement the NHS provision? This may be fine for many but can be a real difficulty for older people who may have no family. Is this another reason they are malnourished while in hospital, and if so as I believe, when are all hospitals going to have a proper supper service.