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Re: So how's Aramark doing?

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So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 02:28PM
There was lots of anticipation and speculation about the changeover of Yosemite concessionaires. Has anyone noticed actual consequences of the turnover for park visitors at this point as far as facilities, services, food quality and selection, prices, etc.?
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 05:11PM
Spent all summer working the Tuolumne Meadows store...just got back/ TM closed this week.

Thoughts:
Aramark (not hiker-friendly yet) seems a bit clueless about what hikers need. Maybe this is due to the fact that the old concessionaires, DNC, did not make the transition easy (withheld all past records due to the name conundrum thing...), and thus Aramark had no past figures to compare things to. However, Aramark makes a habit of not paying the local purveyors in a timely manner...IE canister fuel. Due to their bill not being paid, the company who supplies the ISO-Butane canisters to the park had to take out a loan to keep the supply lines going. After still not being paid afterwards, they stopped the supply. There were no gas canisters on the daily supply truck (Daily from Valley) after mid July...no gas?

Similar story about DEET...well, we finally got some in stock after the skeeter season was ended. Similar story about Chap Stick, sunscreen, and AAA batteries too. The Pete's Coffee contract had to be re-negotiated as was over $100,000 in arrears.

The TM store has two ice machines...bagged ice. One went down mid July...did not get it replaced until early September. We were ice-less for a month during the height of the season. DNC would have replaced it immediately as the largest campground in the NP system lies just in back of the store.

As for prices, YNP sets the store margins...something close to 7% over cost. Thus beer prices at the store were actually cheaper than those found in Mammoth Lakes...most prices quite reasonable if items were in stock.

The local shuttle bus (the one which went Olmsted Point to TM Lodge) - used to be free, but Aramark foolishly decided to put a $1/per stop fee on it this year. From the TM store, 5 stops to Sunrise TH and thus $5 pp to get to Sunrise. Bus drivers carried little change and no CC machine access on the small buses...many drivers let riders on free or lower cost. Lots of complaining about this pay-for-shuttle policy. Lots of congestion at the trail heads too...Bad Karma here.

The Hiker bus (Valley - TM), which was free last year, now costs $14.50 one way. YARTS (subsidized) cost $9 for the same one-way trip.

As this was Aramark's first season Yosemite, maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt...They could still "Get It." We shall see next year how Tuolumne Meadows fares...still hopeful!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2016 09:35AM by markskor.
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 05:52PM
I can't comment about TM too much because I have only dropped in to buy some candy bars, chips and drinks one day. I can say that they were all out of regular soft drinks and only had diet which we don't drink. I have shopped in the "Big " Store in the Valley, had sandwiches and pizza at Degnan's and had dinner at the Mountain Room several times since the change and have not found any changes in prices or quality of food except that I found that the pizza at Degnan's was better but they now keep the rolls and bread in bins for the deli sandwiches and they are a bit dry when you buy a sandwich that is made for you at the counter. I have not stayed at any of the lodging in the park since the change so I can't comment on that. I have found the employees to be friendly and helpful and one person even took 20 minutes to find me two more of a special 2016 Anniversary glass at the "Big" store. There has been some confusion at times when employees didn't know about certain things that have been known in the past like if there was going to be a college student discount for a season ski pass. It just happened I found out the last day that there had been a offer on their website for a $100 ski pass to celebrate the 100th Anniversary and when I called the park, no one could tell me if there was the student pass so I ended up buying that pass for my son. A week or so later, the student pass was listed on the website which cost a bit less so I was not upset about it. I do wish that they would change the menu for the Mountain Room seasonally like it used to be because I don't like many of the choices of the last DNC menu that are still using.

One thing that has annoyed me is that I can't get on their email list for specials. I have filled out the form on their website 5 times now and I even called the phone number on their website and they told me that all you have to do is sign up on the website. DUH, I did that several times now.
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 09:21PM
The beer prices were great. Some beers were much lower then I can purchase in the city. When all is said and done, they get a A+ in my book, since beer is all that really matters.
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 09:50PM
Well, I am going to suggest that stove fuel, DEET, and coffee also matter.

Marksor---has Aramark's management been made fully aware of these issues?



Balzaccom

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Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 10:42PM
I would say that only Curry Pizza Deck matters. And as previously posted, they still do a great job. (Naming issues aside)

August 2016

Re: So how's Aramark doing?
September 30, 2016 10:59PM
Quote
chicagocwright
I would say that only Curry Pizza Deck matters. And as previously posted, they still do a great job. (Naming issues aside)

August 2016

I had pizza at The Loft and it was better than it was with DNC. A lot more cheese on it.
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
October 01, 2016 09:50AM
Quote
balzaccom
Well, I am going to suggest that stove fuel, DEET, and coffee also matter.

Markskor---has Aramark's management been made fully aware of these issues?
Yes - daily.
The trouble seems to be that Aramark is clueless concerning Yosemite's vast hiker population...a bit out of their comfort zone.
FYI, both the PCT and JMT diverge from Tuolumne Meadows...a hiker nexus. Maybe it just takes some time for the new stewards to appreciate/assimilate Yosemite's past evolution - its past glory - how things work. Aramark, being new and naive...these problems are tough to solve from the perspective of corporate offices in Philadelphia.
just my 2¢
Re: So how's Aramark doing?
October 01, 2016 01:11PM
and how! friendly staff at degnans~ though I am not sure about being addressed as a guest rather than a customer. as for the (Yosemite) village store, well. I shopped for a gas canister for my small stove (Aug 22nd) and a muppet among the otherwise helpful staff said "we sold out a month ago" and had no plans to get more in because summer had gone. which meant I had to dash round to 'curry' village store where I hit the jackpot with a very helpful lady member of staff and bought 3 just in case. on enquiring I was told that yes, the two stores were run by Aramark, but obviously no comms between stores.
a fortnight later at the climbing shop I discovered that some of the very smaller canisters had been 'found' in a warehouse.
I'd call it teething troubles, and give them the first season to iron out any problems.
avatar Re: So how's Aramark doing?
October 06, 2016 10:08PM
Quote
markskor

Aramark, being new and naive...these problems are tough to solve from the perspective of corporate offices in Philadelphia.
just my 2¢


Philadelphia isn't that much farther away than Buffalo, NY, though, the headquarters of DNC.

IIRC, DNC had some growing/assimilation pains when it took over from YP&CC in the 90s.



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