Title: Food for thought
Pages: 26 - 27
Text: Food for thought
"We are the first to admit that good as our services are, they could he still better'" said Ray Gunter, the Minister of Labour, addressing the Caterers' Association at the Savoy Hotel recently. He went on to say that, "broadly, what we aim at is an up-to-date service in modern premises".
Fine words, but perhaps he could take a look at the snack bars in almost any of the large London exhibition halls.
The picture here shows what a dismal sight they are, They are usually drably painted, so that they look dirty even when they are not; they are smelly - especially if they have a Wimpy bar attached (don't exhibitors with stands nearby complain ?); and an hour after opening time, the floor around them is littered with broken plastics spoons, papercups and sandwich wrapping.
The food available does nothing to make the visual and physical squalor bearable - near sausageless sausage rolls and dry cake add indigestion to indignation. And the price is steep:1s 6d for the roll, and the same
[A squalid snack bar at Olympia.]
for a cup of bitter coffee Court. (Prices and standards vary a little from hall to hall.)
At the majority of these snack bars, there is nowhere to sit down. Visitors have to prop themselves up against the nearest stand, moving further out (and spreading their rubbish over a widening arc of floor) as the place becomes more crowded
It is surprising that it is in no-one's interest to improve the situation Visitors are, after all, customers (actual or potential) and the longer they can be persuaded to stay at exhibitions, presumably the better Yet many of them must have made for the exit and congenial refreshments outside, because of the poor amenities within the hall And in some cases, hungry disgruntled visitors may mean a loss of valuable export orders.
Even if radical changes are too expensive, some paint, some attention to ventilation some comfortable chairs and a selection of wholesome food (fresh bread rolls, fruit and percolated coffee would do for a start) would make a difference. Tramping around a public exhibition or a trade fair in the dust and heat is an exhausting business. In the circumstances, visitors need some pampering - not added discomfort