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Some Quick questions for a last minute Trip June 18-20, 21

belloq87

Veteran Member
Dec 7, 2009
5,270
Universal Exports
The other big negative was how long, as long as attractions, the quick service restaurants lines were. Probably due to switching the way they took orders and seated people due to covid. The old way was soooo much better.
Also, food lines backed up as people fumbled with their phones trying, and failing, to pay for their orders online. Currency to pay is so much faster than high tech in that situation. Hopefully they go back to the old ordering and seating procedures when we come back in November.
I'm starting to get very concerned about the speed (or lack thereof) of food service that I've been hearing about at both Universal and Disney.

Like you, I hope they've got something sorted out by November. Waiting in long lines for rides I can tolerate; waiting in long lines for quick service food... I cannot.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
Mad Dog, are you saying that they did have mobile order for all quick service locations in the parks still? I’m only asking as I was getting ready for my trip later this week I was checking out the app and it looks like they removed all mobile ordering in park with the exception of Richter’s and Leaky Cauldron, which I found very odd.

*Edited due to spelling/grammar difficulties
They still had the mobile ordering signs, and access code, all over the parks 'last week'. Also separate lines at the restaurants. Mobile ordering clearly slowed the process of getting food so I hope they either quit it, or at the least, not
push it so hard. Also, Universal changed the ordering and seating procedures that existed pre covid . Instead of multiple ordering lines, they were all merged into one line, and that is certainly a bad system. It also appeared there was a
shortage of food workers in the restaurants. There was always lots of confusion in the long restaurant lines on who and what were the procedures. As I said, hopefully Universal squashes all this and goes back to their old system which was pretty efficient. Also, sit down restaurants in CitiWalk and the hotels requiring advance reservations is a pain. Not needing advance reservations was a clear Universal advantage over Disney in the past. It will be interesting to see if Universal reverses this now that the covid safety and distancing requirements have lapsed. There's a lot to be said for vacationing spontaneous without having to over plan every day.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,199
They still had the mobile ordering signs, and access code, all over the parks 'last week'. Also separate lines at the restaurants. Mobile ordering clearly slowed the process of getting food so I hope they either quit it, or at the least, not
push it so hard. Also, Universal changed the ordering and seating procedures that existed pre covid . Instead of multiple ordering lines, they were all merged into one line, and that is certainly a bad system. It also appeared there was a
shortage of food workers in the restaurants. There was always lots of confusion in the long restaurant lines on who and what were the procedures. As I said, hopefully Universal squashes all this and goes back to their old system which was pretty efficient. Also, sit down restaurants in CitiWalk and the hotels requiring advance reservations is a pain. Not needing advance reservations was a clear Universal advantage over Disney in the past. It will be interesting to see if Universal reverses this now that the covid safety and distancing requirements have lapsed. There's a lot to be said for vacationing spontaneous without having to over plan every day.
What's even sillier is that there is no consequence to booking a reservation and not showing up like there is with Disney. Cowfish was practically empty but I saw an employee turning people away in front of me.

Also, we walked in thru the back entrance of 3 Broomsticks and got in line after being told up front that they were at capacity. They weren't even at half capacity. I think they were just trying to limit folks because it was the end of the day.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
What's even sillier is that there is no consequence to booking a reservation and not showing up like there is with Disney. Cowfish was practically empty but I saw an employee turning people away in front of me.

Also, we walked in thru the back entrance of 3 Broomsticks and got in line after being told up front that they were at capacity. They weren't even at half capacity. I think they were just trying to limit folks because it was the end of the day.
Yep. Saw the same thing. It's an absolute mess that Universal needs to correct real soon. Covid was a cover for that stuff. It no longer is. ...Example. Walked into a hotel restaurant after getting off the water taxi. It was 7:00 PM.
I only intended to make a reservation for the next day. The hostess mistakenly thought I wanted a reservation for that day. She said all reservations were filled for the day. BUT, only a little over half the restaurant had diners at the tables.
I told her that I wanted a reservation for tomorrow, and she said OK and took my name. Universal is acting like Disney. That's not a good thing.
 
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rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,199
I forgot to add....the Isla Nublar (or whatever) IPA is delicious, and is officially my favorite draft beer at the park now. Wish they sold it outside of JP island.
 
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OrlandoGuy

Member
Sep 29, 2014
676
Chicago
Yep. Saw the same thing. It's an absolute mess that Universal needs to correct real soon. Covid was a cover for that stuff. It no longer is. ...Example. Walked into a hotel restaurant after getting off the water taxi. It was 7:00 PM.
I only intended to make a reservation for the next day. The hostess mistakenly thought I wanted a reservation for that day. She said all reservations were filled for the day. BUT, only a little over half the restaurant had diners at the tables.
I told her that I wanted a reservation for tomorrow, and she said OK and took my name. Universal is acting like Disney. That's not a good thing.
I dont know if you can really blame Universal…it’s hard to attract staff to come work for you when you pay a fraction of what you can make on unemployment checks and stimulus. COVID may be “done” as we knew it, but this whole country is going to face the repercussions of inflating our economy the last year for a while.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
I dont know if you can really blame Universal…it’s hard to attract staff to come work for you when you pay a fraction of what you can make on unemployment checks and stimulus. COVID may be “done” as we knew it, but this whole country is going to face the repercussions of inflating our economy the last year for a while.
Yes. I realize they've been short on staff. But that's another issue that probably will be largely rectified within a few weeks. But a lot of the problem is an over reliance on the high tech ordering and phones payment that just slows lines down to a crawl.
Lots of confusion and chaos on the part of people fumbling with their phones as the lines back up waiting for each transaction to complete. And the single line ordering system just doesn't work now that parks are back to full capacity. Too many people for one line to handle, especially when there's a payment transaction issue that stops the line from moving.
 

OrlandoGuy

Member
Sep 29, 2014
676
Chicago
Yes. I realize they've been short on staff. But that's another issue that probably will be largely rectified within a few weeks. But a lot of the problem is an over reliance on the high tech ordering and phones payment that just slows lines down to a crawl.
Lots of confusion and chaos on the part of people fumbling with their phones as the lines back up waiting for each transaction to complete. And the single line ordering system just doesn't work now that parks are back to full capacity. Too many people for one line to handle, especially when there's a payment transaction issue that stops the line from moving.
Gotcha. I do hate the mobile order and don’t understand the benefit from any perspective (distancing or staffing) since people end up gathering around and waiting a long time for the same amount of food anyway.
 
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Mockingjay

Rookie
Jan 11, 2014
220
Charlotte, North Carolina
They still had the mobile ordering signs, and access code, all over the parks 'last week'. Also separate lines at the restaurants. Mobile ordering clearly slowed the process of getting food so I hope they either quit it, or at the least, not
push it so hard. Also, Universal changed the ordering and seating procedures that existed pre covid . Instead of multiple ordering lines, they were all merged into one line, and that is certainly a bad system. It also appeared there was a
shortage of food workers in the restaurants. There was always lots of confusion in the long restaurant lines on who and what were the procedures. As I said, hopefully Universal squashes all this and goes back to their old system which was pretty efficient. Also, sit down restaurants in CitiWalk and the hotels requiring advance reservations is a pain. Not needing advance reservations was a clear Universal advantage over Disney in the past. It will be interesting to see if Universal reverses this now that the covid safety and distancing requirements have lapsed. There's a lot to be said for vacationing spontaneous without having to over plan every day.
Ew, that is gross that they put everyone into one line for Quick Service. When I was there last in October it was so efficient that they had everyone using a singular process to order/pay (mobile order) and a single line to get a seat to sit down. What you just described is a flaming hot pile of mess.

I also gotta say my easy default vacation has started to become like Disney and not in a good way. I also hope the reservations for the CityWalk restaurants go away soon otherwise I don’t know how often I’ll be wanting to come back for future visits.

Thank you for your insights Mad Dog!
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
Ew, that is gross that they put everyone into one line for Quick Service. When I was there last in October it was so efficient that they had everyone using a singular process to order/pay (mobile order) and a single line to get a seat to sit down. What you just described is a flaming hot pile of mess.

I also gotta say my easy default vacation has started to become like Disney and not in a good way. I also hope the reservations for the CityWalk restaurants go away soon otherwise I don’t know how often I’ll be wanting to come back for future visits.

Thank you for your insights Mad Dog!
Yes, hope they go back to the old systems, and get more workers hired and trained..,,......Example of how bad it was. Food lines were sooo long. One day we went to JP restaurant....stood in the single line outside in the heat for about 40 minutes and the line barely moved. One of the workers came out finally and announced that once you got inside, and assigned to a table, there would be an additional 30 minute wait for food. So we left. Walked down to Marvel Island and the lines were super long
there too. Doubled back to Toon Lagoon and the line for Dagwood's didn't look too bad. Out of desperation, and hunger, we figured we'd give it a try even though in ten years I never ever considered eating lunch there. The wait for food ended up being about 30 minutes. Before covid that would be an absurd wait, but we were happy with 30 minutes in line. How far the mighty have fallen....I'm sure Universal will ultimately work it out. But I hope this dependence on phone payments is curtailed, because it really backs up the line when there's just one.....Now that they're at 100% capacity, they really need to go back to multiple lines like they used to have.
 
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TheGentTrent

Veteran Member
Apr 4, 2013
1,319
Tampa
I hope that in the long-run, food and beverage employees at theme parks are given a fair wage that reflects their job expectations compared to other roles. It's crazy that most non-tipped employees make the same as merchandise and greeters do, while being held to higher standards in efficiency and tasks (food handling, hand washing, etc). That's probably a big reason why the chains are struggling to fill those spots, to the point that Universal is looking to fill 1000 F&B positions.
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,040
Upper Lower
I hope that in the long-run, food and beverage employees at theme parks are given a fair wage that reflects their job expectations compared to other roles. It's crazy that most non-tipped employees make the same as merchandise and greeters do, while being held to higher standards in efficiency and tasks (food handling, hand washing, etc). That's probably a big reason why the chains are struggling to fill those spots, to the point that Universal is looking to fill 1000 F&B positions.
We may see a rethink on the whole food service industry. More towards a full wage less dependent on tips but as long as there are semi skilled $15 an hour jobs the $13 will go unfilled. 66 years and I have never seen so many help wanted signs, if you want to work you can, just a question of how much and what bennies/prospects the position carries
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,813
Orlando
We may see a rethink on the whole food service industry. More towards a full wage less dependent on tips but as long as there are semi skilled $15 an hour jobs the $13 will go unfilled. 66 years and I have never seen so many help wanted signs, if you want to work you can, just a question of how much and what bennies/prospects the position carries
Universal goes up from $13 to $15 on Sunday. Disney is following in August.
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,040
Upper Lower
Universal goes up from $13 to $15 on Sunday. Disney is following in August.
I was thinking of the myriad of help wanted I see on chain and small places as I have been traveling the last few months. Anywhere you want from the sticks to the cities a J.O.B. is available if you want one. Up to you to choose which one.
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,813
Orlando
I was thinking of the myriad of help wanted I see on chain and small places as I have been traveling the last few months. Anywhere you want from the sticks to the cities a J.O.B. is available if you want one. Up to you to choose which one.
Ah, my fault, I assumed you were talking about the parks, but yeah, jobs are hiring everywhere and anywhere right now, much of that has to do with being able to make more on unemployment than by actually working - which is a whole different thing in and of itself. If people make more on unemployment than by working, that's an industry issue imo.
 
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Frank Drackman

Premium Member
Dec 20, 2012
2,557
Mouse Mountain
I'm starting to get very concerned about the speed (or lack thereof) of food service that I've been hearing about at both Universal and Disney.

Like you, I hope they've got something sorted out by November. Waiting in long lines for rides I can tolerate; waiting in long lines for quick service food... I cannot.
This truly extends well beyond UNI and Disney -- I see so many signs looking for help, signing bonus -- went out to eat the other day, 30 minute wait to get in, then told the kitchen is running 45 minutes behind -- ok -- wife's first choice, oh we are out of that, 2nd choice is ordered 10 minutes later the waitress tells us they are out of that too -- so, on to look for another place to eat ;-)

NOV is some time away so there is time to sort it out I guess, but man, how the heck will UNI staff EPIC? I guess we expect a lot more people to move to Central FL.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,176
Pittsburgh, PA
I dont know if you can really blame Universal…it’s hard to attract staff to come work for you when you pay a fraction of what you can make on unemployment checks and stimulus. COVID may be “done” as we knew it, but this whole country is going to face the repercussions of inflating our economy the last year for a while.
This is simply untrue and is a simplification of a complex issue.


 

OrlandoGuy

Member
Sep 29, 2014
676
Chicago
This is simply untrue and is a simplification of a complex issue.


Yeah, nothing I said in my post has anything to do with those articles. I never said service workers were lazy or unwilling to go to work, nor would I as someone who held those types of jobs in college.