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Motorway service stations too expensive to eat at

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Millions of people drive on British motorways every day and being one of these people I'm sick and fed up of being ripped off when I stop at a service station for a break and something to eat.

Driving to your final destination you will see countless signs telling you that 'Tiredness can kill' and that you should 'take a break', but my advice to you is if you want to take a break, take a fat wallet as well.  Only last week whilst travelling down the M40 on my way to Oxford when I felt I needed to pull over for a rest and since I hadn't eaten that day decided I'd kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of nosh at the same time.

I fancied something simple and hopefully tasty and considered that a ham and cheese baguette and a cup of coffee would fit the bill and shouldn't break the bank.  How wrong was I?  Whilst I couldn't complain about the food, and the coffee was nice even if it was served in an over the top fancy cardboard cup with hand shield; I was astonished when I was charged around £3 for the sandwich and a further £1.80 for the coffee!!!

The M42 Motorway What gives?  Is it really too much to ask in this day and age for some simple reasonably priced food and a bit of a break whilst on the road.  I suppose you could take a packed lunch with you and eat that when you stop for a break, but then where would you sit and eat?  In the car I suppose because most of these places would object to you taking food in.  There again if you happen to be riding a motorcycle tough luck, you'd best stand in the car park in the rain and munch your 'fresh' sandwich and drink your lukewarm coffee.

The bottom line is it's just another example of big companies who are able to monopolise a market.  They are quite happy to reap the benefits of a guaranteed supply of customers, but have only one goal in mind.  That goal would be maximum profit and who cares about value for money!  So come on all you big service station eateries be fair!  Please don't rip us of with hiked up prices at these places just because you can and you know we have no choice as to where to go when we need to take a break.


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Anita

Anita

Heartily agree !!! Especially if you have a young family. I have, on occasion, gone ahead and made my own sandwiches, used their premises with ,if confronted, the reason being that I have a very severe nut allergy and cannot run the risk of eating the food provided. No-one has ever objected as yet.. I am writing this comment whilst in the process of trying to find out, exactly, what their policies are about this situation.
12/09/18 Anita
0
big_al2

big_al2

Try justoffjunction.co.uk your easy guide to finding cheaper alternatives to Motorway Services...
28/07/13 big_al2
-5
banger48

banger48

why oh why do the good people put up with being ripped off at motorway services almost two quid for a small bottle of coke / fanta ect is it not about time that we campaigned about these service station ripping people off they would be a nice place to visit on long treks instead of just stopping for the loo i for one would spend a half hour to an hour break in these places but wont give these fat over priced not good for value places the time of day if these give me your money service station manager owners read this stopp ripping us off for gods sake give the motorist a break from being ripped off
04/03/12 banger48
-10
AOD

AOD

V.O.R. - It's a gripe site, have you not figured that out? Sometimes moaning about stuff makes one feel better even if it doesn't fix a problem. Regarding the overheads, presumably high street cafés etc. all have these overheads too, but they manage to usually charge reasonable prices so why can't motorway service stations do the same?
21/03/11 AOD
82
Voice of Reason

Voice of Reason

The MSA companies do not make a large enough profit from the fuel prices to cover the costs of running the MSAs, hence the food (etc) prices. I'm guessing you've never bought anything in our country's capital then? Given most MSAs are 24hrs, imagine the costs involved, and then you'll understand the reasons for the prices, and how the quality doesn't always match, when you compare them to your local convenience shop or restaurant. It's interesting from the phrasing, the writer wasn't in the dark to the prices generally, and if they were such a concern, perhaps making your own lunch is the alternative to take in the future? I also do not agree with the high prices, but I choose not to buy and moan, I take responsibility for myself, and plan an alternative that works for me. Unfortunately, people in this country encourage the "Nanny State" thinking in such ways by moaning without making efforts themselves, and instead expect or assume the world to suit them perfectly above all others and all else!
21/03/11 Voice of Reason
-97
ajp

ajp

I recently drove from Brisbane to Airlie Beach, Queensland (a three day drive). I took an esky of food and drink which I topped up from local places along the way (an esky is the Aussie version of a cool box). Motels all had fridges, and most had at least a microwave - some even had a small kitchenette.

So much easier and simpler and cheaper. Service areas usually had somewhere for people to eat their own food or I simply ate in the car.

And, round trip, that was 6 days on the road.

Always travel with some food. I did the same this Easter on a 7 day drive around Normandy. Not a problem. Consumer power - don't let them have your money.
30/10/10 ajp
-41
Louise

Louise

Why is it that when you decide to buy food for example a full english (or scottish) breakfast, you queue up to get the food which doesnt start off too hot, then by the time you've stood in the queue to get coffee which is being made by the same person who takes the money the food is completely freezing. I think they need to get organised.
30/10/10 Louise
-84
GM

GM

More people would leave the motorway and go to somewhere decent to eat it would be good if cafes and pubs etc were to advertise nationally that they are just off the motorway and provide a small map I know I would prefer not to eat in a motorway cafe we take something with us I can't stand overpriced plastic food.
08/01/10 GM
-89
Edward Skinner

Edward Skinner

I agree totally with your comments however, I run a business (a pub) just off the motorway and I encourage people travelling to use my facilities (not alcohol for drivers but food and other drinks) but it is difficult to publicise my offering as people are coming from hundreds of miles away thats why they need a break. The motorist can help, get out of the habit of using service areas, use a map rather than or as well as sat nav because if you see a town or village next to a junction odds are that there will be some facilities and it won't take long to have a look, ues the internet most people have it in there homes and it doesn't take long to plan your break and finally tell your friends and colleagues if you find somewhere good because when they travel anfind somewhere they'll tell you. So we the small trader will help you if you just have a look for us as we don't pay the kind of rent that puts use at the end of a sliproad
23/09/09 Edward Skinner
-77
MikeP

MikeP

It just amazes me how many people say : "Plastic cup 0.05p, spoonful of instant coffee powder 0.5p, sachet of milk 1p, sachet of sugar 1p, 2 slices of bread 3p, blob of butter 2p, spoonful of jam 1p, so why the hell must I pay £2.50 for a coffee and two slices of toast when it costs less than 10p?"

Well, thickos, the entity that provides you with those services has overheads to pay, staff, rent, cleaining, capital costs, depreciation, tax, social charges, losses, breakages, insurance, licences, just to name a few.

When I owned a restaurant and people adopted that approach I used to tell them to leave, if they hadn't eaten, or if they had, I'd tell them to pay what they could afford (which either shamed them into paying the correct price, or they paid nothing) and to never darken our doorway again.
24/08/09 MikeP
51
The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth

Referring to the above subject, I think £3.0 for a sandwich and a big cup of coffee is not bad after a good long drive. One must not forget that companies on the motorway have to make a living, rent, taxes, staff, rates etc. Customers are always oblivious of the fact that expenses are involved in any business they automatically think that the trader is ripping them off. Just imagine if there were no services along any motorway. I have been to many coffee shops and restaurants; you find the cheap and the expensive. If you cannot afford the luxury make your own packed meal and warm coffee and enjoy the misery of having to much and drink under the pouring rain. At least appreciate sitting inside in a warm place having a good rest. £3, give me a break. I own a coffee shop internet cafe in Brighton, a guy comes in and requests 5 minutes on the internet with his memory stick. How much would you expect me to charge this guy 5p or £1 minimum for 45 minutes minimum charge? Many would explain it as a rip off but I want you all to think of how many businesses are struggling to serve you given the above expenses they have to cover. Last but not lease, if you want to save your wallet don’t eat junk food in service stations, be wise on what you chose.
24/08/09 The Plain Truth
86
Jewish Scotsman

Jewish Scotsman

Ozzie Welshman haha every Sheeps worse Nightmare! Are you in Wales at the mo? I didnt realise you had internet connection over there yet!
14/08/09 Jewish Scotsman
-16
Manx Hound

Manx Hound

For many years I had a job that entailed driving hundreds of miles a week, and sometimes much of the distance was covered via motorways, leaving home at 6 in the morning and returning in the evening and yet by planning ahead I had little need of motorway services.

Fill up (with food, drink and petrol) before you leave or begin the return journey (and have a leak as well) and it will be a rare journey in which a visit to these temples of overcharging and under provision is necessary. If a break is necessary for a rest, most services have free parking for up to two hours.
05/08/09 Manx Hound
14
Ozzie-Welshman

Ozzie-Welshman

Very clever Bobby Carrot, very clever indeed. Your parents must be so proud. I'm going to have a look for a gripe from some poor service-station worker who can't understand that there is still a retard out there who doesn't know how to properly use a toilet. Also you have successfully proven Darwin's theory of evolution wrong, those stupid enough to piss on the floor should have been bred out a very long time ago.
05/08/09 Ozzie-Welshman
-100
Bobby Carrot

Bobby Carrot

I always get a sense of satisfaction at motorway services by pissing on the floor!

The staff are useless too I suspect they only work there because they failed the intelligence test for Mcdonalds.
03/08/09 Bobby Carrot
65

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