2012 BPA Survey Results—Food
Jan. 12, 2013

Probably nothing is more subjective than opinions about food as the comments below should amply illustrate.

What You’d Like to See... What You Want Not to Change How I See It...

Hours 4: Have food available after 9pm!

Breakfast Buffets Open till Noon 1

If they are going to pay workers, they must have enough business to justify it. The demand for food after regular meal times is not sufficient. If we contracted for it anyway, the overall food prices would rise to compensate for the longer hours and the quality would suffer because the late nite fare would be food warmer leftovers.

Outside Food 1: Allow us to bring outside food in....


I’ve been doing this for 40 years and I’ve never seen a hotel of size that allows this—especially those who must honor union contracts.

Bad 14: The quality of food at the breakfast buffet this year seemed to me to have sunk to a new low and is a shell of the great breakfasts we enjoyed at HVI. / Personally, I would like better food available onsite, but this isn’t a dealbreaker. / The food at Cafe Jay is kept in warmers too long. It needs to be fresh.

Better range of Food Choices on site or within walking distance 9: We need a Mall with a food court inside the hotel.

Good 19: The Host is actually a great hotel. Yes they have some infrastructure issues that I wish they would address, but I have to say their food service is outstanding, making it virtually unnecessary to leave the hotel. It’s good and relatively cheap, unlike many hotels which try to make all their money on overpriced food. / Getting good food at reasonable prices with short waits that I can eat at the game table—no need to sit at a restaurant. / I like the buffet at the Host which makes it easy to eat but not take us away from the site. / The expansion of open gaming is what convinced me to start attending but once there I found out it really is a fantastic convention. The onsite meals are excellent and reasonably priced (something you would not likely find anywhere else!) / Those who want better food options are used to expense account lunches.

What passes for “good” food—especially at a game convention is highly subjective as demonstrated by the comments at left and varies even further by the distance an individual is willing to move away from the gaming tables to partake. Obviously, there are both better and worse sites for the variety of food choices, but the best ones tend to be more expensive and catering to larger audiences than WBC attracts. To get Food Court options you’d have to be part of a large convention center or a much larger hotel at a major tourist destination.

In general, the ready-to-eat meals are well received IF you happen to like that evening’s fare. In comparison, the food options at the Hunt Valley Marriott were a source of far more frequently voiced discontent and nearby alternatives were quite limited. There ARE numerous other eat-out options within walking distance of the Host, although most are located across a busy highway.

Pre-Con 1: Have the hotel meals available during the Pre-Cons.   The Pre-Cons do not attract enough people to make the scheduled meals viable. Even if they did, the corresponding loss of food service elsewhere would be more noteworthy for those on hand.
Alcohol 1: I understand the limitations on outside beverages and that this is out of the Committee’s control but an Open Gaming area with a more liberal policy would be nice or at least drink specials as the hotel’s prices are rather high.   As hotel prices go, I’ve always felt Host’s to be among the less objectionable. As for a more “liberal” alcohol policy, you will not find that on my wish list. Invariably, there are those who abuse alcohol—leading to behavior problems—otherwise known as the bane of my existance.
Bar 11: The food at the bar is actually fine—the problem is getting it. Either the service is slow or its shut down. / More workers manning the bar in the evening. / Working beer taps. / I enjoy sitting in the bar and playing some games and eating the bar food. It is pretty good but when bar food service is denied to us because they will (eventually) be serving at the buffet, it is aggrivating. If it is spagetti night or Chinese night (basically death to us diabetics) we have to leave the con to walk to another restaruant. This is usually not an issue but when parking is a premium you do not want to lose your spot which means walking across busy Rt. 30. Bar 1: The bar stocks some good beers and is definitely the high spot in food service at the Host. The subject of staffing of the Good Spirits Bar has been brought up repeatedly to Host management. In the end, they make their own staffing decisions. They lack sufficient staff to operate both buffet meals in the lobby and the regular restaurants, so when the former start serving, the other outlets shut down rather than compete with each other for the same business with inadequate staff. However, even when the bar no longer offers food service, the Legends restaurant remains open. This is not an isolated problem of the Host. There were similar complaints expressed about the Hunt Valley Marriott bar. Invariably, gamers eschew the sitdown restaurant and overwhelm the bar looking for faster food service it was not designed to provide in such quantity.
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