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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Heston's Mission Impossible - Cineworld (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Heston's Mission Impossible - Cineworld
Michael Brown
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1522
From: Bradford, England
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 02-25-2011 09:02 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For anyone in the UK a show to look out for on Tuesday evening..
web page

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Heston's Mission Impossible

Heston tries to transform the food at one of the UK's biggest cinema chains, Cineworld. His challenge: to inject fun and excitement into the movie experience by overhauling the snacks on offer.

Heston believes that a visit to the cinema should be a multi-sensory experience which tickles smell and taste not just sound and vision. And he wants the food on the cinema menu to reflect the action on screen. But Heston soon realises that with popcorn's enormous mark up, selling cinema snacks is all about profit margins rather than quality.

He's determined to change that by using food to put the magic back into movie trips. His first attempts end in disaster - notably the 'edible sperm shake' designed to go with a film's sex scene - and fail to win over Cineworld bosses.

So it's back to the drawing board and Heston decides to turn the cinema foyer into a fairground and produce a brand new range of snacks, all with a fairground theme and classic Heston twist. There are inside out hotdogs, chewy marshmallow ice-cream, apple smoked candyfloss, and curried popcorn.

But will cinema bosses be able to make a profit from the revamped menu? And will Heston be able to get cinema staff to buy into his extraordinary ideas?

And most importantly, how will the experiment go down with cinema goers?

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 593
From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 02-25-2011 11:59 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cheers for the link I will have to catch that on 4OD after work.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10822
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-26-2011 01:26 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Brown
His first attempts end in disaster - notably the 'edible sperm shake' designed to go with a film's sex scene - and fail to win over Cineworld bosses.
What sort of movie theater was Heston envisioning when developing his snack menu? Sperm isn't exactly high on list of desired foods for any man or woman, regardless of sexual orientation.

I had a good laugh out of that.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 02-26-2011 08:37 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just how awful is the UK movie-going experience that it has to have fun and excitement injected into it at the concessions stand?

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Chris Slycord
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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 02-26-2011 08:43 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin McCaffery
Just how awful is the UK movie-going experience that it has to have fun and excitement injected into it at the concessions stand?
Having not been to the UK, this is entirely my guess but...
It's not. Some guy had a good idea once and it gave some success. So someone decided to promote him. And to prove that he's worth his salary, he has to do something (come up with yet another idea that wins). The problem is that he's gonna be a one-trick pony. And with each defeat, he must up-the-ante and make an even bigger gamble, which statistically should eventually lead to something successful, but each bigger failure makes people want to kick him to the curb even more than the time before.

In short: idiot comes up with dumb idea and even bigger idiots around him go along with the plan like lemmings.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 02-27-2011 08:53 AM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you Chris, the movie-going experience in the UK is probably similar to the US. You guys give better/more enthusiastic service in general though.

Heston Blummenthal is actually fantastic, his food is amazing and inventive and he makes great TV. You can't get a table at his restaurants for months even though a couple are 40 miles from the centre of London where most fine dining takes place. I don't think there's anything wrong with a total outsider coming in and trying something new either.

However he's not neccessarily going to understand that although most people come to the movies to escape they don't want to be challenged, especially at the expensive concessions stand. The sperm shake is a perfect example of this.

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Mark Hajducki
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From: Edinburgh, UK
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 - posted 02-27-2011 09:29 AM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This program is part of a series (others include hospital, airline and military food).

Out of these the cinema food is the one in which gimmick food should work the best (not that the sperm shake is the best choice).

In some respects cinema food is already a gimmick (it consists almost entirely of low quality snack food, rather than a proper meal).

The budget for cinema food should also be the highest (the selling price for a hot dog and drink is more than double the daily food allowance for the Navy/Hospital catering).

quote: Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
they don't want to be challenged, especially at the expensive concessions stand
It should be possible to make the food more enticing (and increase sales volume) without reducing the markup to a large extent. If the perceived value can be increased this could also increase sales.

quote: Martin McCaffery
Just how awful is the UK movie-going experience that it has to have fun and excitement injected into it at the concessions stand?
The cinema industry sells fun and excitement!

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Chris Slycord
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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
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 - posted 02-27-2011 10:51 AM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
However he's not neccessarily going to understand that although most people come to the movies to escape they don't want to be challenged, especially at the expensive concessions stand. The sperm shake is a perfect example of this.
I'd say it still seems like only an idiot would tell them to add such a thing to the menu of a nationwide company while not doing some smaller area testing or at least asking people "Would you buy *this*?" regardless of how successful his couple restaurants are.

And it very well could be that he's used to running only the one-or-two locations and so it was relatively easy to introduce something outlandish without much repercussion, which isn't going to happen with a big chain.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
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 - posted 02-27-2011 08:28 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chris you're right, also got to consider the family audiences we get.

Mark, I agree the food could look more enticing in some areas but that's a different argument from whether customers are willing to pay our prices for 'weird' items like curried popcorn.

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Chris Slycord
Film God

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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
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 - posted 02-27-2011 11:36 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Reminds me of the coworker who, for whatever reason, had a shitload of Top Ramen seasoning packets of various flavors and always talked about wanting to try batches where we'd replace the flavocal/seasoning salt with one of the flavors.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
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From: London, UK
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 - posted 02-28-2011 02:07 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a good idea in theory. In South Africa the Cinemas I had a look round had a Tabasco-branded stand in the foyer, where you could shake a powder form of their various brands on. But that was like putting ketchup and mustard on hot dogs, not something you paid a lot of money for.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 02-28-2011 04:07 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would just love to see the reaction on a customer's face if he was there to see a war movie and handed a dark green Army-issue M.R.E. (meal ready to eat) field ration.

"What the fuck is this? This isn't popcorn!"
"Sir, it's something Marines call 'Beef and Rocks.' The alternative meal is 'Ham and Motherfuckers.' Enjoy Rambo 10: Reanimated"

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Michael Brown
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 - posted 03-01-2011 04:50 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Living in a city with a high indian population we tried the curry popcorn thing agers ago. I didn't taste too bad but it just didn't sell. If people want curry then they'll go to a restaurant and get a curry.

Just finished watching the show, some interesting stuff, but by the end I think the only thing they were interested in picking up was the "inside out" hotdog (basically the hotdog has ketchup and mustard injected into it rather than having the sauces put on top, Is that really that inventive?).

The sperm shake got rejected really early on.

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Mark Hajducki
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 - posted 03-04-2011 07:24 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
His first attempt (which included the sperm shake) was more along the lines of his Tasting Menu, with aroma and food themed along to a film. Whilst it would be an interesting event to attend, it would not be possible to offer it in a regular cinema setting. The tasting menu costs £160 ($260) in his restaurant, probably with less profit margin than most cinema food.

His attempts to find a replacement for traditional popcorn (serving it as a milkshake or icecream) would potentially make good additions to the product range. They would not, however, act as a suitable alternative to regular popcorn as something to eat whilst watching a film.

The final attempt was basically a high end version of regular cinema food. Some of current offerings, with some items that would be impractical in a cinema setting.

*Multiple popcorn flavours- would probably cause customer confusion, and would add a lot of complications to the serving arrangements. An alternative would be to have multiple toppings to add (I know some of you offer these in the US, but they are unknown in the UK).

*Inside-out hotdog- would probably be an ok seller, non inside out versions would still be required for some customers. I would expect the cost price to be considerably higher than for regular hotdogs.

*Sweets- these were far more fancy than the regular cinema offerings, would be hard to convince customers to pay a lot more for a few "quality" sweets.

*Apple smoked candyfloss (cotton candy)- would require a lot of extra equipment (candyfloss maker and smoke unit) and would probably slow things up at busy times. Fresh candyfloss by itself would probably be a good product to sell (and has a large profit margin).

The final thing I think about is what impact having a better range and quality of food would have on the profits of the cinema. Would customers choose to buy more, or change the cinema they regularly go to based on the food offerings? Would the potential gain off-set the reduced profit margin?

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Michael Brown
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From: Bradford, England
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 - posted 03-08-2011 04:49 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Hajducki
His attempts to find a replacement for traditional popcorn (serving it as a milkshake or icecream) would potentially make good additions to the product range. They would not, however, act as a suitable alternative to regular popcorn as something to eat whilst watching a film.

That's one of the things I found confusing, that he wanted to 'replace' popcorn with a milkshake. (How can you replace a food item with a drink? [Confused] )

quote: Mark Hajducki
Multiple popcorn flavours
Yeah confusing and it just doesn't sell. Where I work we have tried this- Curry popcorn, chilli popcorn etc - It just doesn't sell.

quote: Mark Hajducki
Inside-out hotdog- would probably be an ok seller, non inside out versions would still be required for some customers. I would expect the cost price to be considerably higher than for regular hotdogs.

Only good for people who like mustard and ketchup. There are plenty of people, myself included, who just like ketchup, also I've seen people eat them plain.

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