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NAAFIServing the Services
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10 years of PAYD

11th July 2014

10 years of PAYD

Pay As You Dine (PAYD) catering in Germany has been hailed as a success story on the 10th anniversary of its introduction.

NAAFI’s JB’s restaurants have changed significantly since 2004 and are now offering varied menus that appeal to soldiers and civilians, while providing them with calorific values and nutritional data on what they're eating.

On Wednesday 2nd July Army top brass and NAAFI executives celebrated the anniversary together at the JB’s restaurant in Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld.

June 2004 saw the opening of NAAFI’s first JB’s restaurant in BFG with the refurbishment of the Junior Ranks Cookhouse in Javelin Barracks, Elmpt.

This coincided with the recently introduced PAYD initiative, where soldiers paid for their meals at the time of consumption rather than having the Daily Food Charge deducted from their pay each month.

Reg Curtis, CEO NAAFI, explained that the not-for-profit organisation would not rest on its laurels and would remain in Germany until the end of drawdown.

"The initial set-up was quite stressful, but things have moved on and we are now the best PAYD provider in the British Army. In terms of menu development, we're miles ahead of the competition," he said.

"As the catering provider, our ambition is to offer the best quality food at PAYD prices. We give soldiers a choice and treat them like adults.

"Our menus are constantly in development; we never look to stand still. My job is to keep it exciting and challenging for my staff."

He added: "We were one of the first PAYD providers to the British Armed Forces and we're still doing it in Germany today. And we will continue to provide a service until the last personnel leave Germany."

When launched a decade ago, PAYD was part of a long-term drive to improve the quality of life for British Forces and their families, which included improving the standard of catering and leisure on bases, and putting the control of food spending into the living-in soldiers' court.

For the GOC BFG, Maj Gen John Henderson, the 10-year anniversary is a welcome milestone, as the BFG authorities and the MoD have worked closely with NAAFI to give soldiers value for money.

"It is undisputed that Germany has the best Pay As You Dine in the Army with NAAFI," the chief of firm base support said.

"People get a proper menu choice and there is less waste for the operator - so everyone wins."

Col Nigel Allison, Commander Logistic Support, 1 (UK) Armoured Division, who was in Germany in 2004 when PAYD launched, added: "I genuinely think this is a success story. What soldiers are getting now is first-class."

He said the nutritional information provided at the serving counter was "cutting edge" and fitted in with the Army's ethos of educating soldiers about healthy eating.

For one day only on July 2, NAAFI ‘rolled back’ prices on meals served in all JB’s in BFG to the 2004 equivalent price.

And in support of an Army wide focus on health and well-being, NAAFI gave away pots of fruit in all JB’s restaurants and in the four largest Families Shops.