Singapore always scores global rankings, but when it comes to service (and happiness level), it is safe to say that we are nowhere near the top.
Eating is Singapore’s national hobby, and it is not exaggerating to say that Singaporeans is obsessed with food. According to statistics, there were about 6,700 establishments, with total operating receipts of the food & beverage (F&B) services industry at S$7,836 million in 2012. There is no denying that the future of Singapore’s F&B industry is bright, and it will continue to grow at a dazzling speed to become a food mecca in Asia, if not the world. Yet, service in the local food & beverage industry leaves much to be desired. It is not unusual to know of complaints about poor service when dining out.
Service is something that involves three parties – workers, employers, and customers. It is definitely not a one-sided affair when it comes to providing good service; employers and customers contribute to the eco-system and have parts to play, too. Here are some pointers on what everyone can do to expect better service.
B E T T E R E M P L O Y E R S
While it is true that it is extremely challenging to find the right employees – especially in the F&B industry where shortage of staff is a perpetual problem – it is the employers’ responsibility to equip their team of service staff with quality training, so as to ensure they are sent out to serve with substantial product knowledge and service etiquettes. After all, service staff are the always and forever the first point of contact and is the most impressionable – a consumer’s experience is very much dependent on their interaction with the service staff, and that very interaction is what makes or breaks an experience.
It is also important to remember that the customer is not always right – employers should value every worker, trust and protect their staff, because there will always be unreasonable customers who might expect the impossible from the service staff/ company. Service staff needs to feel respected and must not be subjected to threats and humiliation, and only this will cultivate a healthy mentality that they bring to work.
B E T T E R W O R K E R S
So they say, “take pride in whatever you do.” This is a rule of thumb for all employees, because every job and position is essential. A cleaner and a CEO are equally important, and their efforts contribute to the companies in their respective ways. Feel proud of your designation, and give your best. Know that your sincerity and passion will go a long way.
Upgrade yourself regularly; go for courses and trainings for self-development; believe in yourself, because a healthy mentality really matters. It is your attitude that determines your altitude, especially so when you are in the frontline. Serve with your heart, and touch hearts with your positivity. Everyone has a part to play in this society.
B E T T E R C U S T O M E R S
Expectation is the root of all problems, and sometimes, customers have unrealistic expectations and demands – this is something we all must accept.
After NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say’s May Day call for people to be better customers, there were differing opinions whether the onus should be on customers or service staff to be better first. While cash is king (to a certain extent) and we reserve rights to our purchases and experience, we must always remember to show mutual respect for fellow mankind because the old but gold saying goes, “kindness begets kindness”.
We can be forth about what we want, but there is almost always a limit for everything. Like, we cannot step in to a restaurant and expect a free meal just because the staff took a while to bring us our pizza. Neither should we raise our voices when we want something. It is quite a natural process that when we are courteous and polite, service staff will be happier to serve us and bring us the best they can.
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.