Did you read about the post on a restaurant manager's promise to me? (Click here)
Well, there's another story to it.
At a buffet, the staff will clear your plate after you've finished and you get a new one as you go for another round of food.
When one of the staff came over to my table to clear the plates, she said, "Welcome back."
I was surprised.
How did she know I've been there before?
The last time I went was almost two months back.
Was her memory so good that she could still recognize me after so long? Did I leave such a deep impression on her the last time? Did she remember because I'm one of first to arrive and the last to leave? Or the restaurant has so few guests for their brunch that she remembers me?
The only logical explanation I could find is they have record of my previous reservation.
That reminds me of another hotel's restaurant that I frequent with my cousin for lunch, once or twice every month.
This restaurant used to serve a brand of tea and latte for their buffet lunch, which we would requested at the end of the meal.
Beginning of last year, they stopped serving them and only offer normal tea and coffee. Ordering the more expensive drinks would require additional charges. I guess it's probably due to rising costs.
There is a supervisor who recognizes us. Despite them stopped serving the more expensive drinks, he never fails to ask us if we would like to have that particular brand of tea or latte and served them to us without any charges. Sometimes, he would just send the tea over without us asking for it.
There were a few other permanent staff that we recognize. However, it was a pretty weird situation. It seemed like sometimes they recognized us, and sometimes they didn't. The most interesting was a particular staff who only recognizes my cousin, but not me although he saw us together.
This morning, there was an article about the trustworthiness and credibility of food bloggers who charge for writing reviews of restaurants and cafes.
Everyone knows the power of social media.
A blogger with a large following on social media can have a multiplier effect when his or her posts get read by the hundred thousands of followers and shared by them to their friends online.
Due to this power, bloggers get invited to free meals, overseas trips, free products and services by companies in the hope that they will write posts and reviews to increase exposure for these companies.
The blogging world has evolved to such a stage that those with large followers start charging businesses for writing reviews about their products and services and through advertisement placed on their blogs.
And when money is involved, how trustworthy or credible is a review by a blogger?
While some bloggers maintained that they paid for their own meals in all their reviews and posts, others choose to state on their posts that the meal is hosted, albeit in small prints.
There are also horror stories of bloggers taking advantage of such free products and services by behaving like spoilt brats when their demands were not met.
On the other hand, companies feel the pressure of the need to be on social media especially those that caters to young customers. Others fear they are missing out because their competitors are all using social media. And sometimes, managements want to be on social media because of their wives or kids.
Bloggers provide fast and wide exposure for a business. If your company has the money to splurge to invite them for free meals, free products or services, by all means do it. For those without the financial resources, they'll just have to wait out till a blogger discovers them.
What's interesting is how these companies can spend thousands of dollars without measuring how effective is this tactic. It's tactic and not strategy because this free stuff can be easily copied by any competitors with the money to spend.
The most puzzling question is why these companies are spending money in the hope of gaining exposure which may or may not attract customers. Would it be better for the to focus on their existing customers already buying from them?
"The only conditions under which experience is the best teacher are the ones in which no change takes place."
Do you like going for Sunday Brunch?
Two months ago, I visited a hotel's restaurant for its Sunday Brunch.
This was the first time I'm dining there as it is not one of those famous and favorite places well-known for Sunday Brunch.
The price is reasonable for what they serve. The Brunch is from 11:30am to 3pm, one hour longer than most restaurants. That means I can enjoy my meal slowly without feeling rushed.
As they've just started this promotion, there weren't many guests. The restaurant is just next to the pool and over the other side, the concrete jungle is concealed by lush greenery.
Staff were attentive and friendly. The restaurant manager was mingling and chatting with guests and playing with the kids. The atmosphere was relaxing and homely.
However, I noted that there were some overlapping of food items. There were too many meat items. Some all-time favorite breakfast dishes such as scrambled egg and pancake were missing. There were also items that guests hardly touch at all.
"Would I go back again for the brunch?" I thought to myself.
Well, if they tweak the menu to have more varieties of dishes, perhaps I would give them a chance. For example, substituting one kind of fish to scrambled egg, removing the unpopular cold dessert and adding a pancake or waffle item. Of course, they have to take into consideration the costs to ensure they still make a profit. But if you look at it, some of the suggestions actually reduces the cost by swtiching from fish to egg.
To elevate the dining experience, they could have a live station. They could have one that prepares scrambled egg, poached egg and sunny side up. Or a pancake and waffle station where these items are served hot and fresh.
With good intention, I sent an email to the manager offering some of these suggestions.
He replied promptly and informed me that they were in the midst of revamping the menu and will let me know once it's changed.
I thank him for that and said I look forward to hearing from him again.
Two weeks ago, I went back for their Sunday Brunch.
Not because the manager informed me that the menu has been changed.
The manager has forgotten what he promised.
This time round, there were some new dishes like scrambled egg and sunny side up added as what I've suggested.
There were also areas that they could have do better.
But I'm not sure if I'm going to write to the manager again.
Sometimes, it's easy to say I will keep you updated, I will call you, I will email you.
P.S. I didn't write back to the manager for the update for an obvious reason.
Two partners in a business attended a seminar on human resource.
Light refreshments were served to allow attendees to network at the end of the talk.
Before the two of them could settle down, a man approached them.
He has a stack of name cards on his hand. After introducing himself and shaking hand with the two of them, the man handed them his name card.
"Do you have a name card?" the man asked.
"Sorry but we've ran out of name card," the two of them answered in unison.
"What business are you in?" the man asked.
"We are in consultancy for businesses in the area of marketing," one of them replied.
"So you are here to find out about human resources?" the man asked.
"We are here to help see if there's any areas that are relevant to our clients," the same man exclaimed.
The man went on to talk about his company and services they offer.
After the conversation, the man went on to another attendee doing exactly the same.
Is this the way how you network?
A lady has a temporary job at a public library.
Her work starts at 10am, which is the same time the library opens to the public.
Every day, she arrives slightly after 9:25am. As she was not issued any security pass, she will stand outside the door and wait for one of the staff inside to open the door for her.
When a staff does not see her, she will just wait till 10am when the library opens.
Even when she sees a staff inside, she does not knock on the door to get the staff attention and open the door for her. She will just wait till someone sees her and comes open the door.
Sometimes, when staff from other departments or cleaner with access pass enters the library, she didn't make use of the opportunity to go in as well. She will just obediently stand outside and wait for the staff inside to let her in. And she will not ask the security guard for help to let her enter the library with his access card.
There are so many ways she could have got into the library. Why did she choose to wait till someone sees her? Is she afraid? Of what? Is she introvert? Was she instructed to do so?
This is the season of durian.
A lady went on a durian buying trip to a durian farm in Malaysia with her friends over one weekend, that they have been patronizing for the last few years.
Mao Shan Wang (MSW), the most famous and popular breed, was 30 Ringgit per kilogram. Another two breeds were selling at 20 and 10 Ringgit per kilogram respectively, according to the farm owner.
The few of them started trying one of each of the different breeds to see if the MSW tasted really good and which taste better before deciding which to buy.
Soon, busloads of Singaporean tourists started arriving at the farm.
On seeing the overwhelming number of potential customers, the owner's wife announced price increases for the durians. The 10 Ringgit for one kilogram is now 15 Ringgit per kilogram and so on.
On hearing this, the lady and her friends were taken aback.
"Hi Miss, I thought your dad said this is 10 Ringgit per kilogram?" she asked the owner's daughter while pointing to the durians.
"Oh, don't worry. It's still 10 Ringgit." the daughter replied.
After they were done with their purchases and got onto the car, they questioned the owner's wife integrity.
"How could she just increase the price because she saw there were a lot of customers coming?" one exclaimed.
"She is going to chase away a lot of her regular customers doing this. Next time, no one is going to buy from her. Hers is not the only durian farm here." said another.
A young man was queuing with his elder sister at a supermarket express cashier counter.
Next to the cashier are four self check out counters.
He looked around to see if there's a shorter queue and noticed that there were queues at all the counters with cashiers and none at the self check out counters.
While waiting for their turn, he noticed a lady holding a full stack of things with both her hands and balancing them against her body and her chin.
He walked to the front, took a basket and walked towards her.
"Here, use this," he said.
The lady was surprised by the kind gesture and said, "Thanks!"
He held on to the basket while she unloaded the food stuff onto the basket.
He walked back to join his sister in the queue. When he turned back, he noticed the lady was pregnant.
Most customers and staff in the supermarket were probably too busy with their own stuff to notice it. Or did they notice it but chose not to do anything?
We need them.
We want them.
We love them.
We cannot live without them.