Archive for June, 2009
Courtesy of O-No.com and @kimberlym
Poor little tako (octopus).
Every company in Singapore needs to register and pay their local employees CPF (Central Provident Fund). CPF is basically a retirement fund, similar to 401K in the United States. The company deducts some of your salary and puts it in your CPF account, the company contributes a percentage on top of that, and the government chips in with some more funds. Years later, you’ll either use some of that money for a down-payment on an HDB flat or you’ll die never getting to enjoy this pile of cash that is building up in an account you can’t touch.
They omitted information in the registration process. Below is my e-mail asking for clarification:
I am trying to register my company for “New Employer’s First CPF Contribution.” (Form CPF/1). It is UEN / ACRA Registration Number: <UEN>
On form CPF/1, it mentions this: “You are strongly encouraged to sign up for CPF e-Submission to make your first CPF payment. To do so, please submit Form CPF/1 with the CPF e-Submission Registration form and the Application for Interbank GIRO form at least 7 weeks before the due date of your first CPF payment.”
In order to receive a CPF Submission Code, I need to submit form CPF/1 first, correct? But as mentioned above it says I should submit Form CPF/1 with the CPF e-Submission Registration form and the Application for Interbank GIRO. However both those forms require a CPF Submission code.
Can I just send in the forms without the CPF Submission code and someone will fill those in upon assignation of the code?
The answer (I ended up calling them) is: Leave the submission code blank on the GIRO form and in the e-Submission Registration form. They will fill in the CPF Submission code for you when issued.
An interview for a sushi chef.
5.4 kg of salmon
I don’t know which looks better. The chef or that marvelous pink slab of salmon.
Paperwork and administrative tasks chip away at the joy of running a business.
Who knew printers could cause such distress? Working for a tech company, I’ve become accustomed to doing everything electronically – e-mail communications, Word documents edited on the PC, pictures shared over the internet, etc.
Dipping my toes into the world of F&B, contractors, shopping mall landlords, etc. I realize how paper-based the world still is.
Newsflash for me – people still use fax machines.
I was screaming at my printer this morning. An old Epson Stylus Photo RX510. I rarely use it; maybe once every 6 months? It takes 6 ink cartridges – black ink, cyan, and a smattering of other colors. All I wanted to do was print the draft layout for my shop. In black. Who needs color? I stuck in a black ink cartridge and the printer refused to print. It requires all the color cartridges to be available even if one wants to print in gray-scale.
After trying every possible option, I threw in the towel and headed to Sim Lim Square to buy color ink. 90 Singapore dollars. COME ON!!! For a few dollars more I can get a new printer.
Those printer companies sure do have a profitable business model.
I can’t wait for when we are a paperless society (aside from books and letters from friends).
Second gripe… trying to update the company shareholder information so that it indicates how many shares each partner has.
“Return of Allotment of Shares” – why must they stick the word ‘return’ in front of ‘allotment of shares?’ Wouldn’t it be easier to just call it “Allotment of Shares"?”
I shall save my complaint regarding Singapore companies being required to have a minimum of 75% local employees for another time.
Happy Saturday night! The world will look better through my soon-to-be sake-tinted vision.
A return of sushi fabric:
See more at www.pinktentacle.com
And thank you @wurh for finding these!
Sleek & chic!
To follow-up on the previous post about standing sushi bars, here is video (courtesy of gabuchan) of a standing sushi bar located in Shinjuku. This is the core concept that I’m trying to bring here.
I met up with an old friend who was one of the first I told about my standing sushi bar idea. I hadn’t seen him in months so filled him in on the progress. We got into a discussion about focus and ensuring the core concept is executed well.
Photo courtesy of YesICanUseChopsticks.com
The Standing Sushi Bar idea (for Singapore) started out as taking the Japanese concept and plopping it directly into Raffles Place. High-quality nigiri sushi served on bamboo leaves. Raw fish on rice accompanied by beer or tea. Affordable price. No seats. That’s it. No California rolls, tuna rolls, or maki of any sort. Want a Coke? Go elsewhere!
I thought about whether the Singapore market would be receptive to a place with a limited menu. While sushi is extremely popular here, I would be cutting off the sizeable crowd that enjoys only the cooked or vegetarian sushi (inari, tamago, California roll, etc.).
Standing Sushi Bar is a sushi restaurant, but I’m keen on offering food that is healthy. Scouting around Raffles Place, the health-oriented and weight-conscious lunch crowd seems to appreciate salads rather than rice dishes.
So I expanded the menu to include salads and soba noodles with sashimi.
Photo courtesy of taste-buzz.com – note this is just an example of what I”ll offer
I’m confident that the lunch crowd will stand, eat, and enjoy. My whole business model is based around the few hours the thousands of Raffles Place employees use for lunch.
But what was the Standing Sushi Bar going to do outside of lunch? I have to admit, rent is HIGH at OUB Centre. This is a business, it’s important to increase revenue (note – I don’t use the word maximize because if the focus fell to squeezing every cent possible out of the restaurant, the spirit of this venture would be gone and customers would feel that).
I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with the idea of “standing and eating.” I like it. It’s comfortable. People ask why I don’t put chairs at the bar. I don’t want chairs there. I’ve been sitting in the office all morning, I don’t want to sit during lunch. If I stand and eat, I can lean, I can shuffle my feet, I can turn left or right, I can slouch, I can straighten my back, I can rest on one arm, I can fidget and get out of my sedentary life. Standing burns more calories.
I thought about what would attract a dinner crowd. Are they willing to stand? Do they want to drink alcohol? Would they prefer some cooked food?
Ready for my solution? Transform! That’s right, the idea is for Standing Sushi Bar to shapeshift in the afternoon. Half the sushi bar will convert into tables, chairs will appear, and we will have table service. To remain true to the name, there will still be a portion of the restaurant that is a standing sushi bar during dinner. At night we will expand the menu to include cooked items and offer a selection of beer and sake.
(Another consideration dealt with staff development – while some chefs pursue sushi as an art form and live / breathe sushi 24 hours a day, the majority of local chefs want diversity. By offering a full dinner service, the chefs can continue learning, creating new recipes, and growing in their career).
Back to my friend who I met with today. Scope creep. He said it was getting out of control and that I was trying to expand the original concept too much. He might be right.
And I haven’t even mentioned these yet:
Good times. It’s time to take the sushi knife to some of these plans.
How exciting! It’s a silly thing to get in a tizzy about, but the first “public” (aside from this blog) exposure of Standing Sushi Bar has been released. The OUB Centre Great Singapore Sale 2009 brochure features new shops opening.
I can see it now.
Husband: “I’m hungry. Let’s eat sushi!”
Wife: “In a bit dear. First I want to check out Honey World. Our bee propolis needs filling.” (Serious question – what is a bee propolis? And I bet they have the market for Top Quality Bee Products cornered in Singapore).
Husband: “Ok, whatever you say. As long as we get to eat at Standing Sushi Bar afterwards. Do you think they have chairs?”
OUB Centre gave me a 30 word limit to describe the restaurant. I decided to match the description with the name (Standing Sushi Bar). Straightforward, jam-it-home, direct message:
“Stand, order sushi, and eat! Healthy, fresh, and high-quality sushi hand-made in front of you. Fish is flown in everyday and prepared by our master sushi chef Ryuji Kawasaki.”