Posts tagged ‘Standing Sushi Bar’

Still hiring: Service Crew and Sushi Chefs

In the never-ending quest for staff, Standing Sushi Bar is looking for sushi chefs and service staff (waiter / waitress).

Ideally we will find full-time candidates, but if you know anyone interested in part-time, we are hiring for our lunch shifts (generally 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM).  Part-time pay is 7 SGD an hour for the service crew.

Full-time pay is dependent on experience.

Hiring Singapore citizens or permanent residents only

October 27, 2011 at 10:14 am 1 comment

Join our mailing list!

You know how there is something that you know you should do but you just never get around to doing it?  For me, creating a mailing list is one of those things.

With a location in Raffles Place, there’s high foot traffic and a strong likelihood of people dropping their name card into a fishbowl for me to add to the list.

With a mailing list I can contact interested diners directly and not rely on the whims of the Facebook notification system to provide updates.

But for whatever reason, I never got around to creating a mailing list.

Until now!

So please do sign up to receive updates about special offers, promotions, events and other related information.  If you have suggestions on what else you’d like to see, let me know!

Subscribe to The Sushi Times now!

August 8, 2011 at 6:30 am 1 comment

American Sushi

I travel to the US regularly, mainly to Seattle, Orlando, and New York, and I make it a point to see what the various Japanese restaurants on this side of the ocean are like.  You never know where your next good idea might come from!  This week I’ve been in both New York and Orlando and have eaten at three sushi bars.

One observation is that the menus here are loaded with all kinds of fusion sushi rolls and significantly less traditional nigiri.  I have a feeling that the diners are primarily ordering these rolls versus the straightforward nigiri or sashimi.  I feel that’s the case as you can tell the fish quality is not good; it’s mushy and in the thawing process (frozen for a long time) the water has permeated the fish. So it ends up with a limp feel and bland taste.  Which is unfortunate for the traditional sushi lover but if the majority of customers are ordering fusion sushi, then I can see why the restaurant would want to save money and invest in the rolls.  Coated with sauce, deep fried, and full of garnish means that the fish taste is lost amongst all the ingredients.

Fusion sushi roll

Don’t get me wrong, I think fusion sushi rolls are fun and have been thinking about adding some to our menu.  Maybe have an experimental period where people can send in suggestions.

There aren’t many Japanese restaurants in Singapore that offer up fusion sushi.  The two that leap to mind would be Kinki and Sun and Moon.  Any others?

July 29, 2011 at 6:37 am 3 comments

Hiring sushi chefs and bar staff

Hi all, Standing Sushi Bar is looking for sushi chefs and bar staff.

Sushi Chef: Minimum 1 year of experience, adaptable, and looking to learn from experienced chefs.  Need to be able to work well under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.  Must speak English.

Bar staff: Articulate, sociable, and trustworthy.  Willing to work late (midnight+). No previous experience necessary.  Must be fluent in English.

Salaries are dependent on experience

If interested please send your CV to eat@standingsushibar.com

Please note these positions are open only to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.  We don’t have quota for work permit / s pass at the moment.

July 12, 2011 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Staff hiring woes

Looks like the difficulty in finding, hiring, and retaining service staff is not unique to Singapore. Bruce Buschel feels it’s the hardest part of running a restaurant.

Now I understand what it means to be part of a human resources team.

May 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

May I rely on these customers…

As a lighter moment to the previous entry, a friend just sent me this image from Postsecret.

March 21, 2011 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

How a small Singapore business is impacted by what’s happening in Japan

Let me start by saying that what happened / is happening in Japan is a tragedy. The impact outside of Japan is never going to compare what the people are going through there.  We all understand that and hopefully are helping in any way that we can.

This entry is about how what’s happening in Japan has affected my local Singapore restaurant.

Customers are worried about food from Japan. There is a fear that food has been exposed to the radiation that is leaking from the Fukushima reactors. Regardless whether a restaurant is actually getting its food from Japan, the “mass” are lumping anything associated with Japanese food as potentially dangerous.

Our sales have dropped by half.  From what I’ve heard, many Japanese restaurants are experiencing the same.  Despite daily checks by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore and the minimized usage of food from Japan, people are still scared.  I can kind of understand it.

These are some of the thoughts I’ve had the past week:

  • Food supply. We used to get a lot of our fish and ingredients from Japan. Now we’re faced with a situation where people don’t want to eat food from Japan. Do I immediately stop serving food from there?  Even though it’s still deemed safe?
    • What I’ve decided – I was very worried about screwing over our suppliers who are providing food from Japan; we’ve been buying things from them for over a year and I’m sure they’re just as worried as I am about the situation. However this is a business and I can’t keep buying ingredients that no one will want to eat.  Instead, we contacted the suppliers to see what foodstuffs they had on hand which originated before the quake. For the items that we could stockpile (i.e. freeze and keep), we bought as much as possible. It’s a small gesture but hopefully it helps the suppliers have a little breathing room as they figure out what to do next.
    • For everything we can’t stockpile, we have switched to non-Japan items.
  • Communication – I feel weird about broadcasting “No food from Japan served here!”  I feel that’s simply feeding the irrational fear which is preventing people from eating at Japanese restaurants.  At the same time, I recognize that however irrational a fear may be, if a large amount of the population is feeling it, I better address it.  This blog entry is kind of an attempt at that.  A weak one, admittedly.
  • Former staff – Kawa-san and some close friends of mine that have helped with the sushi bar are living in Japan. We (here in S’pore) were all worried about how they were coping. It was also interesting and really nice to see customers ask us about how they were doing.
  • Fundraising for Japan – I’m thinking of how SSB can do more. I think it’s so, so, so good of restaurants such as Inagiku, Kuriya, and others pledging to donate part of their sales towards helping Japan. I wish I could do the same with SSB but fact-of-the-matter is we’re just not in a financial position where we can do it. I am brainstorming if we can do a special event to help raise money rather than a straight percentage of sales. That might be more feasible. In the meanwhile we have collection tins from the Japanese Association (which will be donated to the Red Cross) at each of our outlets.  FYI here is a list of organizations that one can contribute to towards helping Japan.
  • Staffing – Finally last month we hired enough people to be at full strength for each restaurant. Yet now the restaurants are much less busy. I guess this is a good time for a lot of the staff to finally take some days off – when we were short-handed many of them were working crazy hours.
  • Future – The tragedy in Japan is going to have long-term impact. Supplier prices are going to go up, the amount of customers dining may drop, and who knows what other news might come out of Japan.

March 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm Leave a comment

Action items

During this trip away, there was a lot of time to think about what could be done to improve the sushi bar. 40 hours of sitting still on an airplane forces the brain to wander.

Quick list of what I will be working on:

  • Loyalty cards – this has always been on the “to-do” list, but I originally wanted to do something much greater.  Some type of loyalty program that analyzes what each customer is ordering and personalizes the benefits that they would get from repeated visits. Alas this would have involved a complicated computer system so it will have to go on the back burner for now.  Instead I should just do a straightforward card with rewards every few steps of the way.
  • Set Menus – When I spoke at Barcamp.sg last year, one of the points I made was that customers are “lazy.” (I say this with love!) They get overwhelmed with the number of choices on the menu.  What I plan to do is create multi-course set menus that are separate from our main menu listing.  Hopefully that eases the burden of choice.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Well, I’ve been working on this already. If you type in “sushi singapore” or “singapore sushi” we show up on the first page in Google. Only the second page on Bing (come on Microsoft!!). This is important as it’s one of the top ways people will discover the restaurant.
  • Deeper cost analysis – I need to get a more accurate view of how much each item we sell costs. Everything is fluctuating and with the crisis in Japan I’m sure our suppliers will be increasing their prices.  With deeper analysis I can see which items I can absorb the increase on and which ones will unfortunately have to be increased.
  • Marketing – Ultimately I need to get people into the restaurants.  I feel we have a good base of regulars but I need to figure out how to reach all the folks in Singapore that haven’t tried us out yet.  I do not believe the group-purchasing deals are the solution.
    I also need to get over this jet lag and sleep properly.

March 16, 2011 at 7:33 am 2 comments

Osaka

I’ve been in Japan this week – Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. I forget how many times I have come to Japan, so I guess it’s the “umpteenth” time I’ve been here, but I always have a great time snacking through the streets and just wandering the cities.

While I have been to Tokyo and Kyoto before, it is my first trip to Osaka. It’s known as the food capital of Japan – there is an Osakan saying “kuidaore” meaning “eat yourself into ruin.” I have certainly been doing that!

Priority one was to try battera sushi.


Photo credit to Michael Carian

It’s basically a filet of fish placed into a box, filled with vinegared sushi rice, and then a strip of kelp at the top. Then a lid is placed on top and pressed down. Voila, boxed sushi! I’ve only had a couple pieces so far but I find it tasty with the main difference being a “denser” feeling while eating the rice.

It’s amazing the variety of food concepts they have in Japan.  Hopefully some of them will find their way to Singapore.

Time to head out – today’s itinerary is to take the train to Kobe (only 30 minutes from Osaka), look around a bit and then eat some Kobe beef.

A little sad that tomorrow I have to get on a plane to Seattle. 

Until next time, Japan…

February 24, 2011 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Facebook Ad

I was thinking about growing the number of fans on the Standing Sushi Bar Facebook page. There were a few campaigns in my head, some ideas to encourage folks to share the Facebook page with their friends… but then I decided to try out a low-effort way first: pay for a Facebook ad.

I had done this before with what I considered reasonable success. Ran a Facebook ad for a period of 3 weeks which resulted in the fan page growing from around 400 fans to 1,100. I was very targeted with the keywords and demographics so didn’t reach out to many people (whether this is good or bad I have not decided yet). That ad was more than a year ago.

This time the Facebook fan page had 1,457 fans.  In a 48 hour span the ad has resulted in 78 new fans, averaging a cost per click of 20 cents (USD) and cost per new fan of 49 cents (USD). Seems a little high – I suppose that’s partly from being less stringent with keywords so that I catch a broader market which may result in more people clicking the ad but not “liking” the page.

I’m curious what running an ad on one of the major search engines would be like.

In other news, I’m drinking a whisky.

January 21, 2011 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

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Standing Sushi Bar

Join us at our branches in Singapore's fast-paced Raffles Place business district or unwind in our flagship branch located in the Bras Basah Arts & Historic neighborhood. High-quality, healthy, affordable dining. Open at Marina Bay Link Mall and 8 Queen Street!


eat@standingsushibar.com

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