Blog moving to www.standingsushibar.com/blog

Dear lovely followers of this blog.  We are moving!  After two years of utilizing the wordpress.com hosting services, I’ve decided to move the blog to our own domain. Please update your links and feeds to our new blog located at http://www.standingsushibar.com/blog.

Thank you for staying with us!  The sushi adventure continues and is on the cusp of getting a lot bigger.

November 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Kids these days!

I must be getting old.  I want to go on a rant about kids these days.  Specifically 15 year olds.

If you ask any F&B person they’ll tell you that the manpower situation in Singapore is dire.  Citizens and PRs simply aren’t applying for the jobs.

I’ve been short-staffed on service crew for what seems like forever, so I decided to offer a high hourly wage for starting service crew members to see if more people would apply.  (7 SGD versus what seems to be an industry norm of 5.50 – 6.00 SGD).

Received 4 applicants who are Singapore citizens.  I suppose the timing of school holidays played a part – these were all 15 year olds applying.  Of course this is 4 more citizen applicants than my series of ads that ran on all the major job portals, so I was feeling happy.

I hired all 4.  3 of them lasted 1 day or less.  1 is still working at the restaurant (thank goodness).

Kid #1 and #2:  They were friends so applied together.  45 minutes late to the interview and extremely rude on the phone when they called me to find out how to get to the restaurant.  I figured I would give them a chance though.

First day of work – when asked to do anything, kid #1 would respond with “Why?” and ask why the other staff member (who was doing something else) couldn’t do it.  Horribly bad attitude, no initiative, and simply rude.  So I fired her.

Kid #2, second day of work. 1 hour into the shift says, "I think I’m sick, I’m going to leave.”  Let’s just say I was highly skeptical that she was actually sick.  So I fired her.

Kid #3: She applied via e-mail and on Wednesday afternoon we confirmed she would start on Friday morning.  Friday morning came, and she didn’t show up.  I wrote her and asked what happened and have not received a response.

The quest for staff continues.

November 8, 2011 at 9:11 am 4 comments

October 29 Dinner

Hi all, Standing Sushi Bar at 8 Queen Street will be hosting a private birthday party tonight during dinner, so we will be closed to the general public.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused!  We will be back to regular operating hours tomorrow.  Have a good weekend!

October 29, 2011 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

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 4 comments

National Environmental Agency responsiveness

An amusing thing just happened – a NEA officer came to our restaurant because someone reported we had cats in the restaurant.  This was based on the previous blog entry which I had also posted on Facebook.

Two items I note from this:

1) I thought it was obvious that I was just being playful by posting these two cats up. They’re my cats living at home.  In my kitchen.  Not in the restaurant.  I do not seriously have these cats trying out our fish before we serve the fish to customers. But hey, aren’t they cute cats? Smile

2) On the positive side, I think it’s cool that the National Environmental Agency is so responsive.  They received a complaint and followed up within 4 days (I posted it on October 13 so not sure when they actually received the complaint) by sending an inspector to the restaurant.  That should make us all feel more secure about food safety and hygiene in Singapore. 

October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

Quality Control Team

Terror and Sumo

Meet the quality control team from Standing Sushi Bar. Terror and Sumo declare the fish A-OK! Currently perched on one of our sushi cases in storage.

October 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm 1 comment

Hiring: Sushi Chefs, Kitchen Staff, and Service Crew

I should just change the title to be “Hiring: all positions!”

Standing Sushi Bar is looking for more staff!  As many of you know the F&B labor market is very tight, so as an incentive to refer / recommend people, we are offering a 100 SGD referral amount to anyone that introduces us to a new staff member (who works with us for at least 3 months).

We’re looking primarily for full-time positions but am open to receiving people interested in part-time positions as well.

Must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.  I would love to open the positions to everyone but since I’m at my quota level I can not hire any foreigners. (I know this is not going to stop foreigners from applying, but hey, at least I’m open about it).

Service Crew: We are looking for people of every experience level including a manager.  Please note that it is a requirement to speak English.

Kitchen Staff: Inexperienced to mid-level experience.

Sushi Chef: Senior-level to junior level (to be trained up – but have at least 2 years experience)

Please send CVs to eat@standingsushibar.com

September 14, 2011 at 11:09 am 9 comments

So what happens when you exceed your quota?

Well, talk about pressure.  I received a very unpleasant letter from the Ministry of Manpower recently. 

As you may know, there is a quota for how many Singapore citizens or permanent residents you need to employ before you can hire a foreign worker.  For ease of understanding, let’s just say you need 1 Singapore citizen / PR for 1 foreign worker.

I’ve had the same number of Singapore citizen / PR workers as I’ve had foreign workers so I have been able to meet my quota.

In the past 3 months we have had staff insubordination issues which led to the dismissal of two Singapore citizen / PR workers.  I became 2 foreign workers over the quota.

This left us short-staffed, so I immediately put job ads out (JobsDB, Gumtree.sg, Straits Times Classifieds (expensive!!)). In these ads I state that we are only hiring Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

Few applied; essentially the ones that did I immediately hired.  Then they flaked out (see previous entry about what to expect when staffing a restaurant).  Of course daily I receive numerous applications from foreigners whom I can’t hire because I have no quota.

Being short-staffed sucks – the workers who are there end up working long hours and getting stressed out, preparing the food is slower, servicing the tables is slower, and generally the customer experience is affected.

Then I get this letter, which really felt as if I was getting kicked while already on the ground.  The letter alerted me that I was 2 foreigners over my quota and that if I didn’t fix this within two weeks then the Ministry of Manpower would cut two of my foreign staff and ban me from hiring foreigners for 6 months.

Are. You. Serious.

Thankfully during this period I hired 3 more Singapore citizens / PRs (hopefully they stay for awhile!  I found them not through the job ads but friends of existing staff) so these measures won’t take effect, but had I not, I (and the business) would basically be screwed.

A small business that is short-staffed and desperately trying to hire… is now told that they will lose *more* of their staff and won’t be able to hire the folks that apply (foreigners) for 6 months?!?  Then what happens… the existing staff burn out and quit or you go broke from paying a ton of overtime or you think about opening less days of the week and incur the wrath of the landlord since it states in the lease how long you’re supposed to be open.

Suggested alternatives:

– Do not *ever* have the government come in and fire staff.  Let the existing staff remain until their work permit is up for renewal.  If the quota is not met then, the government can decline renewing the permit.

– Fine the company a reasonable amount.  I understand the pressure for having a quota (a little pointless in the service sector, to be honest), but axing staff due to quota issues is only going to kill a small business.  Paying a fine is also crippling but at least the business can remain operational.

September 1, 2011 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Night Festival 2011

Voyage Night Festival 2011 is taking place this weekend in the Bras Basah area. It’s a collection of exhibits, performances, and installations being held on the museum grounds as well as the SMU campus.  I believe admission to the museums (SAM at 8Q, Singapore Art Museum, National Museum, Peranakan Museum) are free during this period.

Standing Sushi Bar at 8QSAM will also be open until midnight on August 26 and 27 as well as September 2 and 3.  Come get a little culture!

August 26, 2011 at 7:16 am 4 comments

Hiring staff? Get ready for this…

For the umpteenth time a new (or not even officially joined) staff member has left us in a lurch.

For anyone new to F&B and hiring staff, get ready for the following situations… unfortunately these are the norm rather than the exception:

– Person accepts the job offer and sets a start date.  At some point they decide they don’t want the job anymore.  They won’t tell you until you call them on their scheduled first day of work and they say, “Oh, I decided I didn’t want the job and that I would stay at my old place.”  Thanks, I could have hired someone else in that month I waited for you to join.

– Schedule interview.  Don’t show up for the interview.

– First day of work.  Call in the morning and say they’re taking unscheduled leave and they’ll start the next day.  Do the same thing the following day.

– Work 1 day and then quit (and by quit I mean just not showing up or answering their phone again since they don’t want to say they’re quitting).

– Express dismay at adhering to strict work times.  Guess what, if you’re part of the kitchen team and you stroll in at 2 PM when you were supposed to be there at 10:30 AM it means all our customers have finished lunch already!

– Quit because of above mentioned working hours.

Ah, when I think about these things it makes me antsy so I shall end this blog entry.

August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm 2 comments

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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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