The whole running of a restaurant is like a well-choreographed dance. It is a symphony of movement and gestures between the kitchen, staff and customers: attending to customers, taking orders, plating out dishes and waves of hands for service requests.
We believe that we are nothing without our dedicated staff that put in countless hours to bring the best experience possible to our customers. Most people focus on the chef when we talk about a restaurant, but if you think about it, our front of house staff (i.e. service staff) are just as important. To us, service staff are essentially the restaurant’s brand ambassadors since they are most likely the customer’s first point of contact; they show you to your table, give you the menu and proceed to paint a wonderful picture of the menu to make the dishes come alive that will hopefully make you say, “I’ll take one of everything! When can we eat?” If the service is terrible from the onset, your food will most likely not taste as good.
Say hello to Sham, our General Manager at Plentyfull who makes it all happen on the ground, mediating between the kitchen and customer. Being always on his feet, we grabbed him during his down time to help us answer some questions about himself and his role.
- Who is Sham?
A reformed rebel who beneath it all is a loyal, protective and selfless man towards my loved ones. Family to me is number one, always. I am a proud son, brother and uncle.
- What values do you hold close to your heart?
Integrity, honesty and loyalty.
- How did you get into the hospitality business?
I started in the F&B industry as a part-time banquet server at the age of 15 and fell in love with the industry. My late brother-in-law was my first inspiration!
Against my parents’ wishes, I gave up my studies to work in the industry and continued to do so after National Service. Realising the fact that I was not educationally equipped, I had to prove myself to the team by working even harder than the rest. In your job, you have to take responsibility and pride in everything that you do, and also be accountable. With dedication and hard work, I am blessed to be able to be where I am today.
However, as my mama always said, never forget your roots and always keep your feet firmly on the ground!
- Of all industries, why F&B?
I love this industry because I get to meet and interact with new people every single day. People come from all walks of life. On top of that, there is never an end to learning about food & beverage. There is always something new to learn and create. The long hours at work become fruitful, and handling difficult customers is just part of our many responsibilities in this industry.
- What does service mean to you?
Service means to smile and be friendly. Great service should create a pleasant, warm and relaxed experience.
- What are some of the challenges and joy being in this industry? How do you overcome the bad days?
As F&B is an industry that never stops growing and expanding, one of the challenges is definitely to keep up with the industry itself.
The other challenge is of course meeting the customers’ needs and demands. We can’t possibly please everyone, but I personally believe that if we do things with our heart and passion, nothing is impossible.
Personally for me, I find great joy or sense of achievement when I can turn an angry customer into a happy one!
Serve with heart, passion and sincerity.
I overcome bad days by firstly making sure my team is healthy. When bad days do come, we can weather the storm together as a team.
- How do you inspire your staff?
Work with them. Show them why things are done in a certain way and that we execute service with a purpose or intention. Take time to speak to them (be it work or personal) and get to know them. Make them feel important to the team and to the company. Take time to explain to them when things don’t go right. Congratulate them on a job well done. A thank you goes a long way….
- Any advice for people wanting to get into hospitality?
F&B is an industry that will never die! Be passionate and patient at the same time. Work life balance is always a challenge in this industry but it is not impossible. As long as everyone (in the team) shares the same passion, commit the same way, and have the same belief for the industry and for the company that we are working for/with, nothing is impossible!
Champions are not born but created.
- Anything you would like to tell customers?
Please be nice and more patient with us! We are trying our very best!
- Why Plentyfull?
Plentyfull is young, energetic, and vibrant. A place that welcomes and encourages creativity.
- What is your dream?
To be a certified F&B trainer!
Thank you Sham for your passion and dedication. Even when you have bad days, we never see you upset and you always manage to look on the bright side and soldier on.
The next time you’re at Plentyfull and service is great; please take the time to let the service team know. It really makes their day and reinforces why they picked this industry in the first place. At the end of the day, we are all just looking to connect with people.