“He seeks an entry level job to get experience,
but he can’t get an entry level job without experience.”
College Humor tackles young adults looking to move into the workforce.
(*The end is a little NSFW)
but he can’t get an entry level job without experience.”
College Humor tackles young adults looking to move into the workforce.
(*The end is a little NSFW)
Today marks two weeks of my internship at PayrollHero. To celebrate my two-week-erversary, I went out to do a little survey. The aim was to understand what systems businesses have set up to manage scheduling, measure attendance and calculate payrolls.
I surveyed 10 cafés in the Central Business District in Singapore to find out how they schedule workers in their outlets. Some of the outlets I visited were Cedele, Starbucks, Joe & Dough and Costa Coffee. They all had similar systems set up to schedule workers, with a few interesting anomalies:
With that simple survey, it was evident that cafés in Singapore use conventional ways to schedule shifts. While workers rarely drop shifts, outlet managers need to be on standby to call nearby outlets for substitutes immediately.
Using Data Analytics to Improve Productivity
When the weather is bad, or there is an MRT breakdown, the situation is worse because all outlets in the same region are affected equally. While an outlet manager is calling multiple outlets for substitutes, customers are walking in and waiting for service before walking out, disappointed and unhappy. That directly affects the bottom line. Managers should be able to access an online database and use data analytics to see which outlet is on top of things in real time in order to call that outlet directly and ask for a substitute.
The top priority for every outlet manager is to make sure the day runs smoothly. It becomes much harder when the manager is not equipped with the right data to plan ahead of time. In a country like Singapore that has high internet penetration rates and high cell phone penetration rates, installing an application that stores this data in the cloud is easy and inevitable. If managers had access to this data, it would also be a way to motivate workers to be regular in order to move higher up in the rankings among outlets.
The systems put in place for measuring hours worked per employee in order to calculate payrolls should also be revamped. It should not take a manager 2 or 3 days to calculate payrolls when she has a million other things to look after. What’s more, the hassle of buddy punching, human errors and shifts in multiple locations add to complications for the manager. More errors equal higher costs. Higher costs equal lower profits. The bottom line is affected by inefficiencies that can be wiped out by a one-time change in the basic infrastructure.
Finally, the idea behind having an app that does all of the above is predicated on increasing productivity: be it that of your rank and file workers or your manager. Higher productivity leads to a better workplace environment and happier people, which further leads to higher productivity. That is a virtuous cycle, if ever I saw one. In effect: optimizing work productivity with happiness.
Now, where have I heard that before…
Life on the Line is a book written by Grant Achatz, owner and chef of the best restaurant in the world: Alinea. The book is about how Grant rose through the ranks to finally become an executive chef and a pioneer in molecular gastronomy. I loved the book. Not only was it a remarkable story about perseverance, it gave a glimpse of what it means to work in a restaurant.
While reading the book, you get an idea of what happens behind the scenes. Like every other restaurant, Alinea has the regular mix of members on the team: a general manager, restaurant manager, executive chef, sous chef, commis, sommelier, the captain waiter, regular waiters, bartender. The whole orchestra.
Most of this was new to me. My knowledge on restaurants went as far as:
And that’s about it.
So a breakdown on how restaurants work from a management perspective was an eye-opener to say the least. Naturally, restaurants around the world have the same structure. Singapore is no different. Given below is a little summary of the standard jobs in any restaurant. Not all restaurants have all the components. Most hiring admins in restaurants go by this convention:
General Manager: The CEO of the restaurant. She makes sure things run smoothly. She oversees operations, makes sure supplies arrive on time and hiring and firing activities run smoothly. She tries to cut costs and improve sales too.
Restaurant Manager: He makes sure that training of new employees runs smoothly. He deals with customers, allocates manpower and deals with the maintenance of the place.
Maître d’: She manages the front of house operations. By maintaining the customer database, the maître d’ makes bookings. She also welcomes customers as they enter the restaurant.
Executive chef: The executive chef creates new dishes and plans the menu for every outlet. He looks after the overall direction of the restaurant or outlet.
Head Chef (chef de cuisine): The head chef is the CEO of the kitchen. She allocates duties and ensures there are supplies. She manages daily operations in the kitchen.
Sous Chef: The second in command. He works under the head chef and makes sure things run smoothly in case the head chef is not around. He also ensures the quality of supplies coming in.
Chef de Partie: This is a chef who is in charge of a particular section: grill, pastry, whatever was allocated to her. She makes sure the cooks under him deliver what is required from the section.
Sommelier: Everyone loves the wine guy. He is an expert on wine and food pairing. He maintains the inventory, trains the staff on what wines to suggest and teaches them the convention on serving wine.
Head Waiter: A head waiter is in charge of other waiters/waitresses. She trains them. She also waits on tables and suggests dishes and wine pairings.
Waiter: He waits on tables. He also suggests dishes from the menu. Waiters are trained on how to serve the dishes and the wine that goes with them.
With that crash course on who is who in a restaurant, below we have a table on their average monthly salary in Singapore. This varies based on the location of the restaurant and the type of restaurant.
|Restaurant Assistant Manager||2,500|
|Chef De Partie||2,200|
We hope this gives you a better idea on the industry!
As part of a new series on this blog [Retail / Restaurant Executive] we will be interviewing restaurant and retail executives from all over the world to gain insight and perspective into how they make their decisions, grow their businesses and deal with challenges.
Today is Andrew Masigan, owner of The Advent Manila Hospitality Group in the Philippines.
Q. When and why did you start Advent?
I guess you can say that Advent is a reincarnated company. Advent was the name of my first company, just after finishing my Masters program. Back then, it was a sole proprietorship that served as the company behind my first fast food chain, Dimsum ‘n Dumplings. Soon enough, the company grew to a point where it didn’t make sense to pay personal income tax rates for my business profits. I then decided to retire it. In its place, Prime Pacific Corp. was put together as the corporate entity of Dimsum ‘n Dumplings. Fast forward to 2010 and Prime Pacific Corp. was acquired by another firm. I was done with the food business…or so I thought.
The thing with the food business is that, difficult as it is, it is so damn gratifying. It is a business that feeds your mind, soul (through creativity) and stomach, all in one go. Its true what they say — once a foodie, always a foodie.
In 2011, we decided to venture into the restaurant business all over again, this time, making a strong push for Filipino cuisine. The idea was to come up with a Filipino restaurant that was high-end in very sense, debunking the notion that Filipino food was “pedestrian” or suited only for the home.
We launched XO46 Heritage Bistro later that year. It is an advocacy-driven brand whose purpose is to bring forward the best of Filipino cuisine while being an instrument to preserve our vanishing food heritage (no thanks to the influx of fusion cuisine).
XO46 was incorporated under the Advent Manila Hospitality Group. This is our company today. So in a sense, Advent has come full circle.
Q. What is your background? (restaurants? or you figured it out as you went?)
I am somewhat of a strange mutt. I am an economist by training…politics is my interest…the hospitality industry is where my expertise lie.
This strange mix is the reason why I am a restaurateur, a business and political columnist for the Manila Bulletin, a tv host (The Business Examiner) and a consultant to the Department of Science & Technology.
At the heart of it all is my passion to be an instrument to nation building, whether through business, politics or media. I guess you can say that this is what unifies everything that I’m into.
Q. How many locations do you have in the Philippines?
Dimsum ‘N Dumplings peaked at 88 stores, although most were kiosk outlets.
Our restaurant group today consist of 14 stores, with two more under construction and due to open before year-end.
Q. How do you choose a location?
Pretty much the same way most restaurateurs do.
We consider foot traffic, the profile of customers, the merchant mix and the competitive environment.
Q. Will you ever take a sub-par location, if it is in an area you want to be in? or will you wait for the right spot?
I would rather wait for the right spot. If there is anything I’ve learned being in this business for 2 decades — its that, “the bottom line” is the bottom line! In other words, if a site is not going to make money…lets not waste our time.
Q. How big is a standard location? What have you learned about location size?
XO46 works with spaces ranging from 120 sqm to 240 sqm.
Q. Does a corner location matter?
It’s a plus but not a deal breaker.
Q. Are malls better? or street level locations?
Good question. It really depends.
The value that the malls give is that it is a destination on its own; it has inherent foot traffic (assuming the mall is not a dud); security is more or less assured; and your brand gets to ride on the image of the mall and the surrounding merchants.
On the downside, mall spaces are relatively expensive to rent, they limit your operating hours and give you restrictions on your product offerings and store design.
The advantages of street locations are the disadvantage of malls, and vice versa.
Q. At what point did the number of locations change how the business is run? I have been told, 1 or 2 locations is ok, but 3+ requires a different management approach, systems, procedures, etc. What was the tipping point for you?
Fortunately, I know the business well enough that I can still manage our stores with relative personal involvement.
The trick is to put the important systems in place – I’m referring to systems relating to operations, HR and accounting & control.
Beyond 20 stores, the emphasis shifts from personal management & creativity to professionalization. In other words, the efficiency your company’s chain-of-command largely determines how well your stores operate. In addition, logistical issues migrate to the forefront of your business concerns.
Q. Anything you would like to add?
The integration of ASEAN come Jan 1, 2016 will change the industry.
Given the impending borderless trading conditions within the region, we will see the best restaurants groups from each of the 10 economies “invade” other territories, jockeying for a piece of their market.
I would like XO46 to be on the offensive, not on the defensive, in this new environment. After all, the time is right for Filipino cuisine to be exported, don’t you think?
Want to read more from our executive contributors, check out Eileen Grey, owner of The Picture Company in the Philippines.
Drawing from my past stint working as a waitress back in 2013 in NYC, I have learned that in the service or restaurant business, not everyone works just for the money. Indeed money is one of the key motivators, but people are looking for so much more.
Thankfully, the owner of the restaurant I worked at paid attention to his employees in order to keep us happy and working at his restaurant. Hiring the right talent isn’t easy (not everybody is good at service based roles) and retaining the finest employees is even harder.
What can make it even more frustrating is the fact that the restaurant business has one of the highest turn over rates in the private sector- at 66.3% by 2014.
In this article, you will find tips for making your restaurant more appealing to better employees.
To attract the A-players to come work for you, you will need:
Did you find this blog post useful? Give your comments below.
Find out how PayrollHero can create a great work place culture for your restaurant. We are happy to setup a time to speak further.
As a tech company, we can’t help but be biased towards cool gadgets and handy apps to boost your productivity. I mean, who even uses paper to take orders at a restaurant anymore?! As a college going kid, I don’t remember the last time I split a bill with a friend using cash. There’s DBS PayLah! for things like that. Paper money?! No way.
You’ve heard it a billion times before: ramping up your IT infrastructure is imperative to taking your business to the next level. Which is why I think this post is essential among our daily PayrollHero blog bites. We won’t be talking about the obvious benefits of revamping your POS systems. What we want to talk about are supporting systems that enable you to do it while looking cool and classy, all at the same time.
The iPad stands for your POS systems require special designing, based on your customers’ ergonomic needs. The most beautiful designs are simple, customizable in order to attach a card reader and focus on the function taking place between the customer and the iPad. The iPad stand can be used for the following:
Restaurants: For customers to reserve tables and order from the menu while waiting in line for tables.
Retail: To facilitate the POS function of iPads. The stand also can be used at strategic locations to encourage customers to participate in promotions or to give more information about a certain product.
Hotels: For self-check in and check out procedures at the door.
Let’s go deeper into the designs that suit the above functionalities. Heckler Design’s WindFall Stand is perfect for retailers. With the minimalist design, the stand is sleek and manages to hide all those cumbersome wires, giving a classy and professional look. Depending on the functionality, the WindFall designs include long kiosk stands or frames that can be attached to the wall.
Armodilo is an award winning company that manufactures iPad stands. The designs are simple and smart. They are versatile and can be used for a wide range of functions. The most interesting design is Armadilo’s Sphere. The stand is attached to a desktop surface and can swivel 90 degrees with an optional rotational base. The stand gives a quirky and fun element to the atmosphere, making it a great design for café’s and casual dining locations.
The Square line of iPad stands is clean and the most cost effective. While the customizable features of the stands are limited, the Square design has an inbuilt card reader. It is perfect for users that have already implemented the Square POS software.
The market for iPad stands is relatively new. As the market grows, the functionality of these stands will also expand, making the stand an indispensable part of daily business operations.
Singaporeans are proud of the food scene in the city. And rightly so. With an array of vibrant and diverse options, Singapore blends Asian with Western flavours and goes beyond conventional rules of any cuisine. For restauranteurs without a well-known name on the sign board, it can be difficult to establish themselves as a unique option for customers.
The tech savvy culture in Singapore can be used as a tool for just that. Singaporeans trust food bloggers for their culinary adventures. There are plenty of accredited bloggers out there but we have got some solid advice on whom to follow. Subscribing to these bloggers will help you understand the Singapore culinary environment better so that you can position your restaurant and attract the right customers.
The bloggers mentioned here are in no particular order. We have picked these based on top hits on Google and based on what other bloggers say about them.
Hope this helps!
This video provides an introduction to hiring foreign workers in Singapore- types of visas available to the employee according to skill level, application criteria and levies due to the employer. More information is available on the Ministry of Manpower website
After you have incorporated your business in Singapore, you will need to hire employees, both local or foreign to work for your company. If you are employing non-resident employees in Singapore, as an employer you have to make sure that they hold a valid work pass (also known as work visa).
Professional Work Visa
Who is it for
|For foreign professionals, managers and executives. Candidates need to earn at least S$3,300 a month and have acceptable qualifications.|
|For eligible foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a new business in Singapore.|
|For high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals. The PEP offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.|
Skilled or Semi- Skilled Workers
|Pass type||Who is it for|
|For mid-level skilled staff. Candidates need to earn at least S$2,200 a month and meet the assessment criteria.|
|For semi-skilled foreign workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or services sector.|
The Foreign Worker Levy
It is important to note that Singapore companies are required to pay Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) for the Work Pass and S Pass holders. This levy is imposed by the Singapore Government to regulate foreign workers numbers in the country.
The amount of levy due to the employer is determined by the sector the company belongs to and the educational level and skills of the employees. Employing workers with relevant qualifications and skill-based test certificates will count towards your skilled workers, which will entitle you to a concession in the worker’s levy.
Was this post helpful? Comment on this post to let us know!
PayrollHero is live in Singapore. We are completely localized to Singapore’s itemized payroll requirement. We are able to effectively compute the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) taxes on employee remuneration, CPF employer contributions and deductions, bonuses, contributions to community funds (MDMF, SINDA, CDAC), Foreign Worker Levy and others- for your business in 5 Minutes!
Find out how PayrollHero can provide you the solution you need to optimise your payroll process. Write to us!
Our newest video for Singapore Restaurants and Retailer’s looking to learn more about our time, attendance, roster and payroll platform. What do you think the video? Let us know in the comments below. (PayrollHero.sg)
– PayrollHero is eligible for Singapore’s Spring Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) – Integrated Solutions (IS) (more details)
– Check out our Singapore specific website at PayrollHero.sg
We moved over from HipChat to Slack a while back and have quite enjoyed the change. While the two products seem similar from the outside, there is something about Slack that is awesome. We use it for everything. It has cut down our internal emails, we have opened channels to deal with our contractors & partners and we have automated a ton of functionality through it.
For example, when a visitor comes to our website and fills in one of the led forms, the information from that form shows up in a few places so that it can be actioned immediately.
To the right is an example of what I’m referring to. Erlich comes to our website, fills in the lead form and sits back for our team to get in touch.
From there, the data from the lead form goes straight into our PipelineDeals account so that we have a record of the lead and can keep track of all interactions involved with it.
PipelineDeals also sends a message to our main email so that we are notified via email of the new lead.
We also have PipelineDeals tied into Zapier which pushes that data into the BD room of our Slack account. This notifies the whole team of the new lead so that anyone outside of the business development team is aware of what is happening on the lead front.
Now the lead is being followed up with by our business development team, the whole PayrollHero team is aware of the new lead (or volume of leads) and if a conversation needs to happen, it will take place within Slack. Simple, but effective use of automation to keep us transparent and on top of our game.
Our others uses of Slack:
– Once a leave request is approved it goes from PayrollHero directly into Slack (via Travel Schedules channel)
– We have city specific channels so that we can talk about what is happening within that city for teammates currently there (Singapore, Manila, Whistler, Vancouver)
– We have contractor channels so that our contracts can interact directly with our team
– There is a reading list channel for shared articles of interest (used to be emailed, now shared there)
– Each department has a channel (BD, marketing, csh, dev, finance, etc)
There is much more happening through our Slack account but this gives you a good idea of how we use it.
How do you use Slack? Any tips for us? Let us know in the comments below.