Chee Soon Juan Says F&B Job Is Back-Breaking, They Work Hardest When Others Are Having Fun
By now, most Singaporeans will know that Dr Chee Soon Juan runs two outlets of a café called Orange & Teal.
After about 1.5 years of work, it seems the opposition party leader has gained much appreciation for the work of F&B industry staff.
Putting it honestly as ever, he says their jobs are “back-breaking”.
That’s why he encourages those who come to his café to tip his staff.
Trash run prompts Chee to ruminate on F&B life
In a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday (1 Dec), Dr Chee ruminated on the life of an F&B worker.
This was probably prompted by him and his staff undertaking the unglamorous task of bringing the trash to the refuse centre.
From the grainy photo he posted, it obviously wasn’t a comfortable place to be in. One can literally smell the stink of garbage from the photo.
F&B job is back-breaking, says Chee Soon Juan
However, clearing the trash is what a job in the F&B industry entails, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief noted.
This is done after an “unforgiving day standing behind a hot stove or in front of a 200°C oven”.
Besides that, F&B workers also have to:
- Scrub the floor
- Wash the pots and pans
- Wipe down the equipment
- Prepare for the following day.
Thus, he rightly concluded that the physical labour involved means that being an F&B worker is a “back-breaking job”.
And he should know because he’s doing it with his staff, so that he will know what’s it’s like, he said, adding,
And it is no wonder that few Singaporeans want the job.
F&B staff work hardest when others are having fun
This is especially when, as Dr Chee pointed out, F&B workers have to work the hardest during weekends and the year-end period — when most Singaporeans are free and enjoying their leisure time.
That means while most people are having fun, F&B workers are slogging away to serve and clean up after us.
But that also means they do an important job — only with them can we spend time outside with friends and family.
He apologises for messing up orders
Thus, Dr Chee suggested that patrons say hello to his servers, as he thinks they will gain an “extra spring” in their step when customers smile and pay them compliments.
He admitted that sometimes the café has “messed up” orders and dishes, but refused to blame his staff, saying that they come in every day and give their all.
Instead, he apologised for himself, saying,
The fault is mine and mine alone.
He also promised that they will continue to “give our 100%”.
Chee Soon Juan suggests tipping staff for back-breaking work
Dr Chee then suggested patrons do something that isn’t widely practised in Singapore — tip his staff if they’ve had a good time at Orange & Teal.
This may apply to both servers and the non-front-facing staff working in the kitchen.
Reminding us that his outlets don’t levy a 10% service charge – unlike many others – he also explained why this is so.
The many-time election candidate prefers that if people are paying extra, it comes from the heart and not because they’re made to pay.
He thinks his staff are worth it as they “work their hearts out” at this back-breaking job. They thus “earn every cent of their wages”.
He gets philosophical over salaries
At this point, Dr Chee started getting philosophical and asked what a person is worth.
He compared those who make S$100,000 and those who make S$3,000, asking,
How do we determine the value of each human being, anyway?
However, without expounding further, he decided to leave the topic for another day and wished Singaporeans a happy holiday season.
Orange & Teal is currently decked out in Christmas decor, so he hopes people will visit especially during this time of the year.
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