Comparing Singapore and London F&B work experience

So I’ve been working part-time in London for three weeks now. I won’t say much else, save that it’s an Oriental restaurant (that’s suitably vague). Having worked in Singapore in the food and beverage industry previously, I could see a serious difference in the work experience in both countries. The chief difference being customers’ attitudes. Well. Where do I begin? Customers in London are really accommodating and understanding overall; they say please and thank you, they are patient and understand when the restaurant is busy, and I’ve not had an unpleasant encounter with any (yet. And I hope it stays that way). Plus, even though service charge is already included, some insist on tipping further. (Haha yes moneyface here).

As for Singaporean customers, they tend to have a saibin (i should revive my Singaporean slang series lol) on all the time, and generally treat service staff like tools. I mean, like something to get things done, not necessarily a living breathing person. So they are more demanding, impatient; if you give them great service, they take it as what they deserve. But if you dare to make them wait or maybe serve another customer before them or mix up an order, they tend to complain straightaway, or give you that look. The look of disgust and *why are you so stupid*. And they never tip. Haha. Perhaps it’s the kiasu and corporatist culture we’ve cultivated over the years, that result in an impatient, look-out-for-oneself tendency in Singaporeans.

Anyway, the next time you go  to a restaurant, put yourself in the shoes of your waiter/cashier/service staff. Imagine it’s their tenth hour on their feet (yes, it’s happened) and perhaps they’re thinking of the schoolwork they have to rush in the early morning, before working again. Then perhaps give them an extra smile and thank-you. It’ll make their day. Trust me, it’s worked for me!



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