Thursday, August 09, 2007

A sandwich for your thoughts?

Food For Thought
New diner-esque place town just across the road from the National Library at Bras Brasah. They're called Food for Thought. Menu is small and there was an excruciating slow wait when the place was crowded. Place really doesn't have much of floor estate - it was difficult to even walk in when we were there. We didn't eat much, just tried a sandwich of theirs.

It was a pretty decent slow roasted pulled pork sandwich ($7.50) which I thought wasn't bad at all. The pulled pork tasted like meat from pork knuckles and is packed together with sliced sweet potatoes. Not bad. What I liked especially about the sandwich was that the focaccia warm and moist. Better than what O'Briens offers at a similar price point. 


Unknown said...

Glad that you like the place, by the way, there is no service charge so feel free to contribute to the waitresses' university fund or one of the many charitable causes at the counter.

Anonymous said...

contributing to a charitable cause and to the waitress fund are 2 entirely separate issues. and this idea of "tipping" has to STOP . bosses have the responsibility to pay their staff what they worth. its not for the public to help "increase" thier salaries.
its like saying that since policemen in malaysian claim they are not well paid, they the "bribes" they ask for for what of a better word. is justified.

if someone is not paid fairly, its the bosses fault and its not dependent on the public to help them make more money.

D said...

I'm not sure about that Wendy. I guess it all depends on the situation and the culture, right now here in New York, tipping is pretty much the norm. In fact, some of the waitstaff have to survive on tips.

Singapore has NO minimum wage so, sometimes, the employer does have the upperhand. What's a poor student going to do? They'll take anything even though it may not be a lot because it is better than nothing.

We know that service tax doesn't really go back to the waitstaff, it's the restaurant that earns it. If I get service which I think is commendable, I do encourage their attitude with a small tip (even in Singapore). Sometimes, small things like these may just make someone's day. I know if I was a waitstaff doing my best and one of the patrons gives me a tip, I'll appreciate that.

Like wallpaper said "feel free", there's definitely no obligation nor any prescriptive rules to adhere to. Just go with the flow, chill and do what you think is fine for the situation.

That being said, I rather tip the waitstaff directly then donate to some "charity", at least I know to whom the dollar is going to. The onus on how that dollar is going to be spent is obviously not in my control though.

Anonymous said...

firdt of all, just becuase a lot of people practicse something, doesnt make it right.
now back to tipping. jsut becuase service charges dont go back to staff and wait staff are poorly paid, doesnt mean that they only way to help them is to give tips.
rather it is to push for a minimum wage, and fine employers who pay their staff like shit.
my point is this, if you own a restaurant, pay your staff right, NOT expect them to make up their salary with tips.
just becuase you dont have to pay them fair, so you dont.
just becuase the whole industry pays their staff like shit, you as a boss have to follow?

a cleaner who works for a cleaning company takes home may be $800 before CPF for a full time position.
becuase that's what his bosses pay him. why doesnt he get tips. after all, the service he provides is far greater than someo0ne taking my order and bring my plate of food to my table. especially when i have to order at teh counter.

why cant an employer have enoght balls to try and change the situation?
no, lets jsut pay all wait staff like shit and expect the public to pay for their food AND add to the income of the wait staff.

Anonymous said...

to try and sum up :

employers pay their wait staff badly, are allowed to get away with it, and expect the public to make up for it to their staff.

so as a swimming teacher, im paid like shit and i think my service to your kids is far greater than what a waiter does. SO. why am i not tipped?

thus, we have to get away from this tipping mentality and fix what is wrong at the source.

D said...

Oh I don't get me wrong. I'm all for the minimum wage and would gladly vote for it if the opportunity presents herself.

I simply see it as a form of positive reinforcement that's all. I know people should do their jobs because it's their responsibility but like you said if their employers don't pay them responsibly it's unlikely that you'll get respsonsible service, hence that vicious cycle of "poor" (I rather say "preferential" actually haha, but that's another story altogether) service in Singapore.

Hence the tip isn't so much for them to do their job so much per se since that should be the way to begin with but rather as a form of positive reinforcement to maintain the good attitude.

Afterall, not many students doing waitering will become professional waiters in the future, but the lesson to learn is not so much about carrying plates of food but that regardless of what industry we're in, hardwork and a good attitude pays off, even though it may not be the employer paying it (which I wholeheartedly agree that he/she should as well).

You can't substitute gratitude with money that's for sure, but you can surely supplement it. In this industry, alot of professions are paid on performance, how else can that investment banker take home a few million in bonus whilst other bankers get only a few months? Performance, and till the employers of the relevant industries start paying their staff the "right" wage, my friends and I don't mind supplementing that little bit.

p.s: It's not just waitstaff I tip, I do tip cab drivers, cleaners at the food centres etc and if I do for some reason go for a swimming lesson and felt it was really good, I'll tip the instructor as well.

Unknown said...

I agree with d on what he said about performance-based rewards. I feel that at the end of the day, it all boils down to your own decision. Tip if you want to, and don't concern yourself too much with where the money is going to end up. Unless you put the money into the pocket of the waitress and waiter, there is no way of knowing anyway. If it really bothers you, then don't tip. But don't stop others from doing so.

Anonymous said...

It boils down to the culture. In Japan, tipping is an insult. Whereas in the US, not tipping is a slap in the face for extremely bad service.

As Singapore lies somewhere in the middle between these two cultures, you should feel free whether you wish to truly reward good service or just save your money.

odyas said...

I don't see what is the big hooha about tipping, if it bothers you, don't, if you feel like doing it, just do it. There is always 2 side of a coin, the waiter/waitress will feel good and the money may really come in handy for them, and they may strive for better service for more tips, which is not a bad thing in context, we are not living in an ideal world where the perfect scene revolves around one person idea and perspective.

Gary Tay said...

Waiters are tipped based on their performance as employees, as a swimming coach (self employed) you could ASK for a better pay if u wanted (and if u deserve it). As each waiter is paid a equal (and low) amount it forces them to be more pro-active in serving the customers thus ensure BETTER services. In fact if u go to restaurants that do not allow tipping you either face the best (overly paid waiters) or the worst (bare-minimum) waiters. Same goes for bus drivers/service staff that doesn't collect tips.

Anonymous said...

im not self employed, i have a salary. so should i then compare myself to wait staff and get tips? again, WHY only wait staff? only one person here he tips for good service in general. not only wait staff and therein lies the general disease.
it seems only wait staff are allowed to draw bad salaries and then EXPECT tips, otherwise they dont perform.

what about ALL professions that are badly paid?

SBS drivers should be tipped, otherwise they droll out bad service?

Anonymous said...

and the example of a swim coach, me is just an example. im not trying to increase my salary etc. just saying that that wait staff are not the only jobs badly paid. yet they seem to be the only ones who demand the public make up the pay with tips.

LOTS of other jobs are badly paid, but most other jobs dont expect the public to add to their salary, the way some wait staff demand it.

some of you have said, wanna tip, tip, dont wanna tip, dont tip. BUT on the other hand. take this attitude with some wait staff and fear for your life.

we are not living in an ideal world, but what has happened to the idea of hard work etc, "old fashioned" values from my parents and grand parents era? i know its a modern world now, so now we throw values out and have the value of money? yes, thats the way its going, but it doesn't mean you have to follow it and not have any courage to change it...
in any case, an honest man in NEVER rich and you can have ideals and be poor.