3 Lessons Learned From a Community Roundtable Event in Malaysia

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StaffAny and F&B Connect hosted a roundtable session called “F&B Learning Meet-up” for the second time in Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday, 17 April 2024. Located at Savor Restaurant, dozens of F&B business owners in Malaysia (such as Nyonya Cendol, Napa Thai, and Savor Restaurant) networked and shared some of their insights in running their business. 

What was discussed in the roundtable session?

We identified three critical issues requiring attention to enhance F&B operations.

Here’s the list of problems:

  1. You can’t control customer review
  2. You can’t be consistent in providing services
  3. You can’t get enough manpower to run the business

Let’s explore these issues one by one based on the insights shared by the roundtables.

, 3 Lessons Learned From a Community Roundtable Event in Malaysia

You can’t control customer review, but you can influence them with positive outlook

Getting a customer review can sometimes feel like it’s out of your hands. You might worry about what people are saying and how it might affect your business. 

But here’s the secret: try not to let it get you down. Keep a positive outlook. Dwelling too much on negative reviews can cloud your judgment and dampen your spirits. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your business and the good experiences your customers have had.

When you come across a review, take a moment to dig deeper. What’s the real issue being raised? Sometimes, it’s just a small misunderstanding that can be easily cleared up. Other times, there might be a genuine problem that needs addressing. By pinpointing the core problem, you can decide whether it’s worth responding to or if it’s something that doesn’t require action.

And don’t forget to celebrate the good reviews too! When someone takes the time to leave positive feedback, it’s a sign that you’re doing something right. Give them a big thank you and let them know their kind words haven’t gone unnoticed. 

However, while it’s great to show appreciation, be cautious about offering monetary rewards too frequently. You want your responses to be genuine and balanced, not just a way to buy positive feedback. Keep it real, keep it positive, and keep striving to provide the best experience for your customers.

You can’t be consistent in providing services without setting up a main hub for sustainability

Keeping things consistent when you’re providing services can be a real challenge. Customers expect the same level of quality every time they interact with your business, whether it’s in person or online. But sometimes, it feels like you’re juggling too many balls at once, and it’s hard to keep them all in the air. One of the biggest hurdles to consistency is maintaining quality. If you’re preparing food or crafting products in different locations, it’s tough to ensure that each one meets your standards.

Here’s where a central kitchen can make all the difference. By setting up a main hub where everything gets made, you gain more control over the quality of your offerings. With all your ingredients and equipment in one place, it’s easier to maintain consistency from batch to batch. Plus, you can implement strict quality control measures to catch any issues before they reach your customers.

, 3 Lessons Learned From a Community Roundtable Event in Malaysia

But what if you don’t have the resources to establish a full-scale central kitchen? Don’t worry—there are still ways to reap the benefits of centralized production. Consider utilizing your less popular outlets as semi-central kitchens or training centers. These locations can serve as satellite hubs where certain items are prepared or where staff receive specialized training. By strategically leveraging your existing infrastructure, you can achieve greater consistency without breaking the bank.

Qin Quan from Yew Kee Group in one of the podcast episodes with StaffAny also discussed the importance of a centralized kitchen to streamline operations within the group. Listen to the full story here.

Of course, there’s always a degree of risk involved in making operational changes. However, by taking a calculated approach to centralization, you can mitigate many of these risks. Start small, experiment with different setups, and closely monitor the results. With careful planning and execution, you can streamline your operations, improve consistency, and ultimately enhance the customer experience.

You can’t get enough manpower to run the business without the right retention strategies

Expanding your business or getting into a joint venture can be exciting opportunities. But sometimes, there’s a big roadblock: not having enough people to make it happen. It’s like wanting to throw a big party but realizing you don’t have enough hands to help with the preparations.

Here’s a smart idea: think about using Facebook groups to find the manpower you need. You can post about job openings or partnerships and reach a lot of people quickly. Plus, it’s a way to tap into a pool of talent that might not be actively looking for work elsewhere.

Now, when you’re trying to get people on board, it’s important to sweeten the deal. Offer them various benefits and incentives to make it worth their while. Maybe it’s flexible hours, extra training opportunities, or even discounts on your products or services. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that appeals to them and makes them excited to join your team.

And hey, why stick to traditional staffing methods when you can get creative? Think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to your staffing problems. Whether it’s using technology to streamline recruitment or finding new ways to tackle scheduling challenges, there’s always room for improvement. By thinking creatively and being open to new ideas, you can overcome manpower shortages and take your business to the next level.

In StaffAny’s podcast with MoneyMax Group, automation was also highlighted as one of the keys to improving effectiveness in their operations, which includes expanding to more stores. 

“Automation plays an important role in streamlining operations and improving efficiency, especially in areas such as credit scoring and administrative tasks. By automating repetitive tasks and leveraging data-driven insights, we can improve accuracy, reduce manual errors, and increase productivity across our operations. This allows us to focus our resources on value-added activities and strategic initiatives that drive business growth.” said Lim Chun Seng, Group General Manager of MoneyMax Group.

How EngageAny helps solve repetitive tasks to make F&B business operations more effective

Imagine having a magic tool that can solve three big problems in your business. Well, that’s where software like StaffAny comes in. 

First off, dealing with customer reviews can be a headache. But with software solutions, you can transform your restaurant’s online presence by leveraging gamification challenges for your staff.

, 3 Lessons Learned From a Community Roundtable Event in Malaysia

Here’s how it works: every time a staff member successfully encourages a customer to leave a positive Google review, they earn rewards. These rewards are given each time they achieve a specific number of good reviews. By turning the process into a fun game with tangible rewards, software solution like EngageAny motivates your team to actively solicit positive feedback from satisfied customers. This not only boosts employee engagement but also significantly enhances your restaurant’s online reputation, attracting more customers and driving growth. 

And manpower. It’s a common problem for businesses big and small. But with EngageAny’s gamification features, you can motivate your staff to perform at their best. By turning work into a game with rewards and achievements, you can boost morale and productivity which will make employees feel more invested in their work and prevent you from facing labor shortages. And because EngageAny handles all the automation, you can spend less time worrying about staffing issues and more time focusing on growing your business.

Now, last but not least, let’s talk about consistency. It’s tough to keep things running smoothly when you’re juggling a million tasks. But with software, you can automate certain aspects of your business operations, like scheduling, accurate timesheet and leave application. This helps ensure that every customer gets the same level of quality and service, no matter who’s on duty.

Want to participate in the next community event? Tell us your interest by filling out the form below.

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