The way we earn our money is much more important than how much we make.

July 22, 2018

I once made a mistake. An unforgettable mistake which haunts me till this day...

That was 3 months back. A new team member just joined us. We did our usual routine and served dinner as usual.

It was only after service had ended that I realized we used the wrong noodle sauce for dinner.

I sat in silence for a long time.

The taste would be OFF for every bowl that was sent out during dinner. 67 very unhappy customers ate and left.

I had failed.

Both sauces were almost identical, except that one was without a crucial ingredient.

I wanted to warm it up before adding that ingredient. Somehow, there was a mixed-up and the wrong sauce was used.

My regular customer, a friendly lady that used to patronize us 2-3 times a week came on that fateful evening.

She never came back again. We lost her.

No chance for me to make amends.

You see, I always instil in my team the importance of maintaining consistency and to strive for excellence in every bowl that we send out of the kitchen.

But what I tried so hard to prevent actually happened.

We were totally crushed and our spirits sunk rock-bottom at the realization of the error.

That mistake kept flashing inside my head again and again. I tossed endlessly in bed that night.

It was a careless mistake. But we were so upset that we made a vow never to let such a situation happen again.

Apart from that incident, I feel that the team have being really consistent most of the time.

And it’s probably because of our relentless obsession in maintaining constancy that...

We Did It! A Hat-Trick! 3 Times In A Row!

‘MICHELIN BIB GOURMAND 2018!’

This is never my accolades alone. It belongs to the whole team, and also to our supportive customers. Especially those that gave us a chance even after we had failed them.

In fact, I’m so consumed with maintaining high standards that I pinned a Gordon Ramsay quote up at the stall. Ramsay, constantly staring down, reminding us on the importance of staying laser-focus and delivering excellence every day.

“The moment you send a dish you’re not 💯% happy with, it’s GAME OVER.” - Gordon Ramsay.

Because what counts today, doesn’t count tomorrow.

Much as we try to achieve 100% every single time, sadly, that is not the case.

We do screw up sometimes. . .

Tight checks had been made, SOPs followed closely, but still, things got F up.

But that’s life.

Heck, even the best footballers like Messi or Ronaldo have their bad days.

Yes, we do fail you sometimes. But more often than not, we are dependable and we deliver the goods.

That’s the secret sauce to A Noodle Story; because we will do whatever it takes to right any wrong. To fix the faults.

Not little tricks. Not sneaky gimmicks.

This is the crux - TRUST. Because we care.

Allow me to reiterate our iron-clad guarantee here again:

In the event that we screw-up and the food is not up to your expectations, just bring your unfinished bowl back for a polite refund. No questions asked.

I truly believe the way we earn our money is much more important than how much we make.

Some people had claimed that we are too slow. It takes us roughly 1.5 minutes to cook and plate a bowl which I think is quite reasonable.

While I do not like to keep customers waiting unnecessarily, there’s a good reason for our measured pace. It’s because of the way we do things here.

Allow me to take you into the kitchen for a peek:

Unlike other hawkers, we do not just toss and dump everything into the bowl and, that’s it.

“Money, Money Come.”

Instead, delicate ingredients are carefully placed and positioned to look good and whet your appetite.

Every single bowl must leave the kitchen with the rim wiped clean.

I do not allow my team to cook and standby a ton of extras in advance for the onslaught during peak hours. I insist on cooking food-to-order so that it’s served fresh, hot, and delicious.

Occasionally, I might lose focus momentarily. Thus, if the noodles stay in boiling water longer than it should for a mere 2 seconds, it goes straight into the bin. I will redo it. Start over again.

All these require time and I seek your kind understanding on this.

But it’s a trade-off that I’m willing to make.

I would rather serve you a bowl that I’m proud of. A bowl done to my best... Because my duty is for you to have a delicious and satisfying experience.

If you enjoy our food and appreciate what we do here, do show your support by nominating for us in the ‘City Hawker Food Hunt’ at the link below.

And, there’s more!

Nominators will also stand a chance to win attractive prizes.

http://www.cityhawkerfoodhunt.com/peoples-choice-nomination/

Hawker Centre: Amoy Street Food Centre

Stall Name: A Noodle Story

Unit Number: #01-39

Favourite Dish: Singapore-style Ramen

 

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