PICTURES

Which eatery has the best toothpicks? Din Tai Fung, says labour chief Lim Swee Say

The exterior of BreadTalk Mall is pictured on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK C
The exterior of BreadTalk Mall is pictured on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Ms Eunice Lim, director of operations of Ding Tai Fung Thailand, is pictured on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on i
Ms Eunice Lim, director of operations of Ding Tai Fung Thailand, is pictured on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Employees at Ding Tai Fung's BreadTalk Mall is seen working through a window on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on i
Employees at Ding Tai Fung's BreadTalk Mall is seen working through a window on Monday, July 22, 2013. When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mr Lim Swee Say (centre), Minister for Prime Minister's office, is pictured with Dr George Quek (second from left), group chairman of BreadTalk Group, during a presentation at the Service Excellence Learning Journey To BreadTalk Group Limited, o
Mr Lim Swee Say (centre), Minister for Prime Minister's office, is pictured with Dr George Quek (second from left), group chairman of BreadTalk Group, during a presentation at the Service Excellence Learning Journey To BreadTalk Group Limited, on July 22, 2013. When Mr Lim goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- PHOTO: DIN TAI FUNG
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- PHOTO: DIN TAI FUNG
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

When labour chief Lim Swee Say goes to Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, his eyes are peeled not so much on its dumplings and noodles, but on its toothpicks.

He likes them because they are well-designed and of good quality.

"Many restaurants give you toothpicks, but the toothpick is so big it can never go through, but this one is so fine that whatever is inside sure can come out," he said on Monday.

In fact, he revealed with a laugh, the Din Tai Fung toothpicks are so good, he "can never resist" - he always takes half a box of them during each visit.

"They always serve in a pack," he told reporters at BreadTalk Group's new headquarters in Tai Seng. "And because I go there very early - 10.30 in the morning - always full right. And guess what? By the time I left, normally right, it's half left. The other half is in my pocket."

In fact, Mr Lim had a Din Tai Fung toothpick on him, and showed it to reporters.

The point he wanted to make? "Success never happens by chance," he said.

Companies like BreadTalk and Din Tai Fung -a chain founded in Taiwan and which is run by BreadTalk here - pay attention to the finest details.

During his tour, Mr Lim was shown how BreadTalk has streamlined its work processes to deal with the manpower crunch that has affected the service sector.

A Din Tai Fung spokesman said toothpicks are placed on all tables and customers are free to use as many as they like.