SINGAPORE - More than 2,500 service staff from the food and beverage industry were given awards on Monday (Oct 3) for their exceptional service attitude.
The number of winners - the 2,520 who received either a silver, gold or star award - was a 15 per cent increase from 2015. The annual Excellent Service Awards is in its 22nd year.
Minister in Prime Minister's Office, Mr Chan Chun Sing, said even as businesses are encouraged to innovate their business models and products, one thing does not change - the quality of service.
"What will leave a lasting impression (on customers) is the quality of service," he said.
"Our service quality is benchmarked against our regional, global competitors. All it takes is just one black sheep to take down the entire brand (of) Singapore. Our service standards have improved over the years, but we're not where we want to be yet," added Mr Chan, who handed out the awards at a ceremony at Changi Business Park.
Receiving the highest honour was Mr Norman Tan, 43, a restaurant manager at Swensen's IMM outlet. He beat 21 other nominees to clinch the Superstar award.
He was nominated by Swensen's parent company ABR Holdings for "always going out of his way to ensure a memorable guest experience".
The firm said Mr Tan, who won a gold award in 2015, tends to pay attention to little details, and would chat with the elderly or those who are dining alone. He would also remember the orders and preferences of regular guests. As a colleague, he is well-liked and would often be the first to offer a helping hand.
"Even as the food services industry moves towards raising productivity while reducing reliance on manpower, our service professionals continue to form the bedrock of this industry that contributes 0.8 per cent to Singapore's GDP (gross domestic product) annually," said Mr Vincent Tan, president of the Restaurant Association of Singapore, which organised the Awards.
"It is now even more imperative that service standards are maintained and raised, to provide a personal touch so that we remain competitive and attractive for locals and visitors," he added.