Why we do not get the service we deserve these days

June 15, 2022 11:32
Photo: RTHK

Two months since the reopening, we are back to restaurants and even staycation. But it is far from normal, especially on the service level.

That is the conclusion I had after taking my first staycation and having dinner outside every other day as I try to resume my normal routine.

You may have heard football fans booking a hotel room to watch the UEFA Champions League final in support of Liverpool because all outlets are closed at 3 am but you may not have heard some – like yours truly – booked on the wrong date. After some negotiations, I decided to pick a weekday to go.

It is a bit surprising that a certain North Point hotel can only pass me the room key till 5pm after almost a one-hour lineup. For a rare moment, I thought the hotel should charge its customers more.

Still, the bad experience is not comparable to the last two dinners I attended. These two outlets are those you dreamed about going to during the homestay period earlier this year.

One outlet was a certain restaurant at the Hong Kong Jockey CLub that the public can book for around HK$400 per head. The waiter in her mandarin accent greeted you in the first minute and advised you should order the main course to avoid a delay in delivery during the peak hour. The drinks we ordered did not come after an hour.

The other one was a certain college alumni restaurant in Central famous for its Cantonese food. Half of the dishes were worse than they were before, according to a diner who proposed to go to this restaurant. To make things worse, the waiter was super fast to clear your table and you feel their eyes are watching you after 8:30pm. But to be fair, this happened before the pandemic.

Somehow I get the answer from the news today. Some 38 per cent of employers are said to want to hire more staff in the next three months, with the most aggressive sectors being hotel and food catering.

That suggested the sector is hugely understaffed. But customers started flooding these places after a more stable epidemic condition and the extension of dine-in service, not to mention the consumption vouchers if the credits are still there.

If you speak to any restaurant owners, you will know within five minutes that they have difficulty hiring staff. Of course you probably think the salary they offer may not be attractive enough, but if Cathay Pacific is offering HK$9,000 (according to my two friends, one current stewardess and one former) to lure some experienced crew to rejoin, how much do you think these owners would offer?

There is always a delicate balance between making your staff or customers happy. But here I would suggest people to stay home for takeaways or home cooking to avoid unnecessary disappointment.

-- Contact us at [email protected]

EJ Insight writer