Global Taiwanese chain, Din Tai Fung, operated by BreadTalk Group, has announced a series of new welfare benefits for restaurant staff, that include:
- A 1,550 sq ft Staff Lounge for their breaks and split shifts;
- Piloting a move to a 5-day work week, earning staff two additional rest days per month;
- Bento dispensers imported from Italy featuring 60 in-house created, hot meals;
- English and Japanese language classes to serve diners better and upskill staff.
At the Staff Lounge tour attended by Human Resources, Cheng William, CEO of Restaurant Division, BreadTalk Group (pictured below), shared the industry-first work-life enhancements are being spearheaded with a view to attract and retain staff in a highly competitive manpower landscape in the food services industry.
"These pioneering work-life initiatives aim to spur the industry forward, influencing positive change to recruitment and retention within the food services sector," he added, while marking Din Tai Fung's 16th anniversary this year.
Check out photos from the Staff Lounge, that comes packed with a massage room, language classes, and more; and costs S$20,000 a month in maintenance below, as well as details on the other initiatives.
In photos: Din Tai Fung's staff lounge and new welfare benefits
With the vision first conceptualised close to four years ago, Cheng William and his team have worked to make the Lounge a reality over the past two years, citing not just the need to give staff a place to rest between their split shifts, but rather the importance of this initiative to overall culture building.
The 1,550 sq ft facility in Lucky Plaza Apartments took S$70,000 to set up, and costs about $20,000 per month to maintain. It caters to about 150 staff from two outlets, namely, Paragon and Wisma Atria.
Among the highlights of the facility are custom-designed bento dispensers imported from Italy, that enable staff to enjoy their choice of 60 in-house created meals, served hot from the machines. Dishes include local favourites such as beef rendang to Western options such as pasta arrabiata with meatballs.
Employees are able to choose from three bento options made available daily on a rotational basis. The brand also delivers fruit to all restaurants on a regular basis for staff consumption.
Additionally, the Lounge features relaxation spaces, such as complimentary massage sessions from the Mobile Massage Team at Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), as well as nap pods to refresh. (photos below)
Among facilities for staff to upskill are a make-up room, where they can be trained on grooming and cosmetics, as well as a language room (photos below), where currently classes to learn English and Japanese are being held for staff to better serve diners. Plans underway to expand the language repertoire to include selected European languages.
Other facilities at the lounge include: Wi-Fi connectivity and phone charging ports; kitchen pantry; a living room (photos below) stocked with magazines and a reading corner; dining area; and shower facilities.
Plans are underway for two more lounges catering to staff based at Din Tai Fung BreadTalk IHQ and Junction 8 restaurants, both of which are set to launch in April 2019; and for an island-wide roll out over the next two years.
Besides, Din Tai Fung has streamlined the work schedule of restaurants in a new arrangement, being piloted at Paragon and Wisma Atria restaurants.
While the current work schedule is an alternate 5/6-day work week (i.e. 5 days of work followed by a break, then 6 days of work followed by a break), Din Tai Fung's new work duty roster switches to a 5-day work week, similar to a typical white-collar schedule.
This gives staff a total of eight rest days in a month – an additional of two rest days, as compared to six days in the previous arrangement. Other enhanced workforce benefits include the scaling up of each successful referral within the workplace, from S$500 to S$600.
On the impact of such initiatives on staff, Cheng cited staff attrition hovering at 25%, for the first three quarters of 2018, lower than the national F&B industry average of 30.6% in the same period. He added: "Through this effort, we hope to encourage greater dialogue among industry players to continue seek out ways to offer better welfare and benefits to service staff."
Photos / Din Tai Fung and Journalist's own