Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Best Service I've Had

Coming from a heartland-mass-market-targeted restaurant, anyway.

I hardly ever get food cravings, but I was having Pizza Hut pizza craving yesterday, and after a very heavy disappointment upon reaching Causeway Point to find that Pizza Hut (and most of the rest of Level 1) was gone or closed for renovation, I decided to call the Pizza Hut hotline to enquire if there was an outlet at Lot 1 CCK. Aha!!!! There was!!! I always thought it was no longer there and had been replaced by New York! New York!, and I was kinda worried that the guy on the Pizza Hut hotline just anyhow agreed and said "yes" when I asked such a closed-ended question. But I wanted my pizza, so I went to the directory at Lot 1, fingers crossed.

Level 2!!!! Yay!!!

It turned out that this outlet at level 2 was newly opened. I was pleasantly greeted by their service, but what caught me was what followed...

This waiter who brought me to my seat (I had chosen one which wasn't fully set-up for service) apologised and told us he will get the table ready as soon as possible, after which:

Waiter: Good evening sir, good evening ma'am. My name is Hakim. Just to let you know, the soup of the day is Cream of Mushroom. If you need to take your order or need any assistance, you can just look for me or any of the crew......

I waas impressed. Like, really impressed. I haven't had any service staff introduce him/herself to me in a loooooooooooooooooooong time. I can't remember the last time, or whether it had happened before at all, so this caught my attention. After Hakim walked away, my partner commented "这样才叫service嘛~", and I nodded. I mean, for this, and they bill me a service charge, I will gladly pay. Service charge for people to take my order and deliver food to my table and ends there? Shame on you. The kopitiam auntie can do the same thing.

So I was put into a good mood. Then I began flipping the menu. They have changed it, I noticed, and it's now classier than I remember it to be. I mean, pizza hut used to conjure images of screaming kids, family meals, and mmmm, let's just say more mass market than atas. But this new menu looked good. I was too overwhelmed trying to decide what to eat cos I was so hungry, that I didn't take a pic of the menu. Nvm~

So we decided on a Seafood Tofu Salad (one of their signature dishes) Cheesy 7 Hawaiian Pizza, a Garlic Bread, a 6pc Sweet n Spicy drumlets(signature), and a Strawberry something drink. Can't remember what the drink was called, but it was also a signature. Lol. Signature what, so must try la~ See what's the fuss all about.

After taking our order, Hakim asked if we would like 2 glasses of water as well, so we said yes. So nice of him~ =) Then my partner commented that maybe they charge for water since Hakim wrote down the water order too, like what so many restaurants are doing these days, which we find is damn stupid. Singapore's tap water is potable, and you have the audacity to charge for that? Mad~ Anyway, because Hakim was so nice, I spoke up for him and said maybe he just put it down so that he won't forget the order. See? If you're nice to people, you get people on your side. ;)

Oh, when he's done with our order, I told him I liked his service. I could tell he was super paiseh, but he thanked me anyway. Hey, if you're doing something right, I feel you deserve a compliment, so it'll motivate you to keep going in the right direction. Imagine if you're going the extra mile for your customers but your colleagues are not, then it seemed that no one appreciates what you're doing, so in a few months' time you start feeling unmotivated and there's no job satisfaction so you dwindle to so-so service, nothing more than the bare minimum. That would be sad, wouldn't it?

Maybe because I was nice and smiling at every staff that walked past, but I was soon presented a nice balloon by another staff, this Malay girl whose nametag I didn't manage to see.

 So sweet of them!!! And mind you, this was dinner time. There were other patrons too, just that we were seated right inside, away from the crowd. I have this thing for having my privacy at restaurants by sitting in a corner. Not so noisy too.

Okay, now for the food. I have come to establish this belief that if a restaurant provides good service and there is a nice working culture between the staff, the food usually turns out good too. And I was right.

The Seafood Tofu Salad. It was so good, I just started eating and didn't stop until I finished. And I realised I didn't take a picture. Something different from your usual Caesar. And I think it was lemon vinagrette dressing with the salad? Nothing mayonnaise-y or evil-looking. Perfect. 

The Garlic Bread. I don't know how often I have had garlic bread (by pizza hut) served to me with the garlic butter spread still in chunks. In other words, unmelted. This one served to me was so creamy and nice and warm and soft in your mouth that mmmmm~~~~ *drooling just thinking about it*
 I so wanna have you again~~~*perverted salivation*

 Sweet n Spicy Wings. Not exactly a sweet food person but my partner loved it. =)

 Cheesy 7 Hawaiian Pizza. When you first bite into it, you'll taste the different cheeses present in the melted mash. Couple that with the sweet pineapples (that's abt one of the few sweet things I covet) and the toasted-to-perfection pizza...Wow. At first I thought it would be very jelat (dunno how to spell, or if there's actually such a word, but you know what I mean), even for a cheese lover like me, but hey, it wasn't as bad as I thought! Give it a try if you like cheese. You won't regret it, especially when you sink your teeth into that ball of cheese near the crust on each slice....Ooooooooo~~~

Order this drink the next time you go to Pizza Hut. I never knew such a great drink existed on their menu! It must have been there for a long time or it wouldn't have made it to the "Signature"s. Sweet, yet just a little bit sour so the sweetness becomes mellowed, and totally refreshing!!! 

 Slurped up every drop.

So there I was, enjoying my food, and looking at the reflection of the rest of Pizza Hut, I noticed Hakim standing at the wall facing everybody else (I was at a corner remember?) and looking around at patrons who may want his attention. He also didn't neglect us, occasionally turning his head over to see what we may need. Attentive staff. Noted. A far cry from the service I experienced months ago at Cafe Cartel, Plaza Singapura. Read here, and for the actual images for the 'food' I was served, read the top paragraphs of this.

Okay back to Pizza Hut at Lot 1, Level 2. I was saying I was happily devouring my food right? Then suddenly Hakim popped out of nowhere and asked "Is everything alright with the food, Sir, Ma'am?" 
He didn't stop to zo boh when no patron needed his attention, he went to seek out if there were anymore things he could do for the patrons! This guy is going places man~ And I noticed that when there was a Chinese couple (from China. this couple couldn't speak much English) brought to their seats and a Chinese waitress was serving them, Hakim lingered around and tried as much as possible to understand what it was they wanted, and even checked with his Chinese colleague who was serving the couple what they wanted. Very proactive and initiative. I know I must sound like a lao ah ma now, but I was really impressed. His level of service far supercedes some of my ex-colleagues at Singapore Airlines.

The food probably tasted so good because of the service level shown to me, but even then, I have to say the food was just as great. For this, I wasn't even guilty of being a glutton, because it was worth it. Saddest thing is eating too much of food that tastes just...well....BLAH, and gaining weight because of it.

Hakim! Service Excellence Award goes to you!!!

My compliments extends too to the rest of the Pizza Hut staff at Lot 1 who have served me well that day. You deserve this public honour! *wink*

So guys, you know which Pizza Hut to go to~ And should you be lucky enough to have great service lavished upon you, let them know they have done something right. It makes their day, and it keeps them going. =)

P/s. Btw, the iced water was keyed into the receipt, but it was free! Not like 40cents per glass *tsk* Shame on restaurants who charge for potable tap water!

Happy & Impressed Patron,


  1. I personnaly think that the service stadards at alot Pizza Hut restaurants has gone up...

    I was at the Plaza Singapura outlet a few months ago and they were very very friendly and apologetic cos there was a short queue to get in, despite the full house, the staff there were quick and very very attentive.

    I went to the Siglap outlet last monday to "ta pau" and the staff were also very very friendly there, a Malay guy suggested me to take a package since I was ordering 2 pizzas. It was not advertised. That was very nice of him. I was told that I had to wait 20 minutes for my pizza to be ready, they offered me to wait at a table and offered me a magazine and yes portable ice water. It is really something you rarely see in other establishments.

    When my pizzas were ready another girl came by and asked if I needed more cheese and chilli flakes...

    These small little gestures cost nothing to them but it really went a long way...

    PS... the Cheesy 7 was HEAVENLY!!!!!!!!

  2. HELLO!! HOW LUCKY! Hakim onced served me and my friends too! He was super nice! :D We went for a birthday celebration and were rather noisy. *guilty* On top of that, we even complained that the food was slow cos we ordered like over 10 dishes but still, they were exceptionally patient! Knowing it was my friend's birthday they even offered to give us a poloraid picture! Damn awesome service! My friend told Hakim that we would drop by soon again! Cheers for good services, it just makes one day. :):)

    Anw, enjoy reading your blog! Keep it up!(Y)

  3. Hi Silver!

    I've been a silent reader and I'm a fan since I saw you act in U.M.M.I. *thumbs up*

    Thanks for re-recommending Pizza Hut. It's been a long time since I went there and seeing that the service has improved has motivated me to go back and try their new/revised menu.

    *by the way, it's jelak (not jelat).. :)

  4. Wow, it seems that Pizza Hut service have really gone up across the board, not just in one outlet! Someone told me on Twitter that the outlet at Tampines Mall even plays the guitar for you while you wait for your food! Impressive!!!

    And okay, now I's jelak!!! I always thought it has got something to do with Gelato because it sounds like Gelato and because Gelato also very jelak if u eat too much~ LOL!!!! Thanks for clearing that up!

  5. what a coincdence! my bf and i went to pizza hut yesterday and dropped a compliment email for hakim and there, when i drop by ur blog today, i saw this post! haha.

  6. Looks like he's next up for promotion! =D

  7. I dropped a compliment email for him yesterday too!