Wanna hear it from people who have “been there, done that”? We speak Angelina from The Flying Squirrel. At 37 years old, she manages a team of 15 staff – a task she has a “love-hate” relationship with. She shares a little about her journey learning to manage staff in the F&B industry.
Q: Could you share how you ended up in F&B?
My passion has always been in F&B. I grew up in F&B environment as my parents used to own restaurants in Malaysia. After working in various industries: aviation, hospitality and finance – I finally followed my passion to where my skills truly belong: in F&B! I have been running my F&B outlets for 5 years to date – the Flying Squirrel has been around for 5 years and TFS Private Works for 1.5 years.
Q: Could you share the characteristics you value the most in staff?
They should be honest, responsible, humble and passionate, both about what they do and about life in general. Personally, I love working with people who are both humble and passionate!
Q: What have the biggest challenges you’ve faced in terms of managing your staff?
I have a love-hate relationship with people management. It is the most challenging part for me as everyone comes from different backgrounds, having different mentalities and expectations. It is not easy – rather, it is impossible – to determine or predict what is the best way to manage people! This is especially for SMEs, which rely on a good team and we need to drive our team towards a common goal which we want everyone to be able to accept and strive towards.
Q: Is it difficult to find good staff?
Finding the right staff, who have the right qualities to fit into our team. I guess we do not always get what we wish for, right? You’ve gotta work at finding and grooming the right people with potential, which is easier said than done in most cases.
I have seen many staffs come and go. Some good ones, some not so good ones. As bosses, we learn too. We learn to pick the right staff through experience.
Q: What would you advise other restaurateurs to do to overcome staffing challenges?
The interview process is a very important step in finding the right staff. I usually go through resumes carefully & I ask straightforward questions. What I look out for the most is honest & humble people who are hungry to succeed in their career.
At the end of the day, be patient. Sometimes, it just takes a little more time for everything to be put in place.