Addictive Mala Dishes at Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot
Words by Julia Chan

Read about how the Chinese restaurant creates higher staff productivity.

Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot is a popular destination for foodies who cannot get enough of this extremely addictive mouth-numbing dish. At its flagship Upper Serangoon Road restaurant that opens from 11am to 3am, Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot offers customers an impressive array of ingredients to choose from for its cooks to toss with its signature ma la recipe.

Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot’s Serangoon Branch is popular for late night eats (Photo taken before Circuit Breaker) (Image courtesy of Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot)

Popular especially for dinner and supper, the brand, owned by Food Essence Pte Ltd, has gained a strong following among regulars for the quality of its food and freshness of its ingredients, said Wang Jia, its Serangoon outlet manager. Customers can customise their own ma la hot pot, order set meals, and try special dishes such as the Chong Qing Grilled Fish.

(Image courtesy of Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot)

Wang Jia shared that in order to cater to foodies staying in the Western and Northern parts of Singapore, Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot subsequently opened more outlets in Boon Lay, Jurong West, Yew Tee and Jalan Gelenggang, with opening hours from 11am to 11pm (except Yew Tee which closes at 10pm).

With business plans to open even more stalls when the economic situation improves, Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot wanted to make their F&B operations more productive.

Stir-frying dishes made its kitchen hot and uncomfortable, as its staff (mainly older workers) had to fry the dishes manually over a gas stove. In addition, staff had to rely on their memory in terms of how long they needed to fry the food before it was ready. Temperature control of the fire was also based on the experience of each staff.

Staff using the previous manual way to stir-fry ma la dishes (Image courtesy of Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot)

Food Essence Pte Ltd decided to enter into a partnership with NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to improve productivity, as well as better plan its resources to have less wastage.

Under the WorkPro Job Redesign initiative, the company implemented a Point-Of-Sales (POS) system, kitchen equipment, and an Inventory Management System.

In the kitchen, it purchased automatic commercial induction cookers where staff could pre-set the desired temperature and cooking duration. Once the allotted time had passed, the cooker would automatically switch off to stop the cooking process. With this equipment, staff did not have to constantly monitor the cooking of the food, and there were fewer instances where food was accidentally overcooked.

With new automatic kitchen equipment, staff’s productivity has more than doubled. The kitchen is also less hot and uncomfortable (Image courtesy of Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot)

To make jobs easier, safer and smarter, Food Essence Pte Ltd decided to do away with gas stoves which needed to be manually lit and required staff to control the fire during cooking. It invested in automatic energy saving commercial kitchen cookers to automate the amount of heat provided to cook dishes. As the cookers are also designed to contain the heat from the flame within the surface of the stove, staff no longer feel as much heat as before.

With the productivity initiatives, Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot staff can cook more than twice the amount in a shorter period of time, impacting nine staff who are mature workers (above 50 years old). To thank them for their efforts to upskill and improve their productivity with the new equipment, the company gave them a pay increment to share the productivity gains.

(Image courtesy of Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot)

Wang Jia has also revealed that Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot plans to enhance their current recipes as well as aspects of their customer service in order to bring their brand name to the next level. To satisfy your ma la cravings, read more about Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot below and plan your visit today.

For more information on Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot, visit

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