Going the Extra Mile
Words by Janelle Ting

Discover how excellent service standard is made possible with streamlined work processes at The English House.

Opened in September 2018, The English House by Marco Pierre White is renowned for its quintessentially British dishes. Restaurateur and chef Marco Pierre White drew inspiration from his childhood in England, his Italian ancestry and the heritage of local Asian classics.

The English House is a tribute to White’s favourite Singapore hotel: the iconic Raffles Hotel. It occupies two beautifully restored shophouses at 28 Mohamed Sultan Road. With an additional attic space and rooms overlooking the Robertson Quay neighbourhood; the one-of-a-kind restaurant is certainly worth a visit.

The exterior of The English House (Image courtesy of The English House)

Stepping into the restaurant, guests are greeted with a feast for their eyes before their taste buds. The whimsical English touches pay homage to White’s culture while the unique decor reveals his personality and exacting standards. One might be surprised to learn that much of the decor comes from White’s personal collection. Adorning the walls are approximately 40 limited-edition Terry O’Neill photographs, one of the largest collections in the world.

The eclectic decor featuring vast exhibits of photographs, vintage curios and sculptures (Image courtesy of The English House)

Delivering a high standard of service

In addition to the quality food and dining ambience, The English House also ensures excellent service to create a memorable experience for their guests.

“I’m not in the business of gastronomy,” White shares. “I’m in the business of selling a night out.”

The warm service extended by the staff at The English House elevates one’s dining experience. The staff are professional and polite, according each guest personalised attention. Diners can look forward to conversations about White’s inspiration behind his signature dishes, the building’s restoration process, the design elements and artefacts, or even the history of the location as each staff is trained to tour diners around the restaurant.

Redesigning jobs to be smarter and easier

A key factor contributing to the restaurant’s success is its excellent service standard, and The English House has come a long way. Previously, in the absence of appropriate ordering, tracking and reporting systems, various work processes had to be done manually. As a result, the staff had no additional bandwidth to interact with the guests and enhance their dining experiences.

Under the WorkPro Job Redesign initiative supported by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), The English House purchased and implemented a new point-of-sale (POS), E-Ordering, Inventory, Kitchen Management System. Various work processes are streamlined and integrated, hence bringing about significant productivity improvements and time savings.

A point of note is the improvement in the ordering process. Prior to the new system, the service staff had to take orders manually and any illegible handwriting could lead to wrong orders. However, with the new POS system, the service staff can simply key the customers’ orders into the tablets, minimising human errors and miscommunication with the kitchen staff.

The restaurant’s inventory management has also seen marked improvements from a basic tracking system to one with a centralised backend software. The new system reduces the need for manual stock-taking and generates reports in the desired formats for effective planning and analysis. Efficiency also improves with work processes being made smarter and easier for the staff. This enhances their work performance to uphold a professional and refined service standard.

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic

While there have been significant improvements, The English House, like many F&B establishments, is affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the restaurant’s revenue drops drastically, they do not intend to lay off any staff. Instead, the employees are encouraged to clear their annual leave or take their annual leave in advance.

Employees who fall ill during this period are granted extended sick leave to avoid putting the health of diners and other employees at risk. As a safety precaution, the restaurant also dedicates a team to take charge of food safety. This includes stringent cleaning procedures, usage of personal protective equipment and regular premise sanitisation.

Complementing the work of the food safety team, the marketing team at The English House actively promotes their new menu offerings across various media platforms. Menu items are specially curated by the culinary team to ensure they are suitable for delivery travel without compromising the taste. Additionally, the restaurant has also set up food ordering and payment features on their website to bring greater convenience to their customers.

For more information on The English House by Marco Pierre White, visit theenglishhouse.com

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