The last time I went to Carousel was to celebrate a birthday. It was great fun and the service staff served up a jovial birthday song. I have heard that Carousel staff always make that birthday song a little more memorable than usual.
I was just waiting outside for a friend during my invited lunch tasting at Carousel, and was asked by a service staff if I wanted a seat inside first. I was pleasantly surprised, as initiative in service is something becoming less common in Singapore.
Carousel has always been quite a popular hotel buffet restaurant amongst locals and foreigners, especially since it is halal. It serves a huge variety of cuisines, featuring a variety of sweet treats with not one but three dessert counters. Special mention must be made of its bread & butter pudding and Asian selections.
This time, I saw a new Teriyaki counter where you can have Japanese style fried rice, chicken, seafood and beansprouts on a single plate, all cooked lived in front of you.
Service was also prompt, especially in terms of clearing plates and refilling of water. That is especially important to me when having a buffet.
And to my further surprise, I noticed that the service staff pouring water was also the same one who greeted me at the door. Wait a minute, why is she multi-tasking?
After a chat, I realised that “butlers” at Carousel are trained to be multi-tasked so that they can deliver personalised and seamless one-stop service to enhance guests’ experience. So Lena the butler can also be a coordinator for concierge service, and a bartender for making cocktails!
The butlers at Royal Plaza on Scotts are also trained to be multi-skilled, such as making evening cocktails and various types of egg dishes when requested. Okay, I am kind of sceptical when it comes to this – will this overwork the workers?
Lena told me that she has been working at Royal Plaza on Scotts for more than 20 years, and wasn’t satisfied with knowing how to do just one thing. She likes to learn with the job, doing a variety of tasks keeps her interested and passionate, and she gets to attend trainings to learn new skills.
She mentioned how one of her guest wanted a mojito, and was astonished how she managed to whip up a glass on her own. The bartender happened not to be around. From a customer’s point of view, that is definitely easier and smarter, and lot of trouble and time saved. Lena was candid enough to share that she even got a pay increase for learning new skills!
How is that even impossible? Get free training and more pay?
With this service staff shortage in Singapore, her original job was redesigned by the hotel which wanted to provide staff with better jobs and better pay, a strategy which organisations such as e2i have been encouraging other hotels to adopt. She wants to work hard for an employer who values every worker, even the older workers like herself.
While the hardware of a buffet restaurant is important, it is also the ‘heartware’ that adds that special touch to the dining experience. You know what I mean when you notice that service staff genuinely look happy and sincere to serve. No wonder the birthday songs at Carousel always feel happier.
Carousel Buffet Restaurant
Lobby Level, Royal Plaza on Scotts 25 Scotts Road Singapore 228220 Tel: +65 6589 7799
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-2:00pm (Lunch), 3:30pm-5:30pm (High tea), 6:30pm-10:30pm (Dinner)
Prices for Adults: $46.00++ Lunch, $62.00++ Dinner (Weekday), $50.00++, $75.00++ (Weekends)
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