Pizza Hut makes it three in a row
Pizza Hut, the fast-food chain, emerged as the champion of champions in this year's awards by winning for the third year running.
'I was nervous. I thought it would be difficult to make it three times in a row for the company,' said Tsoi Hiu-wah, an 18-year-old waitress at Pizza Hut in Tai Po.
She attributed the quality of her training to carrying off the food category prize the Jardine Pacific division had collected not only in 1995 and 1996 but also in 1993.
'I benefited from a good training scheme,' she said.
Pizza Hut has a rigorous training programme for its 3,300 staff in 57 restaurants in the SAR.
Human resources manager Anders Cheung said: 'Training for new staff is intense for the first three months.' No fewer than seven steps to service are drilled in to employees who are constantly assessed by 'mystery' customers.
The under-cover diners are recruited from among students at local universities to evaluate service performance and quality of meals.
Another programme designed to motivate staff encourages customers to vote in the employee-of-the month competition.
'It is good for business,' Ms Cheung said.
'If staff are not helpful, you can't satisfy the customers. And it is very important to be polite.' Pizza Hut's primary target, she said, was maintaining standards at a consistent level.
'That is the most important thing,' she said.
'Our policy and philosophy is to try to ensure every customer has a pleasing experience on every visit, from the moment they arrive to when they leave.' 'Customers are always asked if they enjoyed their meal and if there were any problems.
'Finally, after they are billed, the customer is thanked,' Ms Cheung said.
Staff are also constantly reminded of three 'buzz words' to maintain service.
'Our policy is QSC - quality, service and cleanliness,' she said.