Record win as part-timer gets slice of action

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 November, 1998, 12:00am

Pizza Hut must have a secret ingredient. The chain took top honours in the Service and Courtesy Awards for a record fourth year running - setting a daunting target for the rest of Hong Kong's fast-food industry to catch.

Even more remarkably, a part-timer earned the pizza-makers the prize this year.

Seventeen-year-old Yoko Wong Ka-wai was also the youngest winner of a prestigious HKRMA award when she was judged top of her class in the food category.

Pizza Hut must be wondering if it actually owns the award by now, after having scooped it every year since 1995.

'We are the only company to have set such a record,' assistant training manager Daisy Ching said.

Is a diet of delicious pizza the secret of the chain's success? Or perhaps mountains of healthy greens from the famed salad bar? Or is it simply that, with 3,300 staff working in 58 restaurants and outlets, Pizza Hut has so many employees to choose from? 'We just encourage our staff to do the best they can,' Ms Ching said.

Yoko has worked part time at Pizza Hut in Tseung Kwan O's Hau Fak centre for two years while studying Form Four and Five subjects.

She said even her customers were keen to see her win.

'A lot of them knew I had entered and were very interested in my progress,' Yoko said.

Now she can tell them about the best possible result. 'I'm very happy for my colleagues, my family and my customers.' Pizza Hut's chief executive, T. H. Jim, is equally pleased. 'We are delighted because we see this award as the result of teamwork which is paying off. It says a lot about our company culture, which is all about improving customer service, from the front-line staff to the top.

'We are careful to note what customers write in questionnaires they are invited to fill in and bonuses are directly linked to service performance.

'Basically, we want every customer who leaves Pizza Hut to have had a happy experience - it's as simple as that.

'I know that, in Hong Kong, a lot of people don't want to have to talk too much to staff. But a happy smile says a lot.'