Empathy wins hearts of all

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 November, 2004, 12:00am

WINNING THE Supervisory Level award in the food category is a milestone in the career of Alfred Lee Wing-cheong, a restaurant manager at Pizza Hut - Hong Kong. It is also a milestone for Pizza Hut, which has won in the same category for five consecutive years.

Mr Lee, who has been with Pizza Hut full-time since 1995 (following eight years as a part-time waiter), said he did not feel any extra pressure in trying to help the company win the accolade for the fifth time.

'I simply applied the same approach to the competition that I apply to my work,' he said.

The competition involved answering questions about the role of a restaurant manager, service concepts and handling different situations involving staff and customers.

The effective supervisor is someone who has a strong relationship with his or her staff and listens whenever they voice their concerns, Mr Lee said. It is important to be accessible and approachable, he stressed.

'When staff know they are working in a well-supervised team that cares about their interests, they are in a better position to pursue their goals,' Mr Lee said.

He added that he hoped he could serve as a role model for the company. As part of Pizza Hut's service and courtesy culture, staff regularly benchmark their performance against that of other retail industries.

The company also has an internal training programme for management, from junior to senior level. The training covers selling techniques, the art of handling complaints and promoting Pizza Hut as a restaurant of choice through outstanding standards of courtesy.

The Developing Champions Management Curriculum involves 24 weeks of training and entails leading a shift, leading a restaurant and leading multiple restaurants.