Restaurants STORIES IN WHICH low-level employees work their way up to become managers are heralded as triumphs for the underdog and examples for others to follow. After 15 years with Maxim's Caterers, Kenny Wan Wai-kit has achieved his personal goal. Starting off as a junior waiter, he was promoted to captain and is now manager of the Chiuchow Garden Restaurant in Sheung Wan. Mr Wan attributes his success at the HKRMA Awards to his easy-going attitude. 'His character is suited to be a successful restaurant manager,' said a colleague. 'He treats his customers in the same way he treats his friends and that is why he won.' But management is also about interaction, in which he excels. Mr Wan said: 'I do like to talk with my customers. I know that I also have to encourage my staff and give them incentives.' Recalling examples of customer service, he is keen to recite two stories of past heroics. 'Our team at the Chiuchow Garden Restaurant is particularly creative on birthdays. Chinese are not always known for being outgoing in public, but with certain customers we'll really make an effort. 'There is one group of regulars that has been coming to the restaurant for eight years. We always make sure that we give them a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. It always exceeds their expectations.' On another festive occasion Mr Wan and his team came up trumps, this time after considerable adversity. 'We were getting ready to host a wedding banquet but then the unthinkable happened. One of the staff dropped the cake. Of course we apologised to the married couple and their families profusely but then we had to react quickly. Luckily, because our restaurant is in the same group as Maxim's Cakes, we were able to get a replacement cake in under two hours.' The wedding went off without any further problems and Mr Wan even made a star appearance as the host for the evening.