No takers for dishwashing job until Orchard Rd restaurant offers S$3,500 salary

F&B manpower crunch.

Zhangxin Zheng | May 27, 2022, 11:40 AM

While business is improving for the food and beverage industry in Singapore, many F&B players are grappling with a severe manpower crunch.

No takers for dishwashing, until the restaurant offers S$3,500

A Japanese restaurant in Orchard Road told Shin Min Daily News (Shin Min) that it has always been difficult to hire dishwashers as this is not a job that Singaporeans are willing to do.  This role is often performed by foreign workers.

However, the Covid-19 situation has resulted in many Malaysian employees returning to their country, and the Singapore government recently tightened its foreign worker policy.

These are the reasons behind the manpower crunch that they currently face, one of the restaurant's owners shared with Shin Min's reporter.

The owner said that there were no takers for the dishwashing job "for a very long time".

Even after raising the salary to S$3,500, it took "about a month" to hire someone from Malaysia, according to the Shin Min report.

Some companies outsourced to external vendors

TungLok Group's president and CEO, Andrew Tjioe, also told Shin Min that the restaurant group had outsourced its cleaning work to an external vendor 10 years ago.

The cleaning company charges around S$3,800 to S$4,000, for a dishwasher who works for about eight hours a day.

Tjioe said that having a vendor that provides such essential manpower will save him from worrying about whether a dishwasher will not appear for work or not.

Enhancing remunerations

That said, an owner of three F&B outlets in the city area also shared with the reporter that their vendor recently raised its fees by 27 per cent.

This led her to try hiring dishwashers herself.

She offered S$2,600 base pay and a S$2,000 starting bonus.

To retain their existing staff members and attract more to join, she also introduced monthly performance bonuses of up to S$1,000.

Even so, she still faces a manpower shortage.

Earlier this year, the CEO of Putien also gave its staff a salary increment across the board.

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Top image via CleanSolutions