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‘Kids nowadays can put in that kind of hours?’ Chef Bob dishes the dirt on F&B industry, Lifestyle News

Chef Bob is a well-known figure in the local food & beverage (F&B) scene.

But even he has faced difficulties when it comes to running a restaurant in Singapore.

On March 10, the chef and TV personality appeared as a guest on popular YouTuber JianHao Tan’s The Titan Podcast and had a 50-minute chat about his experiences as an F&B business owner.

He cited the lack of manpower as the biggest struggle when it came to opening and managing a restaurant.

@thetitanpodcast reveals the biggest struggle he has faced as a restaurant owner.

♬ original sound – The Titan Podcast – The Titan Podcast

“I’m sorry to say this, but locals don’t want to work in our line,” Chef Bob said.

Hiring and retaining staff was such a big issue that he and his wife would end up “always running” around the 100-seater restaurant trying to complete tasks.

While he didn’t name the restaurant, he mentioned that it has since closed down.

One would think that being a public figure would help Chef Bob when it came to hiring staff but that wasn’t the case.

“I cannot pay whatever they are asking for,” he explained, though he didn’t elaborate on the salaries that his prospective hires expected. 

They would use ridiculous excuses, says Chef Bob

Apart from hiring matters, another struggle was the dependability of his staff.

Chef Bob felt that hiring a local meant the business owner should brace themselves for a lack of sleep, with last-minute changes to the working roster being a norm.

Staff would update him regarding their unavailability with ridiculous reasons such as “my grandmother getting married” or “my grandfather’s cat going to the vet”. 

Another thing newcomers to the F&B industry may be unaware of are the long working hours. Chef Bob shared how a normal workday can be as long as 16 to 18 hours.

“Kids nowadays can put in that kind of hours?” he asked rhetorically.

Cafe owner warns others against starting F&B business

Chef Bob isn’t the only local entrepreneur to speak up about the challenges of running an F&B business.

In January, Heartbreak Melts cafe co-owner Goh Yong Wei did the same and went one step further by suggesting others not join the industry.

“Don’t go and start a business. Just stay in your job, collect your salary, work nine to five,” Yong Wei stated.

He mentioned that passion and ambition can only get you so far and setting up a business had a high chance of failure.

ALSO READ: Why don’t you quit and work 9-to-5? Entrepreneur slams cafe owner’s advice on not starting F&B business

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