Eating out has become a reflex in Singapore. While some cities still embrace tiffins and lunchboxes, we find joy in eating out all the time. Our melting pot of cultures make a scene like this a common sight: kway chap, rogan josh and mee rebus enjoyed on the same table. We even have the luxury of choosing between a $3.50 meal or its fancier rendition at $10 more.
With its outlets growing island-wide, their suggestive brand name and tantalising display of deep-fried goodness are incredibly hard to miss.
“The management knows that I like cooking,” says Mr Eric Seah, a 65 year old Kitchen Assistant at CRAVE Causeway Point. “I was trained on how to operate the machine, the fryer and other procedures in the kitchen.”
It seems that assigning passionate people to the kitchen and ensuring adequate training are part of efforts to upkeep food standards at CRAVE.
“All Singaporeans love food. The F&B industry may be competitive, but there is a niche for everyone. Who knows I may create my own well-loved recipe one day!” replied Eric cheekily when asked about his decision to enter the F&B industry
Besides Eric, the food preparation process is maintained by employees such as Mdm Lee Yan Kue, a retired worker from the banking industry. She takes pride in juggling multiple chores in the kitchen despite the lunch hour traffic.
After work, Eric continues to observe his cooking skills. If he can expect a crowded dinner table, Eric is happy to take on a different spin in the kitchen. Instead of the heartiness and aroma of nasi lemak, he whips up his specialties in sweet and sour flavours.
His signature dish? Sweet and sour grouper fish.
With cooking allowing him to shine both at home and at work, Eric is living the active life.
“Engaging in hobbies, volunteering and even a part-time job are ways to keep active at my age. For now, having a part-time job allows me to continue my contribution to society,” said Eric, who went on to share that he had no plans to stop working yet.
Driven individuals like Eric, and tradition-rooted family businesses like CRAVE give our eat-out culture a new significance. Amidst our daily hustle, it feels good to give in to the lure of eating out when meals are made by people who believe in food as much as they believe in family.
The Career Skills Training (CST) programme has helped to enable placements for more than 1,500 learners in the past 2 years. Learners like Eric and Mdm Lee go through an 8 day skills training before embarking on weekly journeys to visit different hiring partners. Through these age-friendly workshops and journeys, we hope to bridge the gap between the work force and our work ready seniors.
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