Japanese restaurant in S’pore solves manpower issue with 4-day work week & 10% pay raise – Mothership.SG

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A Japanese tempura restaurant in Singapore has solved the running problem of its manpower shortage by reducing its work week for employees.

The administration manager of Tenya Singapore, Bhakt Yap, told Shin Min Daily News that since the restaurant opened its first outlet at Orchard Central in October 2020, there has been a shortfall of staff, and employees often have to work overtime.

The Straits Times reported that Tenya staff would work more than the Ministry of Manpower’s “normal hours of work” for common work arrangements, which is 44 hours a week.

Some staff would thus be putting in 50 to 55 hours a week.

Four-day work week

Yap told ST that in order to “entice” more people to join the typically labourious and time-consuming F&B industry, the company “need[ed] to come up with some kind of benefit”.

After several discussions with the management, Yap decided to implement a four-day work week for eligible staff as of June 2022, reported SMDN.

The salaries for all staff were also raised by 10 per cent.

In a May 2022 hiring advertisement, Tenya made clear what the staff benefits were.

Aside from a four-day work week and “work life balance”, the poster also advertised staff discounts, career progression, and medical and dental coverage.

Resolved manpower shortfall

Since this change, ST reported that the restaurant has quickly filled eight positions, where before they would typically see zero applicants when advertising a five-day work week.

This included two supervisory staff who are not eligible for the four-day work week but were attracted by the job advertisements.

A chef who joined Tenya in April 2021 shared with SMDN that he used to work up to 60 hours a week.

Although he considered resigning, he felt the company was “very sincere” in wanting to retain him and solving any challenges he was facing.

Since the implementation of the four-day work week, the chef said that his stress has been alleviated.

Yap added that as more people have joined, the restaurant has managed to replace staff who had left and also reduce its reliance on part-timers.

Top photo from Tenya Singapore / FB