The place to ask China-related questions!
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou Shenzhen Chengdu Xi'an Hangzhou Qingdao Dalian Suzhou Nanjing More Cities>>

Categories

Close
Welcome to eChinacities Answers! Please or register if you wish to join conversations or ask questions relating to life in China. For help, click here.
0
2
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
2

Q: Chinese service Industry - always a delightful experience, why?

I went for a hot pot dinner on Saturday to a very well managed restaurant called "Haidilou". How many of you are familiar with this place (I heard it's chain of restaurants)? They are apparently named as a best in the service, waiters were extremely polite and very helpful (at one point I just said "Fu" and saw two waiters approaching my table with a smile) smiley.. I actually had similar kind of experience is most of the restaurants here in China.

 

My question is, back home mostly waiters work for tips, needless to say the bigger the smile the better tip they expect... and China do not have a culture of "tipping". If not for extra money then what exactly motivates the waiters to be so nice? I am sure they are not paid anything extra...

4 years 17 weeks ago in  Culture - Suzhou

 
Highest Voted
6
7
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

They do it for the sheer pleasure of seeing you satisfied, and of course because it is also good for their long term business.

But mostly for the satisfaction of a work well done, a defining characteristic in this part of the world.

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
Answers (10)
Comments (17)
6
7
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

They do it for the sheer pleasure of seeing you satisfied, and of course because it is also good for their long term business.

But mostly for the satisfaction of a work well done, a defining characteristic in this part of the world.

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
0
1
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

Did you smile? Never underestimate the power of a smile!

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3263

Emperor

3
3
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Ri^4 nailed it, but I think there is something else : customers in China do not care for the same things than, say, in Europe. An example : my wife thinks everything is a bit slow and expensive in France : papers to sign, people have their week-ends and especially their Sunday off, etc... she cares more about cheap and fast. The consequences of cheap and fast, she considers it none of her business. I tend to think that there is a triangle of compromise cheap, fast, and quality. She does not think so ; want it now, only what I want matters, consequences are out of the vision field. From my own experience, it's quite typical in China.

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
3
3
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

it's a farmer's mentality. spit, stare, speak loubly, be rude… it doesn't matter because their "crops" will still grow. it will take another generation to understand social consequences.

what seriously retards development, is these princelings starting businesses for face rather than profit. And people getting thir job security from bribes rather than skill. why do a good job, if it doesn't really matter? customers don't matter.

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 4986

Emperor

1
1
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone in this thread. My experience has been the exact opposite at most service places.

 

Walmart

Me: "Hey, I need to find X"

Employee: meiyou. *waves hands while walking away*

 

Restaurants

Me: "Okay, the pork neck looks good. I want this."

Employee: meiyou. *looks at me like I'm crazy*

Me: "Oh, okay... I'll have the kourou."

Employee: meiyou. *looks at me like I'm crazy*

Me: "Hmm... let's see here... ok, I'll have the hong shaorou."

Employee: meiyou. *looks at me like I'm crazy*

Me: "(dumbfounded) You... you don't have any of that? But you advertise it... ok, fine... how about the eggplant and beans?"
Employee: ....meiyou. *looks at me like I'm fully in the grip of insanity*

Me: "So what DO you have?"

Employee: "Just noodles."

Me: "I'll... I'll have the noodles."

Employee: "Here you go."

Me: "Thank you."

*Employee stares and glares blankly for 1 minute.*

 

I went to one restaurant again and again for 7 months straight, and every day one employee just glared at me after I thank her. I think she might've been mentally disabled, or just a bitch. Although, on my last day, she finally cracked a smile.

 

But yeah, I've had some good service here and there... most people just give me that thousand-yard stare, though.

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
1
1
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Perhaps they were expecting a 'tip'... such as those couple of coins you might leave behind/

 

I think, for your comparison, you should ask about places where tipping is not standard - like Aus, NZ, UK, etc. Sure, we tip when we get good service in hospitality (ie, restaurant), but otherwise not (typically). Do you think the service industries in our countries don't bother to do a good job because it doesn't offer tips???

Report Abuse
4 years 17 weeks ago
 
1
1
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

@Shining_brow they weren't just good to me but too every customer... and for sure we know the Chinese do not pay "tips". and for other countries I think you answered your own questions, you would leave a good tip if you like the service. so there is your motivation...

 

I agree with Scandinavian probably its to save their jobs.. but my question was.. In this money worshipping country, If extra money is not an option, what gives the motivation to be absolute delight to the customer, Or is it just part of the culture?, only concerning food? because I know for sure the other Industries suck so bad...

 

Anyways my observation came from probably not enough experience...In just 6 months of my china existence I haven't even been to that many restaurants as most of you might have (not even one place where I eat regularly, except the company cafeteria)... so feel free to disagree!! I am still exploring and loving every bit of it... wink

Report Abuse
4 years 16 weeks ago
 
Posts: 470

General

2
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
2

Well, my experience with common (not high end) restaurants in China is as follows:

1) Food comes in average much faster than in Europe

2) Service level is very unstable (one day it's excellent and the other day it's horrible)

The thing that borders me the most is that virtually nobody really cares if you are dissatisfied irrespective of the reason. 

One of my Chinese friends told me it's because waitresses are usually lousily paid and do not care if fired as it is relatively easy for them finding the job with similar conditions. Also boss will hesitate to fire anyone as the another one will generally act the same as the old one but they will have to spend some time to train the person.

There is one thing which helps. If you go to the same restaurant frequently and treat them nice so you get preferential treatment.

Report Abuse
4 years 16 weeks ago
 
Posts: 458

Governor

1
2
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

I think we all thought you were being sarcastic. In my experience, Chinese who have hung up their own shingle and work for themselves deliver great service. I enjoy respecting those people and calling them laoban (including their wives, who work harder than the men. People who pretend Chinese culture isn't sexist as hell should pay attention to how female laoban are treated by the husband and the customers).

Street food people are pleasant enough to your face...but who do you think buys the most oil harvested from sewars? Who do you think sells the most poison in lieu of real food to save a few kuai? I remember an incident in Beijing where 3 people died from poisonous counterfeit eggs...the street vendor who was responsible did it because it cost him a few MAO less each time. Yes, not every steer vendor is like that, but do you want to take that gamble? Be the person who dies a miserable death so some jackass can save less than a kuai?

Chain restaurants, in my experience, is always the worst. With the exception of the occasional eager beaver employee, I've always had to hunt the staff like forest animals to get the smallest thing, catch them in blatant lies to get them to do their job and--my favorite--getting the bill and having a million things I didn't order tacked onto it to make the price higher (Chinese call this behavior cleverness). 

 

I'm glad that you've had such a great experience, though. I'll have to see if there is a haidilou  in my city. 

Report Abuse
4 years 16 weeks ago
 
0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

The service I've received has been quite mixed - from terrible, to slightly ok. Never 'great'. There's always this tendency that if something is wrong, it's the customer's fault, and the staff tend to try to find out where the blame actually lies - instead of just trying to fix it. Too many times I've seen this!!!

 

Speaking of fixes, I've been asked to change my order to the thing I didn't request, just so they didn't have to do any fixing. Worse, when it's something I've specifically asked NOT to be done, and they do it (for me, it's 'bu yao qingjiao"), there's about a 90% chance they'll take it back, and then just pull those green pepeprs our of the dish, and re-serve. Obvious not only from the taste (whcih is all through it), but also the smell... and of course, those few strips left in it. Either that, or it's the BS "Can't you just eat around them/pull them out yourself?" WTF? I asked for something done a particular way, but because you FKD up, *I* have to just accept it??? (AND pay full price!!!) NO!

 

Discounts for employee mistakes?? I think, to date, after over 5 years here - not one place offered a discount. I have been offered a 'complementary' drink a couple of times (unfortunately, there's a tendency for them to get me something I don't want... eg, coffee at night, beer...).

 

Ok service - is from my local, and I'm considered a local. I won't say the 'service' is good, but the laoban knows me, and while my Chinese isn't great, and her English non-existent, she still sort of looks after me (however, I'll also point out that she does that with all her customers!) There's no "Oh look - waiguoren!!" type crap.

 

And my other local, 'western' restaurant... hit and miss. I'm a regular, so I can get things pretty easily - almost no discounts, sometimes impossible to get a waiter to look at you - even after gesticulating wildly for 5 minutes (not only the Chinese wait staff!!). but rarely any real mix-ups in orders (other than my qingjiao issue I mentioned above). Sometimes orders get forgotten (all to regularly...)  :(

 

One difference though - if something is forgotten, the level of apology is quite different. From the locals, there can be "oh, sorry". From the non-locals, "Oh, I'm really sorry, please accept my apology. I'll fix it for you as fast as I can. I'll do something for you to make amends".

Report Abuse
4 years 16 weeks ago
 
Know the answer ?
Please or register to post answer.

Report Abuse

Security Code: * Enter the text diplayed in the box below
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <br> <p> <u>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.

More information about formatting options

Forward Question

Answer of the DayMORE >>
A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs