Shi Li Fang: Of Hotpots and Printing Errors

Shi Li Fang: Of Hotpots and Printing Errors

I haven’t written in a long time because I’ve been struggling to find a topic that I’m both passionate about and can value-add to… in an already crowded space of eager writers on just about every topic. I stopped writing about food in particular, because I felt that the market was already over-saturated and that I wasn’t addressing any bigger social needs apart from feeding my own (and possibly my readers’) gluttony.

I’m popping by today because of a random lunch at Shi Li Fang (City Square Mall outlet) that gave me a purpose to write.

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This is the only photo I have of lunch since I wasn’t planning to write about them. Lunch isn’t the highlight of today’s post, but if you’re curious, the food was decent but not mind-blowing. Service was decent as well although I found it a little strange to see staff at the tables next to us taking their afternoon siestas. I honestly have nothing against this… work is tiring and I do support staff taking breaks. I just rarely see this being done so openly in restaurants. My fellow diner commented that the staff were all just eating beansprouts and rice or perhaps just vegetables and rice, which he felt might not have been sufficient for them as a staff meal. I’m not sure if this was accurate as I didn’t take a good look, but perhaps this could be an area for the management’s consideration about staff welfare: To have a room for them to rest in and also to provide more options for lunch, especially if their job is labour-intensive.

The inspiration for today’s quick write-up is this sign in particular:

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It boasts an additional 38% off ala-carte orders from 230-430pm everyday. Sounds too good to be true?

You’re right. It isn’t.

We were there on a Saturday around 3-420pm to be exact, but realised that the discount wasn’t reflected on our bill. Confused, I checked with the cashier why the discount didn’t apply to us. After all, we were within the timeframe listed… Saturday is part of everyday no?

He replied with a sheepish grin that “It was a printing error.”

Turns out, the promotion is only for weekdays. I’m not one to pick on small things and I’d be happy to pay more for a meal that is made for an honest living but I was rather annoyed because:

  1. They clearly made no effort to correct the alleged printing error that was showed on two signs. I imagine it doesn’t take very long to paste a printed sign correcting “Everyday” to “Weekdays”.
  2. This was more of deceptive marketing than it was a printing error. Business tip: One way to not get repeat customers is to intentionally mislead them.

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I think the signs speak for themselves. If you were thinking of checking Shi Li Fang out, I think you might be better off trying other hotpot places… especially those that don’t have printing errors, if you know what I mean. 

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