The restaurant industry took a huge hit last year when the pandemic restricted indoor dining options, and Mat Yeung (楊明) and Lisa Ch’ng’s (莊思明) stewed soup business was not an exception. Luckily, the couple has a great team of employees supporting them throughout the hard times. Ringing in the Lunar New Year, Mat and Lisa treated their employees to a traditional New Year poon choi (also known as big bowl feast) and lobster dinner to celebrate their hard work.
When asked how she felt about resuming business, Lisa said, “Very happy, but I believe that many people are looking forward to this. It has been such a long time since people have gone out to eat. We will clean our store well to ensure sanitation, as well as monitor our employees’ health. We hope that our business will turn in the right direction.”
Mat confided, “Luckily, we have accumulated working capital. We were originally going to use the money to open up another store, but we decided to slow down and take it step by step. The fact that we were able to sustain our business during a pandemic is already not bad.”
As the owners, Mat and Lisa are incredibly grateful for their employees’ considerateness during such a stressful time. Lisa shared, “Sometimes when we have a project, they will be even more nervous than me. They choose to work hard even if it means resting less. Sometimes they won’t leave until I tell them to.”
Unfortunately with such poor business last year, Mat and Lisa were unable to give their employees a good bonus. They promise to give them a reward when business grows again. Mat said, “Every time we have a big project like making poon choi or Chinese New Year cakes, we would give a bonus to them.”
In terms of their plans for this year, Mat and Lisa hope the pandemic comes to an end soon. Mat shared, “I hope that everyone will be strong like an ox. Regardless of the economy or any social aspects, we just want a healthy society first. I hope that the Year of the Ox will be a fresh start for everyone.”
This article is written by Hailey for JayneStars.com.