From Passion to Achievement
Many of her colleagues address her as ‘Sister Angie’. Regulars at her food outlets know her as Angie, the lady who always smiles and asks about their food.
But if anyone had asked Angie Tang 10 years ago what her career plans were, she would have looked at them blankly and said "I don’t have any goals". At that time, she had no idea what she wanted after leaving an administration job in the construction industry. All she knew then was she had a strong passion for food.
Yet, today, Angie is an Area Manager of Select Group, managing multiple food outlets, overseeing matters from food, service and operations to outlet design.
"My current position requires me to have a whole host of management skills. To manage my teams, I need to be proficient in communication. To manage the profit and loss of the various outlets, I need to be able to carry out loss prevention, administration of F&B operations and optimisation of sales.
"Some of these skills were learnt from experience but the bulk of it was gained through learning from the experts," said Angie as she recalled what was needed to reach where she is now.
Learning from Scratch
Back in 2005, Angie had stumbled on a chance to enter the F&B industry while taking a break from work. Not knowing what to expect, she made a brave move to follow her dream and joined the Select Group as a junior executive, handling day-to-day operations.
With no prior experience and little relevant skills, she picked up all she could from her co-workers and seniors at work. At the same time, she attended several courses to learn about F&B operations, human resource management, financial management and designing of restaurant concepts.
"I have lots of fun attending courses, especially when all the students are from different companies or divisions. We do class activities, share our experiences and learn from one other.
"Most importantly, I gain new knowledge. And the more courses I attend, the more confident I am at work," reflected Angie who is very glad her family is very supportive of her efforts in upgrading herself.
With her expanding knowledge, Angie’s capabilities increased tremendously and she was promoted three times - from Operations Executive to Outlet Manager to Multi-Outlet Manager to her current position as Area Manager. Even with her growing responsibilities, Angie still finds time for learning, and is now pursuing a Diploma in F&B management.
"My superior attended the course with some managers from our company. And I saw great changes in him – be it in dealing with people, staff or his work. So I told myself, I must attend and complete the course," explained Angie.
"On top of that, there are some skills which I need in my current role. With the new knowledge gained since attending the Diploma, I’ve managed to carry out my duties more effectively and the results are great."
Nurturing Teams That Grow With Her
Of the many skills Angie has picked up through the courses, the one she values greatly is staff management. This skill has helped her put together teams that are able to work efficiently and effectively, it has also enabled her to build teams that stay with her and grow as her portfolio expands.
"The F&B industry is constantly facing manpower crunch. The courses taught me how to evaluate staff, train staff, and get the right person for the job.
"For my staff, I am always ready to train them, as I feel that with training, retraining and grooming, they will be able to perform their duties well and will stay with me longer," shared Angie who added she has been lucky in getting recommendations from her staff, so she has not had problems fielding her teams.
In addition to training staff personally, Angie arranges for them to attend external training to complement what they learn in-house. On completing any courses, she will discuss with them what they have learnt and provide pointers on how they can make use of their learning in their work.
Along with this, she strives to give them a family-like work environment. She makes it a point to have meals and discuss issues with them regularly. She also treats each of them as her family rather than her staff. She tries to remember their birthdays and celebrate their special day with them.
Tay Puay Tian, a Crew Leader who has been working with Angie for more than four years, is one of the many staff that is deeply thankful for Angie’s efforts, "She has strict requirements for her staff as she wants us to carry out our tasks well. But she is also very hands-on, so the team that works with her feels united and is like a family."
Over the years, Angie’s nurturing personality has helped several of her staff achieve success in F&B. Her efforts in upskilling her teams have also won her deep appreciation with her superiors. And this year, her many contributions to the F&B industry were recognised at the 2015 WSQ Outstanding Alumni award.
"I love what I am doing," said Angie when asked what has motivated her. "I feel very blessed and happy that my company recognises my effort.
"The knowledge and training I have received through the courses have certainly helped me do my job well, do my job right. In the years to come, I hope to be able to move to greater heights and be entrusted with greater responsibilities."