Yusheng for Chinese New Year

Straight out of the winter holiday season we’re directly heading into Chinese New Year. The time for us to all get together and toss raw fish, salad, and other ingredients as high as we can. Lo Hei!

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This year we will be offering yusheng with your choice of salmon, tuna, or yellowtail (or a combination of the three).

Regular Size (9 slices) – 26.80 SGD
Large Size (18 slices) – 33.80 SGD
Additional sashimi (9 slices) – 10 SGD

To order please e-mail eat@standingsushibar.com or call the branch you would like to pickup your yusheng from.

8 Queen Street: 6333 1335
Marina Bay Link Mall: 6634 7068

Available from January 1 to February 6 with the exception of January 21 – 26 when we will be closed for Chinese New Year.

Lunch and Dinner Gozen set (multi-course meal)

One trait of Japanese restaurants seems to be the huge number of items on their menu. This is a trait that Standing Sushi Bar also has. Diners come, take a look at the menu, and many end up feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices. I can understand. People like a variety of food during a meal, but the effort it takes to wade through a large menu makes them want to stick with the basics they can order off the top of their head.

To help alleviate this, we have created some multi-course gozen sets for lunch and dinner. Perfect for the lazy diner who wants to eat the highlights from the restaurant (i.e. a diner like me).

These are available daily at our 8QSAM location.

Lunch Gozen42 SGD (includes everything below)

  • Seasonal appetizer
  • Salad
  • Assorted sashimi (5 kinds)
  • Ikura Chawan Mushi (steamed egg with salmon roe)
  • Gindara with Teriyaki Sauce (grilled codfish with teriyaki sauce)
  • Rice and miso soup
  • Ice cream

Dinner Gozen – 60 SGD (includes everything below)

  • Seasonal Appetizer
  • Salad
  • Assorted Sashimi (5 kinds)
  • Gindara Mentaiyaki (grilled codfish topped with cod roe)
  • Tempura Mori (2 shrimp tempura, 1 fish tempura, 3 vegetable tempura)
  • Assorted sushi (3 nigiri, 2 maki)
  • Miso soup
  • Ice cream

Call 6333 1335 or e-mail eat@standingsushibar.com to make reservations!

What I used to look forward to

I used to look forward to holidays, paydays, and rainy weekends.

Since opening the restaurant, I find myself cursing weeks that have holidays, dreading the payday at the end of the month, and staring out the window wishing the rain would stop.

Why?

Holidays – two branches of Standing Sushi Bar are located in the Raffles Place business district. Since it’s the business district, the majority of the business occurs during the weekdays, especially the lunch period. That’s 20 days a month to sell enough sushi to cover rent, inventory, payroll, etc. On those 20 days a month, you’re really looking at a 2 hour or less lunch rush each day. 40 hours to make enough money for expenses and hopefully some profit.  When there is a holiday, that’s cutting into the 20 days a month… now you’re down to 19 days. Plus people like to extend their holidays by taking the weekday before or after as vacation… now 18 days. Difficult.

Payday – As a small business, and as the person doing the administrative work, the act of writing paychecks is the manifestation of money flying out of the pockets. Calculating CPF, writing checks, printing payslips, etc. for 25+ people is a mixed feeling. It’s great that the staff will be happy and flush with money, but the drained account and tired wrist make me (sad face).  Smile

Rain – I’m like a crazy Native American during the week, trying to do rain dances at lunch time. When it rains the folks in Raffles Place don’t want to get wet so they stay in the underground malls where two of the restaurants are. It’s a definite full house when it rains during a weekday lunch.  On the weekends it’s our 8 Queen Street outlet that we have to rely on for business… that’s located at the Singapore Art Museum and in a neighborhood where people are only going to come when it’s pleasant weather.  So weekends like this one where it has rained nonstop kill the business. (Sad face)

This week is the trifecta – I’m sitting here at home on a Sunday night, listening to the sound of the rain while writing all the paychecks to hand out tomorrow before we close for the long Chinese New Year holiday.

I hope I get ang baos!

Facebook Ad

I was thinking about growing the number of fans on the Standing Sushi Bar Facebook page. There were a few campaigns in my head, some ideas to encourage folks to share the Facebook page with their friends… but then I decided to try out a low-effort way first: pay for a Facebook ad.

I had done this before with what I considered reasonable success. Ran a Facebook ad for a period of 3 weeks which resulted in the fan page growing from around 400 fans to 1,100. I was very targeted with the keywords and demographics so didn’t reach out to many people (whether this is good or bad I have not decided yet). That ad was more than a year ago.

This time the Facebook fan page had 1,457 fans.  In a 48 hour span the ad has resulted in 78 new fans, averaging a cost per click of 20 cents (USD) and cost per new fan of 49 cents (USD). Seems a little high – I suppose that’s partly from being less stringent with keywords so that I catch a broader market which may result in more people clicking the ad but not “liking” the page.

I’m curious what running an ad on one of the major search engines would be like.

In other news, I’m drinking a whisky.

Intern

I’m thinking about finding an intern. There have been a lot of ideas rattling around in my head and I’d like to make headway on them. Thoughts on how to improve customer experience at the sushi bar, ways to increase awareness (most important at the moment), and starting a whole new branch of a menu. As a one-man operation on the administrative and office side, the paperwork is piling up and there’s little time left to push the business forward.

Anyway, before I actually try to find an intern I wanted to talk about the idea of an internship. It seems in Singapore, companies treat interns quite poorly – viewed more as a source of free labor with little thought given to the training and education aspect that is supposed to accompany an internship. After all, in return for low or no pay, the intern receives hands-on experience and guidance. What I’ve observed is that companies bring on interns, have them do the grunt work and then chuck ‘em out once the internship period is over.

When I was working at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, we had a solid internship program. What I found interesting was that after a summer internship, the intern was supposed to be proficient enough to pass a job interview for a full-time position at the company. If the intern wasn’t able to pass the interview, it was the intern’s mentor (the full-time employee) that would receive a blemish on their record (like not being able to have an intern for a couple years or not be considered for a management role).  This drove the behavior of really coaching and guiding the intern.

So before I start searching for an intern I want to make sure that I’m prepared to provide an experience that’s great for the intern as well as for the business.

Come one, come all, promotions everywhere!

Hi everyone! Thank you for your support of Standing Sushi Bar. Your love of sushi has led to SSB spreading the joy of sushi into new neighborhoods – 8 Queen Street and Marina Bay Link Mall.

The three locations offer very different experiences. While brand experts may consider this topsy-turvy, I think it’s nice that we make it special for the community we’re in.

Come check out our locations! We have promotions going on so everyone can trip the sushi fantastic.

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Standing Sushi Bar at Marina Bay Link Mall
(8A Marina Boulevard, B2-51)
+65 6634 7068

1 for 1 salmon nigiri, maki, temaki, and sashimi from
6pm – 9pm M-F and lunch & dinner on Sat & Sun
Not applicable for takeaway orders

20 SGD free-flow Asahi draft beer from 5pm – 7pm Mon – Fri.

Located within Singapore’s brand new Marina Bay Financial Centre

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Standing Sushi Bar 8QSAM
(Flagship location – 8 Queen Street)  +65 6333 1335

With 3 lunch sets, get an additional set free – available during lunch daily
(not applicable to student lunch sets or takeaway orders)

1 for 1 Asahi draft beer from 5pm – 7pm Mon – Fri

SSB is located within the Contemporary Art Museum.  Friday night is free entry to the museum, which is currently housing the Trans-Cool TOKYO exhibition. Check out the exhibition, enjoy SSB afterwards!

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Standing Sushi Bar at One Raffles Place (the original - 1 Raffles Place) 
+65 6533 7078

1 for 1 salmon nigiri, maki, temaki, and donburi on Saturdays

Stand, eat, enjoy!

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The promotions will be ongoing until December 31, 2010.