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Crystal Jade Group


Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding (Crystal Jade) embarked on its journey in 1991 with the opening of its first outlet at Cairnhill Hotel.  The following year, its flagship restaurant Crystal Jade Palace was established at Ngee Ann City, along with Crystal Jade Kitchen, offering affordable Cantonese cuisine such as noodles and roasted meat, at Shaw House.

In the late 1990s, Crystal Jade expanded its restaurant group in Singapore, introducing popular concepts like Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, which specialized in La Mian, Xiaolongbao, and northern-style Chinese cuisine.  The group also ventured into confectioneries, offering Hong Kong Style Bread, and explored Korean cuisine and other specialty foods.  The Crystal Jade brand managed a total of approximately 52 outlets in Singapore across its five concepts.


In 2012, Crystal Jade engaged Universal Stage to improve the customer service standards of all its restaurants, leveraging the Customer Centric Initiative (CCI) by SPRING Singapore.  This initiative involved setting up an integrative service management system for all the outlets under its management, including organisational analysis, diagnosing service levels, formulating service strategies, developing blueprints, standards, and systems, implementing customer-centric initiatives, and establishing a service monitoring framework.  Additionally, Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding (CJCC) implemented an ERP system linked to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

As part of the approach in achieving the project objectives for Crystal Jade Group of companies, Universal Stage designed, developed, and delivered customised training for frontline operational employees from over fifty outlets across the island.  The training materials and guides were tailored to the requirements of the various concepts.  The training sessions, held during pre-opening and off-peak hours, were tremendously successful, with 100% learner satisfaction reported in post-training surveys.  Despite having to report earlier to work and forgo their usual resting period, the learners demonstrated a high level of commitment and provided plenty of positive feedback.  Each learner attended at least 3 sessions of training held at the designated outlets during their pre-opening and off-peak hours from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM.  Furthermore, many of the learners were older workers who had never received such training before, demonstrating that age is not a barrier to continuous learning.

Upon the request of employees who greatly benefited from the earlier sessions, Crystal Jade HR Director appointed Universal Stage to conduct additional sessions with advanced content.

It was worth noting that Universal Stage was the first consultant engaged by Crystal Jade from the start of the business and continued to work with them even after being sold to L Capital for 133 million.  Universal Stage was retained for another year to sustain the positive momentum of the training initiative.

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The Challenge

As Crystal Jade expanded from a single outlet to 52 outlets over 21 years, it faced external threats from market and economic changes.  The increasing number of restaurants entering the F&B sector each year posed additional competition.  Rising expenditures for food and beverage purchases, staff remuneration, rental payments, utilities, and depreciation could potentially erode profits in the long run.  To ensure long-term business sustainability, Crystal Jade needed to enhance its operational effectiveness, particularly in the areas of productivity improvements and ensured that the management team had strong industry knowledge and experiences in operating restaurant concepts.

After conducting a SWOT analysis and engaging in management discussions with Universal Stage, Crystal Jade decided to enhance its overall service level by developing service standards, nurturing staff through training and development, introducing technology and service systems, and enhancing its brand image as a leading F&B restaurant.  With a focus on aligning internal processes and systems to ensure seamless, consistent service delivery, Crystal Jade’s goal was to differentiate itself in the face of fierce competition, retain existing customers, and attract new customers through an enhanced customer experience across divisions within CJCC.

Our Solutions

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To differentiate itself and attract customers in today's economic climate, Crystal Jade adopted a customer-centric approach that could meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.  Universal Stage proposed a holistic five-phased approach with a clear roadmap to achieving the goal of becoming a customer-centric organisation.  The approach included analysing the organisation and diagnosing service levels, formulating service strategies, blueprints, standards, and systems, developing customer-centric initiatives, implementing planned initiatives, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of these initiatives.

An analysis of Singapore Service Class (SSC) was conducted, and the findings were matched against a set of standards using the SSC scorecard.  Excellent practices and areas for improvement were identified for follow-up actions in subsequent meetings with the CCI committee members.  Multiple audit methodologies, including desktop evidence reviews, onsite observations, facilitated customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shoppers, and employee satisfaction surveys, were employed to diagnose the service performance level.

Service strategies, blueprints, and standards were then designed based on the discovered findings.  Customer-centric initiatives implemented during the project included customer service training, a Service Ambassador programme, an employee suggestions scheme with incentive reward, and a Leadership Action Card to encourage senior management to engage with customers and gather feedback for continuous improvement.

Recognising the need for efficient operational processes, an ERP system was successfully implemented by an appointed technology provider, integrating multiple operations and allowing seamless data sharing, real-time monitoring, and decision-making.  This resulted in more efficient and effective operational processes.

As a result of these solutions and customer-centric initiatives, Crystal Jade differentiated itself through the enhancement of service levels and delivering of exceptional experience fostered customer loyalty that retained existing customers and attracted new customers.


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