My Open Letter To Sakura International Buffet Restaurant




To: Manager, Customer Service
Sakura International Buffet Restaurant
Suki Sushi Pte Ltd
26, Tai Seng Street, #03-01
Singapore 534057

Dear Sir or Madam,

A good service returns you your customers after they leave, and this is especially true for the case of mine. For I have no reasons not to revisit Sakura International Buffet Restaurant—Downtown East branch after my last visit on the 24th November 2013.

On the date mentioned above, I was at Downtown East having a wonderful day with my family. After an exhausting day of fun at Wild Wild Wet, we chose our dinner to be at Sakura International Buffet Restaurant so that we could also celebrate my father’s birthday, which happened to be on the same day. I made a walk-in reservation for 7.30pm, for a total of 4 adults, 1 senior citizen, 1 child and 2 toddlers.

Please forgive me for going to be long winded in this letter. I feel the need to share with you some background of my family that constitutes the reason behind me writing this to you.

My siblings and I grew up in a family that couldn’t provide anything else other than the basics in life; we could not afford most of what the other kids were having. Simple indulgence such as having fast food wasn’t possible for us, simply because my then-technician father was the sole breadwinner of our family, and he wasn’t earning much for us to spend. Our luxuries would be limited to “Zi Char” from the coffeeshops nearby, and we didn’t know anything about burgers and fries until we went to school and saw how other kids were eating potatoes in strips and salt. (I am thirty years old this year, in case you want to know) The affordability of these treats for us were inexistent; we grew up having our meals mostly home-cooked or from coffeeshops with self-brought eggs so that we could have extras without having to pay more.

I put this story to you because I hope to explain that my father—the hard-working provider for the whole of his life—never had much chance to be in restaurants because our financial situation forbade him this privilege. As we grew up, we made it a point to give him what he had missed in the course of providing for us when we were young. You can probably see by now, my father is a stranger to restaurants and dinings—not to mention international cuisines.

On the day of our visit, my prawn-loving father—with totally no idea of sashimi being mostly fresh and raw dishes—took few pieces of prawns from the sashimi counter. After realizing that the shrimps were uncooked, he wanted to put them back. Concerned about hygiene and etiquette, I advised him against doing that. That, however, left us stuck with uncooked prawns and zero intention in wasting them. Not wanting to put the shrimps to waste, we ended up bringing them to the BBQ counter and requested for them to be cooked.

Sadly, that was not allowed, and the lady behind the counter advised us that she could not help us. Reasons were:

1)    The prawns were not picked from the BBQ counter.

2)    Only 1 to 2 (please correct me if I am wrong) prawns per serving per order was allowed.

I tried to explain to the lady, hoping that exceptions could be made as it was an honest mistake, for that was the first time my father visited an international buffet restaurant. She wasn’t able to help for some reasons not made known to us. At this time, the manager (or supervisor—I’m not sure. He was in black shirt.) Mr Raymond Teo walked over to understand what happened.

I would like to say that my exchanges with the lady behind the BBQ counter were not unpleasant at all. Please do not look at this thinking this is a complain on customer service—this letter is not.

Mr Raymond Teo listened to my explanations with patience, and noted the reasons behind my request for the prawns to be cooked, and he agreed to make an exception for us. He got the lady to prepare the prawns for us, and assured me that they would be served to us once they were ready.

My purpose of this letter is to inform you of our appreciation for the help extended by Mr Raymond. It surpassed our expectations in customer service we would receive for a simple dinner. His understanding and accommodating attitude was commendable; I feel I should make this known to you. He helped us out of a situation that we had unfortunately gotten ourselves into, and our dinner ended with nothing short of laughters and smiles. I would also like to compliment the frontline ladies for their friendliness when they attended to us during our visit. The bright smiles on their faces made us very comfortable, and it was a plus point before we walked through the door. The overall experience was very positive for all of us from the family; you can be sure that Sakura will continue to be on our list of restaurants to visit.

Please keep up the good work!

Yours faithfully


Andy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.


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