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Black Marble: Innovation from the Godfather of Steaks

Read about how the decorated Otto Weibel caters to the palate of steak lovers by innovating and evolving its processes and equipment.

Black Marble Restaurant (Image courtesy of Black Marble)

Otto Weibel has been called the godfather of steaks in Singapore due to his affable personality, world-famous steaks, and his multi-country experience. Swiss chefs being a rarity in Southeast Asia, the combination of Weibel’s European culinary expertise and dishes made in our region has become perfect marriage.

 

His restaurant, Black Marble is a restaurant in demand due to its praised specialities in steaks and seafood. As Singapore offers a great location to transport ingredients from almost all over the world, it is no wonder that the steakhouse offers a wide variety of fine dining wonders.

Black Marble Steak (Image courtesy of Black Marble)

Black Marble’s need for innovation

 

In the absence of user-friendly systems, it was difficult and time-consuming for the older employees to perform tasks such as tracking orders, reporting, and invoicing. They noted orders, kept details through paper records, and generated various reports – all processes were done manually. An outdated pen and paper system meant that processes were subject to human error, such as passing wrong orders to the kitchen, slower information management and less accurate reporting. It is the natural progression of F&B businesses, such as restaurants and bars, to focus on the kitchen first. That was the team’s intention, led by Weibel, to cook for a broad, loyal clientele. After five years of making a name for themselves, in 2021, the team at Black Marble saw the time was right to improve the way they worked.

The Black Marble team (Image courtesy of Black Marble)

How to run a restaurant in 2021

 

Innovative, up-to-date F&B operations in Singapore require continuous upgrades and new technology to stay competitive. Black Marble worked with NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to enhance its operations through the WorkPro Job Redesign Initiative.

 

Black Marble’s Signature Burger (Image courtesy of Black Marble)

With the challenges and constraints in mind, Black Marble and e2i assessed the situation to identify opportunities for improvements. The POS system has been integrated with Xero to provide automated, accurate accounting. With e-ordering (staff tablet ordering), they ensured that even senior staff have easy access to order taking. Simultaneously, a Kitchen Display System was incorporated to help the team sort orders by timing and consolidate similar orders for batch cooking. These upgraded systems, coupled with technology, significantly reduced the time taken to process orders. Staff no longer needed to walk to the main POS to key orders in. The orders could be placed tableside and sent directly to the kitchen, reducing processing time and improving customer satisfaction. Kitchen staff could also reference the display system and begin order preparation quickly without sorting through paper orders as they did before. These upgrades resulted in reducing order & processing time by up to half. Furthermore, finance staff could now view daily sales figures and quickly generate the necessary reports via Xero. The team can make menu amendments directly from the POS backend, reducing the need to involve outlet staff who are busy running on-ground operations. 

These technological and process upgrades benefited the entire Black Marble team, with at least one older worker aged 50 & above receiving a wage increment due to the productivity gains. 

Black Marble is located at 118 Holland Ave, #02-01 Raffles Holland V Mall, Singapore 278997. For more information on the restaurant, visit Instagram and Facebook.

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An Lyn Chee

Editorial Intern

An Lyn enjoys cafe hopping, thrift shopping, and watching The Devil Wears Prada as many times as humanly possible. On her days off, you’ll likely find her in Insta-worthy eateries; overdressed and ordering food and drink that she can barely afford.

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