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Businessman decries staff conduct

The owner of what is increasingly becoming Samoa's largest restaurant chain, Dad, Mom, Children (D.M.C.), says he finds it difficult recruiting local staff due to high incidences of theft, absenteeism and lack of professionalism.

Businessman, Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking Weng, told the Samoa Observer he plans to open more restaurant outlets but it is difficult finding staff who don’t steal or misbehave.

“In Samoa today, it’s really hard to hire local staff members," he said during an interview. "All staff members at my company are local staff members only one overseas but all local staff.

“Samoa today have so many problems but very hard to change. For example, I hire you to work for me and you steal from me after a few months.

“Ninety percent of cashiers at my own restraint chains steal from me while butchers hide the meat inside trash bags and leave with them while making it look like rubbish.”

Staff absenteeism without proper explanation is also a big problem among staff, added Tu’itu’ioaiga.

“For some, when they decide not to come to work, they just stay home without any information to us about whether they’re taking that day off or not so we can sort out the shifts.”

The company is currently hiring staff for all its D.M.C. outlets on Upolu. 

However, due to the poor track record of previously recruited staff, Tu’itu’ioaiga revealed that all applicants should now provide reference letters from their church ministers and village mayors.

“There is a need for them to train their behaviours,” he added.

Currently, D.M.C. employees are paid above the $3 minimum wage with Tu’itu’ioaiga expressing disappointment that even a higher wage rate has not changed staff attitudes. 

“I give pay then $4.50 more than what they should normally get but they still behave like this,” he said. “Samoa is such a beautiful country but I’m finding it hard to hire people because the behaviour is not beautiful from some people.”

The D.M.C. restaurant chain recently opened an outlet at Moto’otua with another three under construction at Faleula, Puipa’a and Lotopa.

Meanwhile, the D.M.C. will expand to Savai’i as the company strives to expand its footprint by establishing 10-12 outlets in the country.

Tu’itu’ioaiga told the Samoa Observer that they are keen to set up on Savai’i as there are no restaurants on the big island.

“If you go to Savai’i you barely see any restaurants around so I thought why not?” he said.

“I also think it’s good for when after the coronavirus and when the flights finally open, more tourists will come back and take the boat to Savai’i and eat D.M.C. there.”

The businessman indicated that within this month, contracts will be finalised with the Savai'i township of Salelologa being the considered the latest venue for a D.M.C. outlet.

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