Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mos Burger Review

I have always like Mos Burger. I felt that their attention to detail. (Cashiers use hand sanitizers to clean their hands after receiving cash, etc.) is very commendable. Their burgers are slightly better than the regular fast food, and overall, the company does have a good image on sustainability, and Corporate Social Resopnsibility.

I love Mos Burger in Taiwan, and have visited the MOS Burger outlets once a week, when I'm there. There are also many limited edition promotions, like buy a new burger meal and get a MOS Burger Mug, etc. The restaurants are clean and pleasant to be in.

Lately, I've been to the MOS Burger outlets in Singapore and was a little shocked to see the difference. Initially, I found the elderly staff in the outlets rather cool, as they empower the elderly to work, but after visiting the MOS Burger outlets twice so far, I was quite disappointed.

I visited the MOS Burger outlet at Nee Ann City last week.

The elderly cashier was a little hard of hearing. It took her 5 minutes to get the order from a school girl in the front, another 7 minutes with the second person and 6 minutes with the third before serving me. No matter what people may think, queuing up for about 20 minutes just to get your orders taken at a fast food restaurant, when the restaurant is not so crowded is NOT ACCEPTABLE. The elderly cashier kept asking MOS Burger with Cheese? Spicy or non Spicy? And I kept saying I want the regular MOS Burger and pointed to the picture of the regular MOS Burger. After taking the order, I found that the price was different and questioned the elderly cashier on the difference and found out that my order of MOS Burger Meal with Apple Soda became Yakiniku Rice Burger with Milk Tea. How the hell did it happen when I was asked Cheese or no Cheese and Spicy or non Spicy?? Overall, I got my order sorted out and the Cashier was unhappy as all the customers seemed to have slight problems with their orders.

Then I visited MOS Burger today again in Toa Payoh at the HDB Hub.

I ordered the same order again and as expected, 3 customers took 12 minutes. (Slightly better than the other experience.) This time I pointed to the picture at the counter and said "THIS ONE... NO CHEESE... NO SPICY" The elderly cshier got it, and I ordered "APPLE SODA" When the cashier was giving me my change, it was wrong. I found that I was given Milk Tea again, and was charged more. I informed the cashier the mistake and was given Apple Soda. When I told her the price difference, she then gave me back change. Some how I think the Cashier was pissed angry, and my Apple Soda was filled to the brim with ice and she poured away a lot of APPLE SODA, giving me some Apple Soda Flavored Ice which was finished in one sip. When my burger came 10 minutes later, the fries were soggy and the burger was cold. As I was in a hurry, I informed the staff about the disappointing food (which I did not eat) and left. It was a really bad experience.

I guess there is a big difference between the same brand in different countries. While hiring the elderly is good, I'm not sure there was proper training or screening involved and it my experience at MOS Burger in Singapore was 100% disappointing.

I would have to give MOS Burger in Singapore 2 thumbs down!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ST Reporter Blogs about @SGbrands!

At last there's some mention on SGBrands on the news.

SGBrands is started by @Belindaang to promote local Singapore Brands. With the help of @robin_low, local brands which just started to get on Social Media can send replies of deals to @SGbrands and it will be RT (Re-tweeted) absolutely FREE! Furthermore, SGBrands has many Singaporean Tweeps that will hep RT the message, propagating the message even further!

SGbrands can also help you with your social media strategy. @robin_low who is doing a lot of research into social media can give Introduction to Social Media classes to companies who are interested in using social media to understand how to leverage the power of social media and word of mouth marketing.

More services like building follower base and targeted Social Media Campaigns can also be provided, along with consulting Social Media strategies.

In fact, if you are a company in Singapore who is interested in starting a Facebook and Twitter account, you don't have to go any further. Let SGBrands guide you and hold your hands and together achieve your Social Media success!


Deals worth chirping about
June 17, 2009 Wednesday, 06:15 AM

Fash Hag kicks off a thrice-weekly shopping round-up with the juiciest gossip.

HELLO darlings, and welcome to my new Great Singapore Sale blog. From today till the end of July, I'll be bringing you the latest news and gossip from the retail frontline thrice a week.

To kick things off, I thought I'd talk about every shopper's favourite topic: bargain-hunting.

Every fashionista worth her salt knows how to sniff out those good deals during this GSS - whether it be through advertisements or well-placed contacts.

But as you know, it is the age of social networking. And what better way to learn about a bargain than through the Web's newest debutante, Twitter?

Seems like some boys and girls have been busy squirrelling away all the lovely deals they can sniff out and posting them on their Twitter feeds.

If you have an account, all you have to do is search for the terms #sgdeal or #GSS. This will throw up a whole list of promotions that people are twittering about, from the upcoming Mango sale to a storewide 50 to 70 per cent sale on St Louis bags.

One tasty morsel I found recently was a link that lets you download coupons for VivoCity, Wisma Atria and The Centrepoint stores - exclusive to those-in-the-know netizens. 

If you're too lazy to do a check, follow the account @BrandSG at which will deliver updates of the latest deals to your Twitter account.

But why stop there? Dozens of retailers that have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon are worthy of your attention.

The new Tampines 1 mall recently told me about Uniqlo offering jeans at $49.90 (down from $69.90), while department store Tangs let me in on the arrival of its Spring Court shoes.

I hear smaller local businesses are getting in on the act too, such as cheongsam brand Mazzario.

There's also a whole realm of Twitter deals beyond fashion. Check out travel site Zuji and Whatsonsg for restaurant deals and events.

Never mind how all this excessive mouse-clicking will ruin your nails, darlings. After all, with the money saved from these deals, you can well afford a nice manicure afterwards, non?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

HDTV Tweaking tips

I have owned several HDTV in the past, and with the lowered prices of the new HDTVs in the market, you may be tempted to buy the 50" you've been lusting for months. But after bringing it home, you find that your new HDTV which wowed you in the electronics store looks absolutely, well, like crap!

Probably, there is nothing wrong with your TV; you just need to adjust your set. When you watched that new LCD or plasma set in the store, you probably saw a picture designed to grab your eye. And the best way to do so in that brightm noisy, flourscent-lit environment is to crank up the brightness, blow up the colors and set the LCD backlight to the max.

What works well in the store will not work in yout home. Your living room may not be lit with flourscents, and less bright and warmer lights demands a different settings from a TV ot create that pleasing, natural-looking colors and images.

Although the manufacturers have many different presets built in to try to make your job easier, they are merely guesswork out to get the bset picture in your home. As every home is different, creating the right picture requires a few minutes of simple tweaking. Here are some steps to follow:

1) Turn your light down low. (yes, its from Bob Marley)
The picture contrast ratio -- a commonly used specification that indicates the range of brightness from white to black -- is measured in an absolutely black room. But you don't have one in your home and more than likely, your TV will lack detail in the darker parts of an image.

LCD TVs create their images using a flourscent or LED backlight; typically they are turned up tot their maximum setting at the factory. I've met many gurus and technicials which recommend that this level should be turned down to at least half.

2) Set the brightness.
Brightness is controlled by the picture's black level; it needs to be set dark enough so that the screen displays rich dark blacks. If it is too low, the image will lose detail, and if it is too high, the picture will look muddy and the blacks will appear grey.

Black level is important as the truer the black, the greater the perceived sharpness of the TV image. To get a good black level, you can use a plunge pattern, which consist of six vertical bars of varying balck levels. you turn the picture level down until one of the designated bars disappears against the background, Plunge patterns, and other patterns are usually available on a variety of TV tuning discs, which are DVDs that come with test patterns.

If you decide to wing it, you can just watch your favoirite DVD and turn the brightness/picture control down until the detailed areas in a dark part of the frame disappears, then turn it back up until you can just make out some detail.

3) Adjust the contrast.
With the black level set, you want to now maximize the image's whites. The trick is to maintain the details in a white scene and you don't want the whites to be so white that details on a bright scene disappear. (like images on a ski slope during an avalange)

Again, you can use a pattern for tuning or find a movie with a bright scene on a movie, with a woman wearing a white wedding dress. Turn the contrast control so that you can see the dress detail, like fabric folds, or buttons, without becoming a mass of white.

4) Keep colors in check
Most set have saturated colors in default, they display colors more saturated that in real life, making the real world look like a comic book. At first, the natural colors may look too muted, but trust me, it ill become more pleasing in a few days. Adjust the color comtrol until people look the way you would expect them to be, turn the color down until it almost disappear and then raise it back to the desired level.

Greens... Make sure the greens are correct. Look at grass scenes and adjust the hues if needed. As color and hues are interactive, you may need to go back and fourth until you get it right. There are test patterns again for the colors and color bars to use for this test. using filters also can help in the tuning.

*Note the settings you created will be appropriate for the time of the day when they were made. if you did it during the day, brightness controls need to be lowered if you are watching at night. All other controls however should remain the same.

*Consider the source as watching a DVD or a blue-ray disc on certain modern TV may have different settings, check the source and your settings again and see if it changes when you change the source, you may need to do adjustment for the different source.

*Advice on cables. When you spent several thousand dollars on a new TV, you may be tempted to spend several hundred more on a top-of-the-line component. You man even spend a few hundred bucks on cables.

One word of advice -- Don't

Cheap cables that cost $75 pre foot work as well as $100 per foot. With the right cheap HDMI cables, you can see the picture, and hear the sound you want.

-- Reviews Guru